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Weather & climate

Temperature: 12-25 (°C)

Heraklion starts to warm up in the spring, with temperatures hovering in the mid-teens throughout the season. By July, temperatures have generally creeped up to the mid-20s, but it’s not uncommon to see highs of 28 throughout the summer. The days start to shorten in the autumn and there is a noticeable increase in rainfall, but you can still enjoy plenty of sunshine. The amount of rain continues to rise during the winter, but the weather is  mild enough to get out and about so it’s a  great time to explore the historic attractions. 

Crete enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate which means Heraklion experiences hot, dry summers and mild winters with relatively brief autumns and springs. Temperatures in Heraklion rarely drop below 25°C in the summer and the hottest months to visit are July and August. Temperatures rise to 30°C, but it’s not overly hot due to passing sea breezes blowing in from the sea.

Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec

Best for

Sightseers: Heraklion is one of most exciting Greek cities for sightseeing, with rare gems like the Palace of Knossos and Venetian fortifications. 

Couples: Spend days soaking up the culture of the cobbled old town, and nights experience Heraklion’s upbeat nightlife. 

Night owls: There are nightlife venues to suit all tastes in Heraklion, from tiny Greek restaurants to swanky dance clubs.

Fast facts

Language: The language spoken in Heraklion is Greek 

Currency: The currency used in Heraklion is the Euro (€)

Local time: Heraklion is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time

Fly to: Heraklion International Airport (HER)

Flight time from UK: Approximately 4 hours

Tourist Information: Further Heraklion tourist information can be found at www.visitgreece.gr/en/main_cities/heraklion

Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Heraklion

Getting around

By bus: Heraklion operates a bus network that runs approximately every 15 minutes. The buses also go to the airport, and are generally a cheap and efficient way of getting around the city. 

By taxi: Taxis are readily available in Heraklion. There is a taxi rank at the harbour, as well as at the airport. Taxis usually operate on a fixed rate, so it’s a good idea to check the price before you jump in. 

On foot: Most of Heraklion’s historic heart is best explored on foot, and many of the local landmarks and places of interest are within walking distance.

Events

Summer arts festival: The Heraklion Summer Arts Festival is the biggest event on the city’s calendar, taking place throughout the summer from June to September. The event features music, theatre and ballet performances at venues across the city, including outdoor theatres and open-air cinemas. 

Carnival: Carnival celebrations are big in Crete, with lots of events and festivities taking place in Heraklion in the two weeks leading up to Lent. Expect parades, floats and colourful costumes as well as concerts, activities for kids. In the evenings, there’s plenty of food, dancing and an exciting party atmosphere.