greece travel guide

Airport of Heraklion Crete

heraklion-airport Heraklion International Airport (HER) is the main airport of Crete and is located 5 kilometers east of the capital of the island. Named after the Greek writer and philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis, the airport serves the central part of the island, the town of Agios Nikolaos and numerous other tourist resorts.

Over 50 airlines landing at the airport of Heraklion, the second in number of passengers in Greece after Athens airport and the most important of the 3 airports of Crete. During the summer, many charter flights connect the airport with numerous European destinations.

History of the Airport

In the year 1953, a paved runway was built which was initially 1,850 meters long and oriented 09/27. The next big event came in 1954, when a four-engine DC-4 aircraft landed at the airport for the first time. That year the airport served about 18,000 passengers. From 1957 onwards, the new Olympic Aviation used the airport, starting services with DC-6 aircrafts. Jojo AIr also flew to Heraklion, but was withdrawn in 2001.

From 1968 to 1971, the runway was extended to 2,680 meters and a new terminal and other facilities were built, effectively making it a new airport. On 18 March 1971, the first charter flight from abroad (British Airways) took place at the airport. The new airport itself was officially opened on May 5, 1972.

In October 2017, airport expansion projects began. The projects, which were entirely financed by Duty Free Shops SA, after an agreement with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the FSA, at no cost to the Greek public, include among others the configuration of the ground floor and first floor areas of the airport (8,000 sq.m.) with new floors, wood paneling, led lighting, new air conditioners, etc.
Τhe extension of the terminal by 2,900 m2 towards the runway (17 meters), additional space for duty free shops.

Six new renovated catering outlets at the departures lounge and 2 at check-in areas. Remodeling of the gates by creating extra ones. In total the airport now has 11 exits with their own elevator, 9 exits on the ground floor and 2 on the first floor.Creation of 2 lounges in the extra schengen area and 2 in the intra schengen zone.

Airfield Data

Parking Floor: 185,000 m² (15+4 parking spaces)
Airport: 43,300 m2
Radio aids: VOR-DME, TACAN, NDB (Locator)
Fire Protection: Cat. VIII
Plot size: 2,781 acres

Trasports to and from the Airport

For connections to and from the airport you can opt for buses, ( the Bus number 78 will take you to the city) , taxis or a rental car.
Private or shared transfers are an excellent alternative to public transport at a slightly higher cost, especially if you are traveling in a group. Unlike the buses that follow a predefined route, making stops only where foreseen, the transfers are at your disposal and will take you directly to your destination, avoiding further transfers with luggage in tow. In particular, private transfers for exclusive use are comparable to a taxi service.

About the city of Heraklion

Heraklion is the capital of Crete and is also the largest and most important center on the island. Located in the center of the island, on the north coast with a population of about 160,000 inhabitants.
Heraklion is the most important center of Crete and home to numerous architectural, artistic and historical masterpieces.
The city is characterized by long pedestrian paths teeming with people both for shopping and for the numerous bars and clubs that overlook the street.

Heraklion is accesible by the new motorway that crosses the whole island, it is easily accessible from all parts of the island. The city is served by the international airport of Heraklion served by major carriers, including low cost ones. Internal connections with Thessaloniki and Athens are very frequent.
The port of Heraklion is also very well connected with the other Aegean islands and with the main Greek ports. read more about Heraklion