Heraklion can be reached from Pireaus port in Athens. A ship leaves each day at about 9 am every evening and you will need a 6-7 hour journey to get there. 2-3 days of every week there is also a morning itinerary around 10.00 but this runs mostly in summer. The central regional bus station is on the port avenue. It is a walking distance from the port and you can find there urban busses to connect you with the city and the airport. You can buy bus tickets from Kiosks, if you are unsure about the zone just tell where you are going. You must take bus number 2 from Lion square if you want to go to Knossos. There is also the option to use a taxi. If you take a taxi from the airport to Matala (75km) it will cost you 50 euro. Probably the cheapest option to get around (except using the bus) is to rent a car. You will need about 30 euro per day for a small category car.