Named after Nikos Kazantzakis, the local philosopher and writer, Heraklion International Airport is Greece’s second-busiest airport, serving around five million passengers per year. Located 5km (3 miles) east of Crete’s main city, Heraklion, the eastern end of its runway lies just a few metres from the island’s shoreline, making landings and take-offs an exciting experience for first-time visitors.
A small but busy airport, most travellers taking flights to Heraklion International will see the airport briefly as they move on to other parts of Crete. The airport will cease to exist in the near future as a brand new airport, currently being built in Kastelli Pediados, is scheduled for completion in 2015.
As Heraklion International shares its space with a military base taking photographs or videos of the exterior of the airport, particularly its airfield, is prohibited.
Queues sometimes lead out the doors when it’s busy. This can prove unpleasant when it’s hot, so keep some drinks and sun-block handy if you’re heading to Crete in summer.