Discover Heraklion in Crete
This sleepy prefecture of the Heraklion resort is packed with picturesque villages overlooking crystal clear waters and golden sandy beaches. Heraklion will not disappoint families and couples looking for a holiday that packs a punch.
Most popular hotels in Heraklion
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 4h 25m
When to go
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Things to do in Heraklion
The capital city on the island of Crete, Heraklion’s main attraction is the vast variety with which you can really get a taste for what Greece is all about. Whether you want to sun yourself on the glorious sandy stretch along Amoudara’s coast, immerse yourself in the bustling cosmopolitan heart of Crete’s culture or embellish your holidays with action and adventure amid the various waterparks including Water City and Acqua Plus – there are a host of things to do in Heraklion which will appease all manner of holidaymakers, whatever happens to be your ruse.
Wine and Dine
You’ll be well catered for when it comes to food, and with a diverse range of Mediterranean cuisines, as well as international mainstays, you can’t go wrong in finding something the whole group will enjoy in Heraklion. Kastella will enable you to gorge on traditional Greek dishes, and with wonderful aromas and colourful foods the Grecian cuisine is a feast for the eyes, not just the mouth. However, if it’s meat that tickles your fancy then the steakhouse, Hovoli, will serve you well – offering up succulent portions of prime beef.
Action and Adventure
Among the many things to do in Heraklion, those seeking fun and excitement should definitely head to the stunning beaches of Amoudara, only a stone’s throw away. Water sports are the perfect accompaniment to the Mediterranean sun and you’ll find a wealth of potential along the gold-glittered coastline such as water skiing, banana boat rides and boat tours to peruse the island from afar. If you’d rather head inland, then cycling and hiking provide the perfect pastimes to explore the surrounding landscapes and you’ll find many shops will serve the purpose of offering up the necessary equipment.
When it comes to involving the whole family, there are no better attractions in Heraklion than the nearby water parks which will treat the little ones as well as the parents to a fun and enjoyable experience. Water City and Acqua Plus are among the main ones and whether you want to pump adrenaline on one of the 36 water slides at Water City or languish in a rubber dingy down the Lazy River at Acqua Park, you’ll find an array of opportunities to unite the family in a safe and welcoming environment. After a long session of excitement, drying off along the fabulous beaches can be a rewarding experience for the family; an assemblage of water sports are on tap, while preparing a picnic to take to the more secluded parts of the shoreline is a must for some quality time with the loved ones.
A trip to Greece wouldn’t be complete without spotting an ancient ruin or two, and unique to Heraklion things to do are a number of Bronze Age pieces in Knossos; the Minoan ruins a prominent centrepiece to this fantastic island. After having spent some time looking over artefacts of the past, it may be worth making your way to Rethymnon, where you’ll not only be able to venture around the cobbled streets of the old town, but with an antiquated Venetian architectural theme, there’ll be further scope to cram the corneas with views of veritable buildings and historical monuments – the Archaeological Museum giving an insight into the inimitable findings which have painted a picture of how Crete has developed over time.
Many come to Crete to lose their inhibitions to the famed nightlife which decorates the city of Heraklion in a neon tinge and blotches of foam, but there are a number of quieter options for a romantic getaway with the partner if you’d rather avoid the hedonistic tones. Accompanying the rich historical heritage and cultural things to do in Heraklion are a soiree of bustling clubs and bars in which you can experience the heart of Heraklion’s vigil. Amnesia and New York are popular and always filled with a mixture of people from all over the world, as well as the local contingent, while heading to Karteros on horseback to watch the sunset offers unparalleled romance amid the chaos.
Sun worshippers are sure to find a beach to suit them. There are many unspoilt and almost deserted beaches in the area, some of which offer an array of water sports for the more active tourist. Choose from parasailing, water skiing and kite surfing or hire a boat and explore the many untouched coves on the island.
A varied nightlife is on offer here, from the bustle of the main town to the more relaxed tavernas in the villages themselves. Excursions are available to other parts of the island, Heraklion makes a perfect base for travellers to explore all Crete has to offer. The water parks are a must visit for families with younger children and couples will love the romance of the ancient villages. There are many archaeological sites on view here from the Venetian influence that lends an air of rustic beauty to the area. Why not hire a car or scooter and absorb the panoramic landscapes at your own pace?
Local dining options are available and serve traditional Greek fare alongside more international cuisines and upmarket restaurants. There is also a varied array of bars and nightclubs to choose from in the evening, ensuring you’ll find somewhere to relax and unwind to suit you. Nearby villages that are accessible by foot gives you the opportunity to try different tavernas and restaurants in those regions as well; you’ll be spoilt for choice in Heraklion.
Cheap Holidays to Heraklion
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