Introducing holidays to Heraklion
Offering the intoxicating concoction of sand, sunshine and sea – you’ll also find plenty of culture and history on your Heraklion holidays, so get ready to dive in feet first. The vibrant capital of Crete, will reveal you to a stunning city jam-packed with plenty to do. While the beach serves as the ideal spot to top up your tan and laze on the sand, you’ll find numerous activities to take part in – whether you’re a keen windsurfer or you fancy your chances at riding on a jet ski. Aside from its beautiful Greek landscapes, you’ll soon come to realise that Heraklion has a spirited nightlife too, as well as an array of action-packed attractions for those that have the kids in tow.
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.
Top hotels in Heraklion
Atlantis Hotel Her
Galaxy Iraklio Hotel
Athinainn Apartments hotel
Castello City Hotel
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 4h 0m
When to go
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There are some unforgettable experiences to be had on your holidays to Heraklion, with none more memorable than a scuba-diving trip. You’ll discover another world when you launch into the warm Mediterranean waters, with a plentiful amount of marine life awaiting you. If you’ve got your water babies with you, heading to Watercity on the outskirts of Heraklion is well worth it. White-knuckle slides, thrilling shoots and turbulent whirlpools are all on hand to keep the little ones entertained, so you can spend your time soaking up the sunshine in the Jacuzzi. If it’s paradise you’re looking for, you might’ve just found it. Amoudara translates from Greek to ‘the huge sand’ and with sprawling beach as far as the eye can see, you needn’t stray too far to find yourself a laid-back spot on holidays in Heraklion. Take time to explore the neighbouring villages, where you can relax with a coffee in a street-side café. History and culture come hand in hand with a Greek beach break and you’ll find plenty of the former in the town of Rethymnon. Beautiful fountains, ancient ruins and Venetian architecture are the main focuses of your trip here, with a striking 16th-century fortress to explore. If you’re looking to immerse yourself into the history of this charming destination, head to the archaeological museum nearby and learn more about Heraklion’s considerable past.
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.
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.
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.