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Europe > Greece > Heraklion

See: Why hire a car in Heraklion ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring. Yes, this site is being updated, but the graphics will come later)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Heraklion?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest. That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than simple yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Heraklion?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Heraklion car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Heraklion with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.


Should I rent a car in Heraklion? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Heraklion, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Heraklion car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Heraklion is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Heraklion? 

Yes. Amongst cheapest in world during off-season, still good value year round.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Heraklion between the peak and the off peak season?

8/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 9

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, but public transport here is poor.

Do you need a car in Heraklion?

Why? Visiting Heraklion using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Heraklion ?

  • There is no rail service of any kind on Crete.
  • Bus services are relatively poor, and unreliable.
  • A hire car will let you explore all parts of the island on your own terms.

Why not? Visiting Heraklion without a car

Why don't you need a car in Heraklion ?

  • You cvan still get by on Crete without a car.
  • For historic sites, you can use local tour bus services, as a rental car will just remain parked on the edge.

Ratings: How does Heraklion compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Heraklion? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Heraklion, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Heraklion? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Heraklion (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Heraklion? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Heraklion airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Heraklion car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 9

2019 - 7

2021 - 9

Average score - 9




Do you or don't you need a car in Heraklion ?

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