How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos the Easy Way!

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Agios Nikolaos is located in the eastern region of Lasithi, on the island of Crete, and it’s about one hour from the capital of the island. If you’re traveling to Crete, you’re likely to land in Heraklion. But if you are spending your vacation in Agios, then you need to know how to get there. This guide describes all the ways to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos to make moving around the island a breeze!


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How to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos

Last-minute plans for Crete?

Get there: Use Ferryhopper to book your tickets.

Stay: Find great accommodation deals on Booking.com.

Move around: Compare car rental prices with Discover Cars.

Tours: Check the most popular places on the island with GetYourGuide.

Read more: Pack the Lonely Planet Guide to Crete or get a copy of my digital guide to Chania.

Best Hotels in Heraklion

Affordable: Candia Studios & Rooms or Rea Hotel in the city center.
Mid-range: Capsis Astoria and Veneziano Boutique Hotel in town.
Luxury: GDM Megaron H. M. Hotel or Galaxy Iraklio in the center.
Check also Heraklion Accommodation Guide and Best Places to Stay in Crete.

Best Hotels in East Crete

Affordable: Porto Maltese and Katia Apartment in town.
Mid-range: Ostria Apartments in Ammoudara or Villa Olga.
Luxury: Elounda Peninsula in Elounda and Miramare Resort in Agios.
Check also Rental Homes in Agios Nikolaos and Best Elounda Resorts.

How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos, in Crete

Whether you arrive at Heraklion port or airport, you can easily reach Agios Nikolaos by bus, taxi, car, or private transfer. Both Heraklion and Agios face the northern coast of the island, so the trip is pretty straightforward, from point A to point B, no matter what travel method you choose.

Let’s see now how to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos and all the transport options you have.

Arriving at Heraklion

Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport is about 6 km (less than 10 minutes) from the center of Heraklion. The Port of Heraklion is about 5 minutes from the center of town. 

Many tourists getting to Crete usually arrive at Heraklion Airport. And many of them choose to head directly to Agios Nikolaos, a very popular holiday resort on the island. While Heraklion is in the center of the island, Agios is located to the est, 62.4 kilometers from the airport of Heraklion (about 51 minutes in regular traffic conditions).

The most important road on Crete, the National Road, runs along the north coast, connecting the easternmost city of Sitia, to the western city of Kissamos.

No matter what transport method you choose, this is the road you need to take to get to Agios Nikolaos from Heraklion. And the length of the trip will mostly depend on how you decide to get there. These are your options:

Are You Ready to Hit the Road?
Things to Consider…

(National Road – Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos).

You can get to Agios Nikolaos from Heraklion either by public transport or by car, it all depends on how you like to travel, how comfortable you feel about driving on roads you don’t know, and how much money you can spend on transport.

Traveling from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos by taxi is the most expensive way to get there, on the other hand, even when renting a car might sound like another expensive option, it is instead very convenient. Renting your own car is a winning idea if you’re interested in visiting places that are hard to reach, for instance, the South. Nobody will interfere with your schedule… or with spontaneity. Personally, I believe it’s a blast to forget everything about schedules and drive your own car on the island.

Looking for a convenient hotel to spend the night near the Bus Station in Heraklion?
>>Check Hotel Life on Booking.com<<

Always keep this in mind when planning your trip: Bus travel is really easy on the north coast of the island while getting to popular places in the south, including Elafonisi, Loutro, Preveli, Matala, Ierapetra, or Plakias can be more difficult.

Most small villages lack regular or frequent bus connections. And these are the times when driving your own vehicle can be a blessing… Unless you have an unlimited budget to spend on taxis, of course. But let’s get real, that’s often not the case with regular travelers.

If you’re ready to travel by bus, I can only recommend you to travel light, to plan your schedules, and to allow some extra time for unforeseen situations, like extra traffic (or a herd of goats in the middle of the road!).

Plan, plan a lot, and remember these simple details for a smooth trip around Crete, and – in our case – from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos. No matter which means of transport you choose. For even better info, always check this website for further accurate information.

How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos by Bus

One of the most cost-effective ways to get to Agios Nikolaos from Heraklion is to get the bus. It leaves from Heraklion’s Central Bus A (New building – Efesou Street) with the following schedules:

6:30 – 7:00 – 9:15 – 10:45 – 12:45 – 14:45 – 15:45 – 16:45 – 17:45 – 18:30 – 20:15 – 21:15

The new station in Heraklion is just a few meters from the port.

The bus connecting the Airport of Heraklion with the Central Bus Station of Heraklion leaves you right behind the station. It’s a frequent, convenient service (the bus has ample space for luggage), and the ticket is under €2. Once there, head to Heraklion’s Bus Station ticket office to purchase your ticket to Agios Nikolaos.

There are buses covering the Heraklion-Agios route at least every two hours, a frequency that can increase between May and October, depending on the demand. The service is reliable and quite affordable. A ticket Heraklion-Agios Nikolaos is €9 one way.

Remember: Always keep your ticket with you during the whole trip since ticket controls on the bus are common and frequent during the trip.

The first bus from Heraklion to Agios departs at 6.30 am while the last bus departs every night at 9.15 pm. According to the official website, the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes, a travel time that can be longer with heavy traffic (especially in summer). 

The bus makes a few stops along the way, during the stop, you’re not allowed to leave the bus for long (always ask the driver first if you need to get off the bus). 

One of the many pretty sights along the highway Heraklion-Agios.

Traveling the other way around?
>>Check departures from Agios Nikolaos Station<<

Traveling with a pet: Traveling by bus with your pet, according to the official website of the bus company, the itineraries on which two escort animals are accepted within the passengers’ area are the ones departing at 5:30, 09:30, 11:30, 14:30, 17:30, and 21:30.

Luggage restrictions: Passenger luggage must be placed in the luggage compartment of the bus. Each passenger can carry 2 pieces of luggage for free. There is an extra charge for every extra piece of luggage. Small pieces (hand luggage, backpacks, etc.) can be taken on the bus but must be placed in the special luggage racks inside the bus.

WiFi: All buses offer a free wi-fi network service, powered by external GSM antennas and advanced free wi-fi routers. There is free wi-fi access inside the bus stations as well.

Discounts: Discounted rates are available for students, families with more than 3 children get a 50% discount on all routes. People with disabilities have the same discount. Infants until 6 years old travel free of charge. Credit cards and debit cards are accepted to pay all tickets.

Refunds: In case you pay a ticket and you don’t travel, the company gives the passenger a 70% refund of the ticket price or a refund of 50% in case of a cancellation within 8 hours before departure time.

More info: Information for passengers is available daily from early morning to late at night on the phone at 2810-246530. You can also call to learn about the timetable by calling this number 2810-245020 with an answering machine 24 hours a day.

Check ferry tickets to Greece here!

>> Bus schedules are published on this website <<

How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos by Taxi

It’s also possible to reach Agios Nikolaos from Heraklion by taxi. You can take a taxi at the Airport of Heraklion or at the Port of Heraklion.

The 60-km trip can take about 1 hour (always depending on the traffic and the season), and the ride can cost anything from €60 to €180 euros.

It is always advisable to discuss and agree on the price with the driver before you get into the taxi. Taxis are a good way to get to Agios Nikolaos if you arrive late at night, when there’s no bus service available, or when sharing the cost with other travelers.

Remember that it’s not odd for taxi drivers to charge an extra fee for night rides.

How to Travel from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos with a Private Pre-Booked Transfer

If you’re looking to save some money but still prefer the comfort of a car over the public bus, then keep in mind that pre-booked transfers can be more convenient than taxis. Prices can be discussed and agreed price beforehand, and you can even book the trip online before getting on the island. 

You can arrange for a meeting point or have a driver waiting for you at your place of arrival (either the port or airport). This is also great if you have a lot of luggage; if you travel with kids or with a big group of friends. Since everything will be arranged before the trip, you won’t need to bargain for the price.

Prices can go from €50 to €150 depending on the transfer company and how many people are sharing the ride. Please check before hiring the service since the number of passengers inside a car might vary this season due to Covid-19 restrictions. This transfer service is a good way to save money for groups of up to 5 travelers.

It’s always a good move to also book the return trip beforehand in case you’re flying out of Crete also from Heraklion Airport.

How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos by Car

(Click on the link to open the interactive map by Google Maps – Copyright Google 2021).

Hiring a car is probably the easiest way to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos. Driving gives great opportunities to discover the island. It also gives you the flexibility to stop anywhere on the road either to rest or so simply stand there admiring the beauty of the landscape. If you’re doubtful about driving in Crete, check this helpful guide about car rental and driving in Crete. Don’t forget to bookmark it before your trip.

Driving from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos is fairly simple, the road is in very good condition since most of it has been recently completed. You will be driving along the National Road for about an hour. The road is easy and straightforward, and there’s no real risk of getting lost.

About fuel: In several areas, gas stations close at 7 pm, however, you will be able to find other petrol stations open until later, especially if they are on the highway. Don’t be shy and ask the locals for further information, they’re always happy to help.

Some petrol stations accept credit cards, that being said, do have some cash with you at all times. There’s no self-service option in Crete, they will fill your vehicle and you will pay either the employee or inside the shop.

Remember: It’s not possible to buy petrol with the credit card if the gas station is already closed.

Experts say that…

Lead-free petrol can be found everywhere. 
Regular unleaded petrol has an octane rating of 91 or 92 while the octane rating of super is 96 or 98. 
Unleaded super petrol has an octane rating of 95.

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How are you planning to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos this season?
Let me know in the comments below!


Travel Plans for Crete?
More Resources to Organize Your Trip!

Start by heading right to my tips to plan a trip to Crete for in-depth details you need to know about Greece. You can also check my post to better know what to pack for a trip to the island or read this info to visit Crete with children!

Get in touch if you need extra help to plan your trip. If you want to tour West Crete, check my guide. Want more? Join my Private Facebook Group to connect with like-minded travelers who love Crete as much as you do!

Make Sure You’ve Got Everything For a Hassle-Free Vacation!

I never move around the islands without my Osprey backpack, a sturdy but light travel partner I just love. For short trips, I carry this little crossbody bag. If I drive, I pack my Nikon D7200 and a good travel guide: Lonely Planet’s Best of Greece & the Greek Islands.

When it comes to plane tickets, compare prices with a powerful search engine. However, nothing beats traveling by sea in Greece. With Ferry Hopper, you can book in advance at the lowest price.

For accommodation, I use Booking.com. Traveling to remote places is easier with Discover Cars. Other times, I join organized tours with GetYourGuide, which features anything from cooking lessons to airport transfer!

Are you coming to Crete any time soon?

Get in touch and let me know!

Read more:

Best Agios Nikolaos Hotels: Where to Stay in Lasithi, Crete
Amazing Things to Do in Agios Nikolaos During Your Trip to Crete
Safest Beaches for Children in Crete: Insider’s Guide
Most Stunning Beaches in East Crete: Complete Insider’s Guide
The Prettiest Holiday Homes in Agios Nikolaos for Your Vacation in Crete!

This Belongs to a Board! Pin This Guide to Remember How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos For Your Trip!

How to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos

About the author of this blog:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. Here, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in the summer, translating, and working as a tech advisor.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published two travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.


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