How to Rent a Car at the Heraklion Airport

GreeceCrete › Heraklion Car Rental
by Santorini Dave • Updated: May 24, 2022

Rental cars at the Heraklion airport terminal.

The Heraklion airport is fairly small. The rental car parking lot is directly across from the terminal. It’s best to check prices and availability online and then pick up your car from the kiosks inside the Arrivals terminal.

Heraklion Airport Car Rental

My recommendation: Unlike most Greek islands, renting a car in Crete makes a big difference in what you can see and where you can go. Bus service between Crete’s main cities – Heraklion, Rethymnon, and Chania – is excellent, but getting to less popular towns, villages, and beaches is made much easier with a rental car. If you’re flying into Heraklion, then it’s best to reserve a car in advance at the Heraklion airport.

Tip: If you need to rent a family minivan or a car with automatic transmission (most rental cars in Crete are manual) then definitely book in advance.

Rental car companies at Heraklion airport: BudgetSixtNationalEnterpriseThriftyHertzAvis

    Heraklion Car Rentals – Airport, Port, & Chania

  • RentalCars.com is the best site for rental cars in Heraklion.
  • You can also pick up and drop off rental cars at the Chania Airport.
  • There is a wide variety of rental cars available including small budget sedans, family-friendly mini-vans, and large SUVs. I like reserving at airports because there are multiple rental car companies within steps of each other. If there’s a mistake in your reservation you walk a few feet in either direction and enquire about a different car.
  • In theory, it’s possible to take rental cars to Santorini (or any other Greek island) but in practice it’s an expensive hassle that involves booking car ferry tickets and getting written permission from the rental car company. It’s much easier and cost effective to simply rent a car in Santorini or Mykonos when you get there.
  • For most visitors, the Heraklion International Airport or the Chania International Airport are the best places to pick up and drop off rental cars.

Rental Car Pick Up at Heraklion Airport

Car rental pick-up at Heraklion Airport.
RentalCars.com is my favorite website for hiring rental cars. It gives multiple options for location pick up and drop off. Select “Crete – Heraklion Downtown” to pick up your rental car near the ferry port and downtown hotels. Select “Heraklion Airport” to pick up your car in the arrivals terminal of Heraklion International Airport (there is only one airport in Heraklion).

Car rental at Heraklion ferry port.

If you want to pick up your rental car near the Heraklion ferry port then select “Crete – Heraklion Downtown”. There are several car rental companies within a short walk of the ferry port. The main Heraklion bus station is also nearby. The narrow busy streets of Heraklion are not ideal for renting a car (which is why I prefer pick up from the airport).

Heraklion Airport Car Rental

RentalCars.com is the best way to rent a car at the Heraklion International Airport. The rental car kiosks are inside the arrivals terminal. If you’re going to rent a car for Crete it’s much easier to get the car at the airport than in the city center of Heraklion. Even if you’re arriving by ferry it’s often best to hop in a taxi for the 8-minute drive to the airport to get your car. (There is only one airport in Heraklion.)

Heraklion Car Rental

Heraklion International Airport is a pretty small airport. It has many daily flights but never feels too busy.

The terminal at Heraklion International Airport.

The terminal is small and it’s an easy walk between the Arrivals and Departures areas. (The rental car kiosks are in Arrivals.)

Heraklion Car Rental

The rental car companies are found in the Arrivals terminal immediately after you pass immigration/customs and pick up your luggage.

Heraklion Car Rental

There are 7 car rental companies at the airport. If you’ve reserved in advance with RentalCars.com or directly with Budget, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty, National, or Sixt then picking up a car is quick and easy. If you haven’t booked in advance be prepared for a higher rates and lot of haggling (last-minute bookings is how they make their money).

Heraklion Car Rental

When you walk out of the Arrivals terminal of the airport turn left for the taxi stand and go straight for rental cars.

Heraklion Car Rental

The rental car parking lot is directly across from the Arrivals Terminal at Heraklion Airport.

Heraklion Car Rental

The parking lot for the rentral car companies is a short walk from the Arrivals terminal but there are free shuttle buses if you have a lot of luggage.

Heraklion Car Rental

The bus stop is also across the street from the airport.

Heraklion Car Rental

The taxi stand is steps from the main terminal.

Price of taxi from Heraklion Airport to Chania, Rethymnon, Elounda, and other Crete towns and beaches.

Taxi fares from Heraklion Airport: Chania (174€), Rethymnon (100€), Hersonisos (36€), Malia (46€), Elounda (90€), Agios Nikolaos (78€), Sitia (172€), Matala (93€). This is a few years old so prices have likely increased a little.

Heraklion Car Rental

The main highway along the north of Crete (from Agios Nikolaos to Heraklion to Rethymnon to Chania) is good quality road.

Heraklion Car Rental

Most car rental companies will allow for drop-off at the Heraklion ferry port (or the Chania airport). There’s plenty of parking space steps from the ferries. Just ask your rental car company how and where to drop-off.

Heraklion Car Rental

The ticket pick up for ferry tickets is located at the Heraklion ferry port. You can take a taxi right up to the ferry if you’re not dropping off a rental car.

Car hire on Chania International Airport.

At Chania Airport the rental car kiosks are inside the Arrivals terminal. Reserve on RentalCars.com for the best prices and variety.

Rental car in Crete.

Rental cars in Crete are new and well-maintained and come in everything from SUVs and mini-vans, to sports cars and convertibles.

Booking rental cars in Crete, Greece.

The Heraklion Airport and Chania Airport have the best rates and largest inventory on RentalCars.com.

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  1. Bus from Heraklion to Chania

    Without renting a car, what’s the best way to get from the Heraklion Ferry Port to Chania Old Town? (And how much might this cost?)

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Take the bus from the Heraklion Bus Station to Chania. It’s walking distance from the port to the bus station in Heraklion. The bus to Chania takes about 3 hours and costs €15. The bus station in Chania is just outside of the Old Town and an easy walk to most Old Town hotels.

  2. Should We Rent A Car in Crete?

    Hello. 8 of us will be in Crete for 4 days staying 20 minutes outside of the airport. We arrive via ferry and depart on a plane We will want time both touring and relaxing at the home. Dinners will mostly out. Would you recommend renting a van or arranging private transfers and local taxis. Thank you. Your sites are very helpful.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It all depends on how much you want to see and get around. If you want to explore Knossos, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, wine country, and some of the traditional inland villages then you’ll want a rental car. If you’re only planning a couple of trips to Heraklion and the beach then a combination of bus and taxi will work. My guess is, though, that you’ll probably want to rent a vehicle.

  3. Port Pickup for Rental Car

    I’m picking up at the port and dropping off at airport? Will this be a problem or should we just take a taxi from port to airport to pick it up?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It will be fine.

  4. Best Car Rental Heraklion Airport

    If I’m using rentalcars.com what is the best car hire company to use for pickup at Heraklion airport?

    Thanks.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I have used Budget and Hertz and both were good. All the car companies are close to the terminal, so in that regard, there isn’t a big difference. As long as you book in advance you’ll get a good rate.

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