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Crete: Heraklion

Heraklion one of the largest cities of Greece is both Crete capital and its primary port. The city's chic native population lives a fast-paced life, and the urbanite brusqueness will make you appreciate the hospitality that comes so naturally in Heraklion's surrounding mountain villages. While architectural aesthetics find the city's unplanned jumble of Venetian monuments sandwiched between Turkish houses and two-story concrete flats utterly offensive, many others consider the mosaic of buildings a ubiquitous reminder of lraklion's impressive history. 

Regardless, with its rich museums and daytrip proximity to the Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phoistos, and Malia, Heraklion is an ideal base for a cultural tour of Crete.

Getting Around

By Bus
They are cheap, relatively frequent, and connect to all but the most isolated locales. The disadvantage is that the schedules are not always the most convenient for travelers with limited time. Travelers can take them between all major points. To get information about bus schedules to  Rethymnon-Chania and points west call 0810-221765, and for buses to Mallia, Agyios Nikolaos, Sitia, lerapetra, and points east, call 0810-245017/19/20. For buses to Phaestos and other points to south, call 0810-255965.

By Car & Moped
A car gives you maximum flexibility in seeing the island. You will find rental agencies in all the main centers of Crete (including the airports).  As for mopeds and motorcycles, be very sure you can control such a vehicle in chaotic urban traffic and/or dangerous mountain roads (with few shoulders but many potholes and much gravel). If you want to go this way, there are rental agencies all over town.

By Taxi
You can see taxis as a reasonable means for two or three people to share a trip to a site: No place on Crete is more than a day's round-trip from Heraklion. Ask a travel agent to find you a driver who speaks at least rudimentary English; he can then serve as your guide as well.

By Boat 
There are now several excursion boats that take visitors on day trips to offshore islands or isolated beaches; inquire at a travel agency.

Fast Facts

  • The official American Express agency is Adamis Travel Bureau, Odos 25 Avgusto 23 Phone 0810-346202, fax 0810-224-717.

  •  There are numerous banks and ATMs (as well as several currency-exchange machines) throughout the center of Heraklion, with many along Odos 25 Avgusto.

  • The British Consul is at Odos Papa Alexandrou 16 (opposite the Archaeological Museum); there is no American consulate in Heraklion.

  • The Venizelou Hospital ( 081/237-502) is on Knossos Road. For general first-aid information, call 081/222-222. For medical emergencies, call 166. 

  • For Internet access, see the Istos Cyber Cafe, www.istos-cafe.gr

  •  There's a branch post office on El Greco Square, open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 8pm. 

  • The telephone office (OTE), Odos Minotaurou 10 (the far side of El Greco Park), is open daily from 6am to 11pm.

 

 

Crete Guide

Home
Map of Crete
Getting There
History
What to Visit
Ecology
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Restaurants
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Cafe-Bars

 Heraklion Guide

Getting Around
Heraklion Map
What to See & Do
Side Trips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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