Access to the Crete Centre of Theoretical Physics (CCTP)
- Reaching Heraklion by air
The closest airport is that of the city of Heraklion Kazatzakis Airport. Olympic Airlines, and Aegean Airlines fly regularly to Heraklion from Athens and Thessaloniki (Salonica). (Note that Aegean flights might not appear at travel agent computers in Europe and overseas).
From April to October there are also numerous direct charter flights from many places in Europe.
From the airport you can reach the center of Heraklion (~5 Kms) where most hotels are located, the seaside suburb of Amoudara (~8-9 Kms) where some other hotels are located and the Physics Department (~13 Kms), either by taxi or by bus
- Reaching Heraklion by sea
There are three major shipping companies that serve Heraklion out of the Piraeus port of Athens. : ANEK Lines, Minoan Lines and Super Fast Ferries Lines
There are also seasonal connections with the Cycladic Islands and elsewhere in the Aegean sea. The Heraklion Port is very close to the center of town (~1 Km) The best way to reach the department of physics from the port is again by taxi (~11 Kms). Some popular hotels are located by the beach in the Amoudara suburb: the best way to get there from the airport is again by taxi (~10 Kms) or bus There is also a bus serving Amoudara starting from Heraklion center. It is infrequent in low season. See below for below for bus schedules
- Travelling by bus
From the airport and the port as well as from the city center, you can reach the Physics Department by bus, No.11 (PANEPISTIMIO/PAGNI),(this is the university hospital located 800 meters south of the Physics Department) and No.8 (ITE) (this is the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas Research Center, 1000m west of the Physics Department). Both buses stop in front of the Physics Department. There are bus stops of these lines at the city center. Two main stops are on Eleutherias square and Chanioporta.
In case you want to reach the Physics Department from Ammoudara you have to change bus once. First you take bus line No.6 (towards the center of the city) and exit at Giofiro stop. There you have to take one of the two buses, No.11 or No.8 mentioned above.
The current bus timetables can be found here.
To return to the city center from the Physics Department take bus No. 1 (to the Airport - AERODROMIO) or bus No. 20 (to the Port - LIMANI). Both busses pass through the city center. Be sure NOT to take bus No. 2, which goes to the university campus in Knossos, except in case you want to visit the archaelogical site in Knossos.
Bus tickets can be bought at kiosques (these are omnipresent in Greece as you will soon realize). Inside the Physics Department they are sold at the coffee shop in the basement.
Keep in mind that there are two different bus tickets that you may need and this is because Heraklion city is divided into two areas, the center and the suburbs.
The first, is painted orange (it's cost is 1.10 euros) and it is valid from the airport and in the area of the city enclosed by the peripheral road (roughly to Carrefour shop (in the direction to Ammoudara) or the church of Estavromenos (in the direction to the university)).
To go to the second region (where the Physics Department is ), a blue ticket is needed (it's cost is 1.50 euros). You can get an idea of the regions by looking at the maps below
- Using Taxi
Taxi is a very convenient means of transport as it is immediate (buses are in general slow and may be infrequent in parts of the day) are reasonable priced. The downside is that the overwhelming majority of taxi drivers will try to cheat you once they realize you are not a local. This is why it is important to read further below.
Current prices for taxi's are:
Starting charge=1.19 Euros,
cost per Km =0.68 Euros,
waiting time per hour charge =10.85 Euros,
cost per Km in double tariff area=1.19 euros,
special charge to and from the airport (but not other stations)=2.60 Euros,
for each luggage weighting more than 10 Kgs add 0.40 euros,
if you call by phone a taxi add 1.92 euros,
if you arrange in advance a latter rendez-vous, add 3.39-5.65 euros.
Any taxi trip has a minimum 3.39 euros' fare.
Between 24:00-05:00, taxis run on double tarif on all routes
Knowing the prices above almost gives you a good estimate on what you should expect to pay. Double tarif is applicable outside the peripheral (National) road (same area as for the blue bus ticket) but only if you are going outwards from the city center. You can get an idea of the region around Heraklion by looking at the maps below
For example taking a taxi from the airport to the department without heavy luggage is expected to cost (double tariff here) about 19-21 euros. Depending on trafic the trip may last 15-25 minutes.
A taxi from the airport to the city center on the other hand is expected to cost 7-8 euros (single tarif, not from the National road). A similar cost is expected from Amoudara to the department. Finally a taxi from the airport to Amoudara is expected to cost 18-20 euros.
- Reaching the Department by car
If you are coming from another part of Crete most probably you are using the National Road that serves East-West the north of the island. There are 6 exits that serve the city of Heraklion and its surroundings.
The first exit from the West is serving the suburb of Gazi. The next exit (second from West) is the one you have to exit in order to go to the physics department. If you are coming from the East, be careful as it is a double exit. If you want to go to the physics department exit at the second exit (500m after the first.
The next one (third from the West) is almost immediately after the previous one and serves that Ag. Ioannis Hostos and Malades area. There is also an exit here if you are coming from the East.
The next one (fourth from the West) has an overpass and serves the center of town.
The one further East (fifth from the West) serves Eastern Heraklion and the final one serves the Heraklion airport.
After exiting the National road (coming from the West) you turn right on the perpendicular road. If you are coming from the East you should be careful to exit at the second exit, that will bring you to the same perpendicular road and you should again turn right. If you take the first exit by mistake you exit on the same road but you must turn in the opposite direction. (Make a U-turn when you can).
This road leads to the south (direction Moires). You follow that road and in about 600 m there are some traffic lights. You continue straight and in about another 600m there are more traffic lights. You turn to the right following the signals to the Hospital (PAGNI) and the Technology Institute FORTH (ITE). You continue on that road as it winds for about 1,600 meters until you see on your right a kiosk and immediately afterwards you turn right (there is a sign indicating FORTH). You continue for about 900 meters and then you see two white buildings, one to the left, the other to the right. The one to the right is the Physics and Biology building. You proceed to the main entrance and enter. The Crete Center for Theoretical Physics is on the second floor. Here is a Google map coming to the Department from the East and another coming to the Department from the West.
If you are coming from the center of town you have to get on 62 Martiron Street and turn left onto the road that leads to Moires. You will pass under the National Road and then you follow the previous directions. If you take the coastal road from the Center of Heraklion, it automatically brings you to the Moires road above (going straight).
- Rent a car
Sometimes it is convenient to rent a car. We have been using the bestcars company that is providing reasonably priced mostly small cars with air-conditioning and full insurance. You should mention you are a visitor to the Physics Department.
We also recommend Athens cars. This is a company that has recently started to collaborate with us and therefore, we are not certain of their quality and reliability. Please let us know about your experiences.
There are several other local and international car rental companies. You may find them at the airport website.
... back to Visitors page