Chania and Heraklion are two cities located on the northern coast of Crete, with 64 miles (103 km) between them. Due to winding mountainous roads, the overland trip can take between two and three hours to complete. Travel options include taxi, rental car, private transfer, or bus. There are no ferry options between the two cities. 

Renting a car while on Crete can maximize your vacation experience, although it should be noted that roads on Crete vary in quality, especially across the lesser-known roads. Driving on Crete is on the right-hand side, just like in the United States and much of Europe, with traffic signs across the island normally in both English and Greek. You can also take a bus from Chania to Heraklion, with air-conditioned buses departing Chania approximately once an hour.

While on the island of Crete, make sure you check out our round-up of the best activities Crete has to offer, including a 15-day culinary history tour.

By Private Transfer 

Duration: 2 hours

A private transfer between Chania and Heraklion is a more expensive option, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the surrounding mountains, speckled with little white houses. Private transfers range from minibuses for big groups of around 19 people, minivans for around eight, and cars for four people.

If you haven’t pre-arranged a vehicle to take you from Chania to Heraklion, yet wish to take a taxi, the going rate will be a bit more expensive. When hailing a taxi, make sure to arrange the price prior to entering the vehicle. Check going rates against private transfers to ensure you get a reasonable rate.

By Rental Car

Duration: 2 hours

In the northern part of Crete, you will find the Agio Nikolaos Highway, which will take you directly from Chania to Heraklion. The highway has frequent stop-off gas stations, and both cities feature 24-hour gas stations.

There are several reliable rental car facilities in Chania, and they all allow you to pick up the car in Chania and drop it off in Heraklion.  Most local Greek car rental businesses also allow for price negotiation.

By Bus

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Bus travel across Crete is frequent, reliable, and very affordable compared to other travel options. Buses leave approximately every hour throughout the high travel season, run by the regional and local bus service of Kino Tamio Eispraxeon Leoforon, otherwise known as KTEL. KTEL is about as local as it gets, with most buses owned by the drivers themselves, creating a real feeling of pride. You aren’t just along for the ride; you are their guest.

All buses have luggage compartments beneath the bus. The driver will load and unload the luggage before and after your journey. All buses have air conditioning, allowing for a comfortable trip even in the midst of steaming Grecian summers.

After the high travel season, timetables for buses from Chania to Heraklion will alter significantly, so make sure to check online to ensure you can get from place to place.


Map of How to Get from Chania to Heraklion
Map of How to Get from Chania to Heraklion