How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos (and from Agios to Heraklion) the Easy Way!

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Agios Nikolaos is the capital of the eastern region of Lasithi, in Crete, and it’s about one hour from Heraklion, 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 in Crete

How to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos

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Whether you arrive at Heraklion port or the airport, you can easily reach Agios Nikolaos by bus, taxi, car, or private transfer.

heraklion to agios nikolaos

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.

So let’s see now how to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos (and of course, from Agios to the capital too), and all the transport options you have.

Arriving at Heraklion

heraklion to agios nikolaos

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:

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

heraklion to agios nikolaos
(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 a car is a winning idea if you’re interested in visiting places that are hard to reach, for instance, the South.

>> Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking engine.

Nobody will interfere with your schedule… or with spontaneity. I believe it’s a blast to forget everything about schedules and drive your car on the island.

Always keep this in mind when planning your trip: Bus travel is 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.

Hotel City Life is an ideal place to spend the night near Heraklion Bus Station.

Most small villages lack regular or frequent bus connections. And these are the times when driving your 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 travel light, plan your schedules, and 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

heraklion to agios nikolaos

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:

Departure hours from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos: 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). For more details about bus travel in Crete, check out this post.

heraklion to agios nikolaos
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 for 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.

Bus schedules are published on this website

How to Get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos by Taxi

heraklion to agios nikolaos

It’s also possible to get to Agios Nikolaos from Heraklion by taxi. You can take a taxi at the airport of Heraklion as well as 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.

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 Get 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.

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

heraklion to agios nikolaos
(Click on the link to open the interactive map by Google Maps – Copyright Google Maps 2023).

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 out 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 safe 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 a credit card if the gas station is already closed.
How are you planning to get from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos this season?

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.

Read more about Crete

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my ultimate guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Remember to explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets for an unforgettable experience.

Use this comprehensive Crete packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches, and check out the best times to experience its beauty.

If you are exploring specific areas like Lasithi or Heraklion, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Lasithi

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

More useful travel resources

  • Check out all the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.
  • Find convenient ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
  • To book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I recommend Get Your Guide.

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 me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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