Fly To Heraklion, Greece

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Heraklion is one of the largest cities in Greece, and is also the administrative capital of Crete. It is also known as Heraclion and even Iraklion.
Like many Greek cities, there is a strong sense of heritage here. Crete in itself lends to mind old stories about epic journeys and quests – this was where mythology and history combined after all. But despite Heraklion still boasting many of its ancient landmarks, the city has a modern atmosphere with plenty of facilities, hotels, cafes and fun things to do.
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Visa Requirements and SA Embassy Details

  • South African Passport holders do need a Visa to enter Greece. Schengen Visas can take time to arrange, so plan ahead so that you have yours before you are due to leave for your travels. Your passport also needs to be valid for at least 6 months after your return, with 2 blank pages for entry stamps.
  • The South African Embassy to Greece is situated in Athens. Address: 60 Kifissias Avenue, 151 25 Marousi, Athens. Phone: +30 1 610 6645. 

See and do

Major landmarks to note include the Venetian Fortress of Rocca al Mare (1523–1540) that guards the inner harbour of Heraklion – the entire harbour area is also an attraction within itself. Then there is the Heraklion Archaeological Museum that offers many remarkable relics from Cretan history, also well worth a visit. The Minoan Palace of Knossos is another must-see (remember the Greek legend about the Minotaur? This and many other myths all have roots in the palace).
In addition to sight-seeing, there are many things to do around the city. Museums and galleries abound, offering everything from ancient to modern history and art. The beaches of Amoudara are sure to beckon with their picturesque sandy shores and azure waters. Water sports are popular, as are festivals in the summer months. You can even ride a horse along the beach or try rock climbing for some added adventure.
There is some good shopping to be enjoyed here too, so be sure to set aside some pocket money for interesting Cretan trinkets. One of the best places to shop is the central open market in Meidani Square. Here, you can purchase things such as mountain herbs, spices and natural remedies. There are also more conventional stores selling touristy curios and modern European goods.
Wondering how to get from landmarks to shops to cafes and bars? You have a few options, depending on your mood, budget and how far you plan to travel. Buses are the main method of public transport – once you figure out the routes, it is a cheap and simple way to get around. Hold the bottom half of your ticket in your hand when you get on a bus – the driver will tear off the top half to allow you entry. You can also walk around easily, or you can hire a car if you’d rather drive at your own pace.

Heraklion Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis) – HER

Food and beverage: There is a café-bar in the passenger terminals where you can get refreshments and snacks.
Currency Exchange: Acropol Exchange is found in the passenger terminals – this is where you can change currency.
Airport Hotels: Sofia Hotel, AKS Minoa Palace, GDM Megaron Hotel.
Car Hire: Avis, Eurodollar, Autohellas, Travel Star.
Airport Hub: Heraklion Airport (code HER) is a hub for Aegean Airlines, BlueBird Airways, Cyprus Airways, Minoan Air, Sky Express Greece.

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