Ferries to Heraklion depart from Piraeus port, which is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from the city center. You could easily get there by public transportation such as the metro line, taxi or by bus.
The distance between those two ports is approximately 320km.
There are two daily overnight crossings with the conventional ferries of Anek-Superfast company and Minoan Lines company.
Both crossings depart at 21:00 (9pm), the duration of the trip with Anek-Superfast company is about 9 hours while the one with Minoan Lines takes approximately 9,5 hours until it reaches its destination. The price ranges between 31 up until 126 euro depending on the selected ferry company and type of accommodation.
Keep in mind that in case you are considering on going back to Piraeus there is a return trip discount in case you book both tickets in advance.
Heraklion is the capital and the largest city of Crete. The city will hypnotize you with its unique historical sights, incredibly beautiful sandy beaches, and exotic nature.
The town as a whole has beautiful traces of Venetian architecture such as the Lion's Square Morosini Fountain, the Venetian Loggia, which now houses part of Heraklion's Town Hall, and the St. Mark's Basilica, which now houses the municipal art gallery.
One of the prettiest attractions is the archaeological museum which is considered one of the most intriguing in the world, referred to Minoan art.
One of the most popular attractions of Crete is the Palace of Knossos, a magnificent monument of civilization architecture. The palace is located about 5km away from the city center, though you can safely get there by public transportation.
There is a large number of beaches on the northern coast of Heraklion such as Agia Pelagia with various taverns and restaurants, where the sea is always calm. Another great option would be Ligaria, an absolute delight for those who are not fond of crowded places and prefer a bit of peace and quiet. A steep descent into the water is characteristic of Paliokastro beach, ideal for snorkeling as well as Amoudara beach where even windsurfing lessons are provided.
Do not miss the chance of visiting St. Titus cathedral, located on the main street of the city, on August 25th and is dedicated to Saint Titus, where the Cathedral also houses the saint’s relics as well.
Before leaving the city, make sure to visit St. Minas cathedral, a rather recently built church, dedicated to St. Minas, the patron saint of Heraklion. Insanely beautiful inside and equally bewitching from the outside, the Cathedral is considered a symbol of the city.
Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with enchanting beauty and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!
One of the best things about travelling by ferry is being able to walk around and stretch your legs. On a ferry you have decks of space to stroll through with large windows so you can enjoy the sea view. There’s also lots of different places to visit. You could wander through the shops, or get some fresh air on deck, making sure to keep an eye outside.
While on board you could get a snack from the lounges, or even grab a bit from the restaurants and try the amazing local cuisine. Otherwise, you could book airplane type seats in order to have a specific numbered seat for yourselves or you could always book a cabin to sleep which of course will make your journey more comfortable while you will have your own personal space.
Since the arrival time will be about 06:30am you will have the advantage of witnessing the most breathtaking sunrise you’ve ever seen.
If you feel like visiting a few of the closest islands keep in mind that you’ll be able to visit Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, Ios, Rhodos, Kasos, Karpathos, Milos, Chalki, Anafi and Naxos.