Getting here and getting around.....
Koutouloufari is situated around 22kms east of Heraklion airport on the north coast of Crete, Greece. It is south of Port Hersonissos and part way up the hill to Mount Xarakas. Most visitors arrive by air so directions are going to be from the Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Heraklion.
Transit from the airport...
By Scheduled local bus services is not uncommon for our regular visitors. The bus stop is across the road by the car rental offices and is a rather rustic looking bus shelter. Buses are regular and cheap, and you need to catch the ones heading for Malia, Sitia, and Ierapetra but be aware that you may not get on the first bus that comes along because you will be ‘’sorted’’ according to where you are going so that the bus will be full going to certain places along the route. The bus will then become an Express Bus and will not make any further stops until it gets to, say, Ag Nikolaos. It all works rather well really and saves endless stops along the way. The first bus along is about 6am and the last about 11pm. You will probably need a taxi up the hill!
By Transfer Bus is quite easy too. There are several web sites that offer airport transfers at higher cost than the regular bus, but then they do not have a set route and will drop you at your hotel or a nearby location. It all looks a bit vague and unreliable when you are dropped on the side of the road in the middle of the night but the system does work quite well.
By rental car is an option used by a lot of people, there are plethora of car rental web sites and companies with whom you can book in advance through the internet, and most people have there favourites. It is a reasonable option if you are planning on renting a car but if you do not know where you are going it may not be the easiest option. But look also at the Local Facilities section further down the page.
By taxi is the quick, easy, no fuss, option. Walk out of baggage reclaim and get in a cab. But do check how much it is going to cost you. You can also pre-book a taxi via the internet with a firm price before you get into the cab.
While you are here walking is a good option. The centre of Koutouloufari is quite small and nowhere is far from anywhere else. Old (Pano) Hersonissos and Piskpiano are relatively flat walks, down to the Port is easy, but many find it a bit of a trek back up the hill, but be assured walking up hills is very good exercise!
Car rental companies are located in the village should you decide to rent a car with the added plus that one of them at least, will meet you at the airport with your car and bring you to Koutouloufari, which for first time visitors is ideal s you will not have to find your own way. They will also take you back to the airport at the end of your stay.
Bike and Quad bike rentals are also available although sadly there seem to be few that will offer electric powered versions (you will have a problem trying to rent an electric or hybrid car too) because Greece is still very much a fossil fuelled economy.
Banks and ATMs are available widely. Within Koutouloufari there are several Euronet ATMs. If you are from outside of the Eurozone it is usually best not to accept their exchange rate although they will make withdrawal charge instead. The main banks are down on the main road in Port Hersonissos, they also charge if you refuse conversion.
Pharmacies are located down on the main road in Port Hersonissos, but simple items like paracetamol are available from supermarkets and kiosk, ask for Depon and you will get what you want. Pharmacies will also sell you many prescription drugs over the counter like Ventolin (they call it Aerolin here), for €3.50. And you can buy antibiotics like Amoxyl 1 gram tablets for about €3 as well. Zantac 150 mg will set you back about €4.20.
Doctors are mainly located down on the main road in the Port as well, many of the signs you see are for private doctors who will charge you. There is also a medical centre again private but very good.
If you are carrying an EHIC then there is a state doctor in the KAPH building in the road behind Xalkiadakis supermarket on the way up to Koutouloufari.