Crete’s capital, Heraklion is cultural and vibrant


Approximate flight time: 4 hours (total distance 2322 miles)

Airlines that fly direct: TUI, Jet2.com

Airports in Crete: Heraklion Airport (HER), Chania Airport (CHQ) and Sitia Airport (JSH)

Seasons: High = May - September; Low = November - March

Currency: Euro (€)

Departing from Birmingham Airport

With great shops, bars and restaurants, Birmingham Airport is a great choice of airport to fly to Heraklion from.  

Birmingham is easy to get to from all over the UK. If you want to travel by public transport, you will find bus and coach services running directly to the airport. Trains will take you to Birmingham International train station, which is connected to the terminal by free and frequent transport taking just minutes.

Those driving to the airport will find a choice of seven car parks, which are all easily accessible from the terminal by foot or via the courtesy shuttle bus. Book a parking space online in advance and save up to 70%. Maybe also pre-book entry into one of our five airport lounges, which offer complimentary food and drinks, unlimited WiFi and great runway views before you fly.

If you want to eat before you board, we have a fantastic selection of cafés, bars and restaurants for you to choose including Giraffe which has a great kids’ menus for those travelling with children. Have a sit down meal at Wetherspoon or Factory Bar and Kitchen or, if you’d prefer a coffee and pastry, pick from Costa, Caffé Nero and Pret a Manger.

Once you’ve eaten, why not browse the shops? There are great deals at World Duty Free, plus you’ll find fashion stores like Kurt Geiger and Superdry, and Boots for essentials, so we’ve got everything you could need before you fly. All organised? Grab a magazine and a bag of sweets for the plane from WHSmith and relax in one of our spacious seating areas.

Need currency for your trip abroad? Look no further. Whether you’re looking to top up your Euros before you fly, or withdraw a few UK pounds for your return, head over to our Travelex stores conveniently located in the Arrivals area of the terminal building and Departures Lounge.  If you prefer, you can pre-order your currency and get next day collection if you order before 3pm at Birmingham Airport.  

For more information on the other services available, see our guide to terminal facilities. Keen to get through the airport as quickly as possible? Check out our tips for the speedy traveller.

(Hi + Low monthly temperatures)
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Maximum 15°C 15°C 16°C 20°C 23°C 27°C 28°C 28°C 26°C 23°C 19°C 16°C
Minimum 9°C 9°C 10°C 12°C 15°C 19°C 22°C 22°C 19°C 17°C 14°C 11°C
Heraklion port with old venetian fort Koule and venetian shipyards

Heraklion port with old venetian fort Koule and venetian shipyards

Arriving at Heraklion Airport

Heraklion Airport is Crete’s main gateway to the world. It is located about 5km east of the main city of Heraklion.

There is no underground or train in Heraklion, so if you want to take public transport, you will have to travel by bus. The Heraklion Airport bus runs every 10-15 minutes all year round, from 6:00 to 12:00. The journey time from Heraklion Airport to the city is about 20 minutes depending on the road traffic. You can buy your ticket when you board, drivers accept EUR currency and cash only.

Local taxis are waiting outside the Arrival Hall, and shared minibuses are also an option. Should you want a car for your time in Crete, there are car hire options at the airport.

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The Palace of Knossos, Heraklion

What to expect in Heraklion

Heraklion (or Iraklio, to the locals) is Greece’s fifth-largest city and Crete’s capital. The city is the island’s economic and administrative hub but is also home to some of Crete’s best sights. Take the time to discover Heraklion, and you’ll find a thriving café and restaurant scene, good shopping and bustling nightlife, as well as cultural attractions.

Greek is the main language spoken in Heraklion, but most locals speak English very well, although learning a few words in their native language will always be appreciated.

Heraklion enjoys a warm and temperate climate. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F) and the coldest is January at 12°C (54°F). The wettest month is December with an average of 100mm of rain.

Heraklion Harbour

Heraklion Harbour

Culture in Heraklion

Immerse yourself in the history of Crete when you visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the nearby Palace of Knossos, which both provide fascinating insight into Crete's ancient past.

Discover the Old Town of Heraklion including the well-known Morosini Fountain in Lions Square, the Loggia and St. Mark's Basilica. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere, wander through the narrow streets, visit the market, browse the local shops or visit the Venetian port with its fortress. Explore small parks, street cafés and many historic buildings and fountains from Venetian and Turkish times.

Crete has one of the oldest and most delicious gastronomic traditions in the world. It is simple but extremely fresh and flavourful. Some things you must try on your trip to Heraklion include olive oil (or liquid gold, as they call it in Crete), Cretan cheeses, sarikopitakia (cheese pie), and loukoumades (fried dough served with ice cream, nuts and honey).

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