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The Heraklion Rafina ferry route connects Crete with Athens. Currently there is just the 1 ferry company operating this ferry service, Golden Star Ferries. The crossing operates up to 7 times each week with sailing durations from around 12 hours 50 minutes.
Heraklion Rafina sailing durations and frequency may vary from season to season so we’d advise doing a live check to get the most up to date information.
The Greek city of Heraklion is the capital and largest city on the island of Crete. A popular visitor attraction near the city is Knossos, which is around 5 km from Heraklion. This important archaeological site was the Palace of King Minos and home to the Minotaur, if legend is to be believed. The palace was built over the remains of a former Neolithic settlement in around 1900 BC.
An important attraction in the city itself is the Archaeological Museum which can be found on one corner of the central Eleftherias Square, in a converted power station. The museum collects and displays many artefacts from Knossos, Archanes, Phaestos, Zakros and many other important archaeological sites on the island. The museum's collection spans several thousand years and includes the Phaestos disc, classic Hellenic and Roman sculptures, frescos, jewellery, wall paintings and pottery.
Visitors to Heraklion can take a ferry from the port, which is important for both passenger services and cargo, to destinations including Santorini, Ios, Paros, Mykonos and Rhodes. There are also daily sailings to the mainland port of Piraeus.
The Greek town of Rafina lies on the east coast of the Attica region of mainland Greece, on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The town is close to the town's of Artemida and Nea Makri and also to the Greek capital, Athens, which is around 25 km to the west. because of its proximity to Athens Rafina is popular with many Athenians who visit to enjoy the town's many fish restaurants that can be found lining the harbour. It is not uncommon to see the day's catch lying on beds of ice outside each restaurant.
In ancient times Rafina was named Arafinidon Alon but its history dates back to prehistoric times, but more specifically to pre-Hellenic times. In Askitario, to the south of Rafina, archaeologists have found a unique vase with a dog painted on it which has been dated back to 2,800 BC. Another significant find was near the town's port where a bronze foundry was discovered and is thought to be one of the oldest in Europe, and dates back to 1800 BC.
After the Port of Piraeus, Rafina's port is the second largest in Attica. Ferry services operating from the port depart to the southern part of Euboea and to the Cyclades islands.