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New Airport For Iraklion


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#1 Pam

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 12:53 PM

I saw in a recent new item on the Living in Crete website that a new airport is planned at Kastelli, which accoriding to my map is a few miles south of Iraklion on the way to the south. This looks like good news to me as I believe Iraklion airport is a bit of a dump (even worse than Corfu!). We have always flown into Chania before which is not bad, but out flights in May are to Iraklion, so any hints on survival would be useful. Also, anybody else have any veiws about the new airport?

Pam & Bob

#2 yannis_s

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 05:40 PM

I entered the forum a few moments ago and suddenly I felt a cloud of negative energy surrounding me. I thought it was the Sahara sand that has covered the sky of Crete today that has affected my mood, but then I read Pam's message and I knew where the negative waves were coming from...
Dear Pam,
how can you start your vacation wish such negative thoughts? Heraklion airport is far from perfect but I wouldn't call it a dump. As far a survival guide, well...do what the rest of its 5,000,000 passengers do every year and I am sure you will survive the couple of hours you will spend there until you pickup your luggage and get the bus to your hotel...
As for the new airport, the project will take between 7-8 years to be accomplished and it will be enough for 10,000,000 passengers. The existing airport will have to be expanded in the meantime to cover the needs of the estimated number of 7,000,000 passengers in the following years.
Yannis Samatas
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#3 Pam

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 07:01 PM

Apologies, Yannis for any negative energy (and for the previous mess I made of trying to reply - I'm still getting used to the forum) - I can assure you we are well used to chaotic airports (and that includes London Gatwick!) As I said we have no personal experience of Iraklion, but have seen comments elsewhere that Iraklion is not one of the best and getting through the airport experience at both ends is just the price you pay for the joys of being in Crete where we hope to make our home one day. We both love Greece and have spent many happy holidays there, mostly in Paxos, which is beautiful and where we have made friends. We had considered there as a retirement home, but have decided it is too small for permanent living and Crete has so much going for it - lovely scenery, beautiful weather and friendly people.

#4 Birgit

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:28 PM

Hi Pam,

The countless times I have arrived to Crete I have arrived about 50/50 to the two airports - Chania and Iraclion. None of the two places are perfect - unless you arrive, of course :) Anyway, as you say, which airport is?

I myself follow a few, very simple rules (and I think they cover all airports in the world):

If possible don't go through security control before you need to. That way you wil be able to go outside and wait - and maybe get the last 30 minutes of sun.
Having passed security, don't go to the gate before the very last minute - there are probably no vacant chairs anyway.
Things you should have in your hand luggage: Plenty of water, a good book/cross word or what ever you like to do. Personally I always save the best crime book for the journey home.
And never get angry at the people working there, remember they are all doing their best to make your journey safe. A bit of patience and a smile doesn't hurt, either.

Have a pleasant holiday in Crete!
Greetings from Copenhagen
Birgit

#5 willtam

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:32 PM

it might not be perfect but id give anything to be landin there now !!!!!

#6 Tim

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:13 AM

I have long thought that, like many other destinations, Heraklion airport could be improved but the relatively small discomfort is well worth it to enjoy the joys of Crete. My wife's first trip to Greece was to Paxos via Corfu. It was nearly the last and, had there been a seat immediately avalable she would have left on it. Fortunately she was not able to do so and went on to enjoy a wonderful introduction to, and long lasting love of, Greek Islands. The more you travel the more you learn how to minimise any problems as Sis B says.
PS Anyone with Google earth can see an existing runway at Kastelli south east of Heraklion - looks much bigger than Heraklion

#7 christa

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 02:48 AM

So - in 8 or 10 years the new airport will be built.

As much as I like crete, the airport Iraklion is the most chaotic I`ve ever been. But - I love the Airport Nikos Kazantzakis. :) :) :)

Let's wait together for our baggage more than 1 our, let us try to find out, on whitch baggage conveyor belt we will see all, what we need on crete and let us enjoy the crowds of people when staying at the airport for leaving crete...


But what we will loose, if the airport will change???

The moment, to see the mountains by flying to Iraklion? The smell of a mixture from cerosin and the herbs of crete, when we are alowed to leave the plane? And at least the nearness of one of the most fascinating towns we know???

8 years are 2860 days ... 10 years are 3650 days .... or 73000 cigarettes

Lets enjoy until then the surperb disorganized airport Iraklion, while knowing which each cigarette we are coming nearer the airport kastelli...

Kind and dreaming greets

Christa


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#8 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 03:09 PM

I don't care how chaotic it is I just love arriving at Heraklion airport and I am starting to think that I may be seeing it in a few weeks time - fingers crossed!

The airport was modernised in time for the Olympics and now the facilities and snack bars etc are OK. The main problem seems to be the lack of space for coach loads of home bound tourists to all book in - but, this is so in many other holiday airports.

As independent travelers we always try to either time it that we are there before the coaches or leave it until we are virtually late but if you are with a coach load you don't have this flexibility.

As I have said in my blog the best time to be at the airport is when we are waving guests goodbye!!! :)

Is there any news on when the Sitia airport may be commercially active?

Yvonne
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#9 Tinks

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 08:57 AM

I'd give anything to be going through Iraklion airport now to spend some time in Crete again!

The only "bad" thing about the airport is associating it when leaving Crete again...

I hope to return again soon.
Curiouser and curiouser.....

#10 Henry Hooray

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 10:12 PM

We have always flown into Chania before which is not bad


Actually, I reckon that the Daskalogiannis Airport (that's the one in Chania :)) is one of the nicest, cleanest and most pleasant I've been to anywhere. Anywhere!

It is usually the return journey that's the bother of any holiday flight, particularly if on a charter-holiday, as you then have to spend a few hours waiting for your flight back home. Why not spend it outside the terminal after you have checked in: i.e. don't go through customs and passport until you know that your flight won't be too long.

Henry.

#11 Tim

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 10:38 PM

I have already mentioned that the joys of being in Crete are worth any inconveniences at the airport but Henry's mention of waiting outside reminds me of one trip to another island, Lesvos I think, where, having booked in, we went back outside and swam until we saw our plane come in. Tha was really making the most of the trip!

#12 Julie

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:31 AM

I have already mentioned that the joys of being in Crete are worth any inconveniences at the airport but Henry's mention of waiting outside reminds me of one trip to another island, Lesvos I think, where, having booked in, we went back outside and swam until we saw our plane come in. Tha was really making the most of the trip!


That reminds me of a TV commercial one of the big tour companies ran about 20-30 years ago: it showed a man in a swimsuit and goggles, carrying a snorkel, striding out of the sea and onto a plane. Was that you, Tim?

#13 Pam

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 06:58 PM

Hi, all thanks for the feedback - at least we know what to expect. At Chania we took our tour reps advice and went to the nearby taverna until we saw the plane land - is there anything like that at Iraklion?

One of my fondest memories of Greek airports is a long time ago at Preveza, when we arrived at the terminal, which was little more than a hut to find it firmly closed. After half an hour a man arrived, who checked us in, loaded the baggage and then opened the snack bar. The terminal lounge was a grassy field with a few chairs and we sat there drinking cold beers until the plane landed - very civilised!

Anyway, only 11 weeks and 1 day before our holiday (but I'm not wishing my life away).

#14 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:14 AM

I have decided that I LOVE Heraklion airport and as we have just booked flights to Crete to enjoy Greek Easter I am very much looking forward to seeing the airport it again.

mm by the way it is below freezing in the UK tonight with widespread snow forecast - I wonder why we like Cretan weather???


Yvonne
:) :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Kritsa Yvonne

#15 Dinny

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:34 PM

I don't even remember what "below freezing point" is anymore! :)

#16 DaveW.

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:08 PM

Oh, ha, ha ,ha, Dinny. I think Yannis should issue a warning for your last message :) The snow that was forecast has fallen and although most of it has thawed today, more is forecast.
If you look like your passport picture....you probably need the holiday!