Taxi fares starting from Heraklion airport ‘Nikos Kazantzakis’ on Crete.
Hints for taxi shuttles in Crete and the routes in eastern direction via Chersonissos and Malia to Sitia, in western direction to Chania and Kissamos and in southwestern direction via Matala to Palechora.
Taxi Fares on Crete
Table of Contents
Directly when you leave the airport building of Heraklion after arrival, you stand in front of the taxi stand. The taxi drivers are willing to bring guests to every imaginable destination in Crete. Especially with 3 or – with children 4 – people this can be faster, cheaper and above all more comfortable than by bus.
ATTENTION: Taxi fares were significantly increased (after more than 12 years) on June 17, 2022 ! The minimum fare for a taxi ride will be increased from the previous €3.16 to €4.
The minimum fare includes an increase in the basic fare, which will rise from €1.19 to €1.80.
The price per kilometre will then be 90 cents (previously 68 cents) for journeys during the day and €1.25 (previously €1.19) for journeys between midnight and 5am.
According to the taxi drivers and the fare card still displayed at Heraklion Airport, taxi fares will remain unchanged during the 2022 summer season and (apparently – as can be seen from the photo below dated 27 April this year) 2023, despite these increased minimum fares !
The fixed taxi fares from Heraklion Airport will thus currently remain unchanged, depending on the destination, as follows:
Taxi fares from Heraklion airport to the east:
|Aghios Nikolaos||85 €|
Taxi fares from Heraklion airport to the west:
|Heraklion Center||11 €|
|Agia Pelagia||41 €|
|Chania airport||203 €|
Taxi fares from Heraklion airport to the southwest:
|Agia Galini||113 €|
It should also be noted that on the less ‘hectic’ days, especially at the beginning and end of the season, a cheaper fare can be negotiated if you do not give too much the impression that you wish to go in any case by a taxi.
Tips on driving a taxi in Crete and Greece
Taxis are quite cheap in Greece, so they are considered a very convenient way to travel in Crete. Travelling by taxi within the major cities, such as Heraklion or Chania, rarely costs more than a few euros.
Taxi fares are the same throughout Greece and are regulated by the Greek state. Taxis in cities and large towns must use the odometer, and the driver must switch it on when they start. If he ‘forgets’ and they have not agreed a fixed fare beforehand, ask him to turn it on.
There are two basic fares for taxis, called fare 1 and fare 2. Depending on the time of day and the journey, the driver must choose the correct fare. Tariff 1 is the ‘day rate’ which is from 5:00 am to midnight and Tariff 2 is the ‘night rate’ which is from midnight to 5:00 am. In addition, rate 1 is used within the city limits where the taxi is registered and rate 2 is used outside this zone.
Tipping taxi drivers in Greece is optional but common. However, it should be noted that the driver of the taxi is often also the owner of the vehicle.
If you take a taxi at the airport or port and intend to drive a long distance, ask the driver how much the fare will be. This way you will avoid unpleasant surprises. Also remember that in the arrival halls of airports or at the taxi stand outside the airport, there are signs with taxi prices to the most popular destinations (see photo above of Heraklion airport).
You can hail a taxi on the street or order one by calling a local taxi company. There is usually a small surcharge for this service. You can also take a taxi from a taxi rank. There are several taxi stands in each city, usually in the most central locations.
It is not unusual for other people to get into the taxi with you, or for the taxi driver to stop along the way to pick up more passengers, provided the route is suitable for everyone. Some taxi drivers will ask for your permission, and you can refuse – but please remember that taxi fares in Greece are cheap and this is a way for taxi drivers to earn a better income. This is common practice, and therefore you should not hesitate to call for a taxi with one or two passengers and tell the driver where you want to go. On busy roads, it is better to call out to the taxi while pointing in the direction you want to go. This way the taxi driver can see if the destination is also suitable for his other passengers, and he avoids unnecessary stops. If you share the taxi with more passengers, this does not mean that the fare is also shared.
In Athens, it can be very difficult to get a taxi during rush hours, especially in the main streets. In this case, please try to take a taxi that is already half full, but do not expect the driver to stop and ask where you want to go. Call out to the taxi and wait until it approaches you and slows down, then call out your destination to the driver.
Taxis in smaller towns and villages often do not use the meter, but the price is set according to the distance. Another option is to hire a taxi like this to the main town of the district and return early in the morning with the same taxi in the afternoon. In this case, one shares the taxi with other passengers and all are asked to pay a fixed price.
Most taxi drivers have basic language skills in English and sometimes German.
Sometimes, some ‘black sheep’ taxi drivers also overcharge. Complaints about their services or suspicions of overcharging should be directed to the Tourist Police (telephone 171). When you call to make a complaint, you must give the taxi driver’s registration number. It is best to contact the airport traffic police at the airport.
How to avoid taxi scams in Greece
Nothing can spoil the start of a holiday faster than being ripped off by a taxi driver. Taxi scams are a major concern for most visitors who are visiting a foreign country for the first time. Fortunately, these scams are far less common in most European countries than they used to be. If you stick to licensed, metered taxis, you are unlikely to get scammed in most Western European countries.
Unfortunately, the same cannot always be said of Greece. Unscrupulous taxi drivers have been trying to rip off arriving tourists for decades, and they often succeed. The routes from the airport to the city centre or port are notorious for this. In fact, the situation is so bad that official warnings are that most taxi drivers will try to charge you more than the normal fare.
The most common taxi scams have a long history and not much has changed over the years. These include:
- Failure to start the taximeter or setting the taximeter for the wrong fare.
- Choosing the longest possible route to drive through busy roads with traffic jams.
- Pulling a sleight of hand with the money handed over for the ride.
- Demanding payment in advance.
- Attempting to change the destination to another establishment for a hotel or restaurant because the driver receives commissions there.
You don’t have to be a victim though ! Do your research, then you know what to expect, be informed and stay alert. This can prevent the worst of these taxi driving abuses.
First of all, you should know exactly where and by which route to reach your destination:
This may look like a piece of cake, but how many times have you checked the route from the airport beforehand ?
This includes which direction it is going, approximately how many kilometres it is and what features are along the route. Do a little preliminary research, look at a map and get an idea of how far you will be going and what towns or cities will be passed through. You could even create a route using an online mapping program so that you can mention the name of a road or two to the driver just to suggest that you know the area.
Another good option is to use the GPS maps on your smartphone. But wait until you are safely in the taxi before taking out the phone. Pickpockets at the airport see arriving tourists distracted by their phones as easy prey.
Make sure the taxi meter is running properly:
All legal taxis have meters that are clearly visible to passengers. You should see the driver turn on the meter when you get into the taxi. The meter should not already be running when you get into the taxi. And if the driver does not turn it on, ask him to do so before the door is closed and it starts. This also ensures that the metered fare is still reasonable for both you and the driver if you change your mind and want to get out earlier or go to a different destination.
You don’t need to understand Greek to read the meter – numbers are the same everywhere. The meter should be set to fare 1 for daytime journeys (5am to midnight) and fare 2 for night-time journeys (midnight to 5am). A common method used by taxi drivers to rip off newcomers is to set the meter to the night fare too early.
Greek taxi drivers are adept at sleight of hand:
Classically, they drop the large note you handed him after the ride and then, after picking up the note, claim that it is a smaller note and that you still owe them money.
Let’s say you give a driver a 50-euro note for the fixed fare of 38 euros. The driver puts down or drops your cash while you wait for the change. But instead of giving you the change, he shows you a 20-euro note and claims that you still owe him money.
However, it is quite easy to avoid such problems if you always pay with smaller notes, i.e. preferably with 5 and 10 euro notes and never more than €20. When paying, look the driver in the face and say the denomination of each note as you hand it over.
Travellers who look wealthy are at greater risk of being overcharged and otherwise cheated. Dress casually on arrival to minimise the risk.
Give counterpoint in Greece, but don’t put yourself in danger. If a situation turns nasty, it’s best to call the Greek National Tourist Police. The emergency number is 1571 and is manned around the clock, everywhere in Greece. Just announcing or starting the call is usually enough to intimidate and get rid of difficult people.