Information about the airport of Heraklion (HER) Nikos Kazantzakis

Heraklion-airportHeraklion International Airport (HER) is the main airport in Crete and is located 5 kilometers east of the island’s capital. 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 locations.

More than 50 airlines pass through Heraklion airport, the second in number of passengers in Greece after Athens airport and the most important of the 3 located in Crete.

During the summer, many charter flights connect the airport with many major European destinations. For connections to and from the airport you can opt for buses, the number 78 will take you to the city, taxis or for a rental car.

History of the Airport

The airport first opened in March 1939. Back then it was just a piece of flat farmland. The first plane (a Junkers Ju 52) carried the first passengers to the site. During World War II, the airport was the site of the Battle of Heraklion, during the Battle of Crete in 1941. Civil operations ceased, but traffic resumed in the fall of 1946, with DC-3 aircraft.

At first, the airport offered only very basic services, with only primitive facilities on site in the form of three tents, smoke for wind determination and storm lamps for runway lighting.

In 1947 the first (small) terminal was built. Hellenic Airlines started commercial flights in 1948. At that time a total of 4,000 people were served. 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, Olympic Aviation used the airport, starting services with DC-6 aircraft. Jojo AIr also flew to Heraklion, but was withdrawn on 2 July 2001.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.

Facilities of Heraklion Airport

The facilities include two runways of 2,714 and 1,566 meters in length, 25 aircraft parking spaces, as well as a 26,000 square meter terminal.
The airport has two premium lounges (Goldair Handling Lounge and Filoxenia Lounge), ATMs (National Bank and Piraeus Bank), currency exchange counters, baggage wrapping service (departures building – ground floor), luggage storage service (phone + 30 2810 397349), First Aid Station and Baby Care Center.

Airport shops

The following cafes and shops operate in the terminal:
– A restaurant (Phones: 2810 333485, 397257)
– Four EVEREST canteens (Phones: 2810 397243, 397246, 397247, 397255)
– A FLOCAFE canteen (Phone: 2810 397243)
– AIR ROLOI ice cream shop (Phone: 2810 424234)
– Duty free shops (DUTY FREE) (Telephone: 2810 300170)
– Cosmetic shop (Phone: 2810 247051)
– Gift Shop (Phone: 2810 243974)

Transport buses and taxis

Different city bus lines start from the airport and serve the entire municipality of Heraklion. The bus stop is within walking distance of the terminal building.
Cost of one-way tickets: €1.50 (Full), €0.80 (Reduced)
Contact details of urban KTEL Heraklion:
Telephone +30 2810 283270
Speed City bus address of Heraklion,
Roussou Khourdou 4,  71201, Heraklion, Crete

Taxi and Transfer from/to Heraklion Airport

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 buses that follow a predefined route, making stops only where required, 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.

If you wish to take a taxi from the airport, you must go to the designated area outside the terminal. Alternatively, you can pre-book so that a driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area.

At ‘Nikos Kazantzakis’ airport, the following car rental companies are active, located in the arrivals area of the airport. You will need to bring your ID or passport, driver’s license and credit card with you for the rental.

Company Phone

Alidary Auto +30 2810 246603
Hertz  +30 2810 341734
Torrent +30 2810 240222
National +30 2810 226002
Sixt +30 2810 208915Avis +30 2810 229402
Budget +30 2810 344179
Eurodollar +30 2810 281338
Europcar +30 2810 242009

It is recommended that you book the car before your arrival at the airport, so that you have done the necessary market research and ensure the rental of the vehicle that serves you at the most economical prices.

Heraklion Airport contact information

Telephone +30 2810 397800
Fax +30 2810 221700
Heraklion International Airport address N. Kazantzakis,
t.c. 71601, Heraklion, Crete

Arivals and departures