If you’re looking for plenty of sun, beautiful beaches and thriving nightlife for your 2017 or 2018 holiday, jet off to Hersonissos. This hedonistic and lively town on Crete’s northern coast serves up action, adventure and fun by the bucketload. Despite the energetic party scene that fills the streets at night, Hersonissos offers a warm welcome to families with a huge range of entertainment that visitors of all ages can enjoy. Offering something for everyone, Hersonissos has lots of activities away from the beaches, including horse riding, golf and cycling. With attractions such as the aquarium, the open-air folklore Lychnostatis Museum and the monastery of Agios Georgios, plus theme parks and water parks, there’s a wealth of fun and interesting days out in Hersonissos.
To discover Greek island life further afield, head down to the bustling port, where you can book boat trips to Santorini or the island of Dia. Island hopping gives you a chance to see the diverse range of cultures on neighbouring isles and there’s a chance of spotting dolphins and other marine life on the way.
Most popular hotels in Hersonissos
Porto Plazza Hotel
Diamond Village Apartments
Silva Beach Hotel
Hersonissos Blue (ex.Averinos)
smartline Village Resort & Waterpark
Anatoli Apartments Hersonissos
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 4h 0m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Taking a holiday in Hersonissos can see you swept up in a whirlwind of fun, activity and adventure. With so many activities on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice. While you’re deciding what to do, there’s always the option of lounging on the beach or relaxing by the hotel pool. After you’re done soaking up those rays, why not visit the Aquaworld Aquarium? Well-stocked with local sea creatures and some more exotic specimens, the aquarium is a fascinating insight into the world’s oceans. With a reptile rescue centre just next door, there are some interesting cold-blooded creatures on display as well. Theme parks, water parks and beachside entertainment areas are the ideal day out in the sun. Sporty holidaymakers can enjoy bike tours, pony trekking and a round or two of golf. With boat trips, 4x4 safaris and horse-drawn carriage rides, there’s also plenty of opportunities to explore Hersonissos at a slower pace.
Wine and Dine
There’s a big appetite for food culture on the island of Crete. Renowned for serving up unique flavours in their dishes, Cretans have created a cuisine which stands apart from the neighbouring islands’ offerings. That said, there are still plenty of familiar Mediterranean flavours to enjoy. If you want to enjoy the true taste of Cretan food, try some of the recipes created on the island using locally-grown produce.
Kaltsounia is similar to the cheese pies found on other Greek islands, but these pies use Cretan cheeses for a unique flavour. Their secret ingredients? Rosewater and honey make these savoury pastries subtly and irresistibly sweet. For a heartier meal, be sure to try the gamopilafo, usually served at weddings but also available in Cretan taverns. This rich risotto-like rice dish is bursting with flavour. In Hersonissos, there’s a great mix of restaurants to suit all tastes. Bars, cafes, restaurants and cosy Cretan tavernas serve up everything from authentic Greek food to international cuisine and the good old English fry up.
Families can enjoy a holiday to Hersonissos without ever having to worry about the children, or adults, getting bored. Whether you spend long days on the beach or get out and about exploring Hersonissos and the surrounding attractions, you’ll find something different to do every day. The entertainment area at Star Beach is a lively and fun-filled way to spend a day on the coast. Kids will love the slides, games and colourful attractions. With theme parks, water parks and an aquarium located within Hersonissos, there’s no need to leave the resort to keep everyone entertained.
The Roman ruins and a Crete history museum will spark the imaginations of inquisitive young minds, encouraging them to picture life on the island thousands of years ago. With sporting activities including golf, horse riding and cycling all close at hand, sporty families can enjoy their favourite hobbies during their stay. With more theme parks, historic monuments and another aquarium in Heraklion, there’s another wealth of fun and activity just 30 minutes’ drive away.
Action and Adventure
Adrenaline junkies are well catered for on a Hersonissos holiday. With beachside bungee jumping, water sports and thrilling slides at the water parks and theme parks, adventures are always just around the corner in this fun-filled resort. For a more leisurely adventure, the bike tours and horse riding treks offer active holidaymakers a great way to see Hersonissos and the surrounding countryside. For an activity with a difference, try one of the three ‘escape the room’ game centres in the town. Get a team together to solve the clues and escape the room before your time runs out. Fun and immersive, these adventures are a great activity if you want to avoid the sun for an hour or two.
Back in the great outdoors, Hersonissos port is your go-to destination for boat hire or chartering a skipper for a fishing trip. With a local golf course, plus the many beachside entertainment areas, there’s a whole world of action and adventure waiting for visitors in Hersonissos.
Life's a Beach
A holiday in Hersonissos gives you a wide range of choices when it comes to beaches. If you love the holiday atmosphere only a crowded, bustling beach can provide, head to the long, narrow beach east of Hersonissos’ port. Popular in summer, many holidaymakers flock to this stretch of sand for its facilities and close proximity to the town’s cafes and restaurants. For a more secluded day on the coast, head west. Small coves dotted along this quieter section of shore offer a welcome break from the families and couples crowding the more popular beaches.
The warm Crete waters are a fantastic place for spotting the exotic marine life swimming beneath the surface. Don your snorkel and flippers and head to West Beach for the best snorkelling. There isn’t a sandy beach, but the sea is accessible from a flat platform amongst the rocks. If you like your beach days to follow on from a night time of partying, head to Star Beach, where festivities rock the beach all day long. It even has a water park, complete with slides and rides, bungee tower and many more fun and games for visitors of all ages.
Vibrant and hedonistic, Hersonissos holidays are brimming with lively nightlife spots. Dance until dawn in one of the fantastic clubs. Trance and dance fans will love the playlists, there’s even some RnB thrown in for good measure. Away from the thumping beats and neon lights, there’s a party going on in the alleys of Hersonissos. Irish, Dutch and Greek bars all stay open into the early, early hours. Live bands, karaoke and cocktails are all on offer, with a friendly welcome from locals and tourists alike.
For a more chilled out evening, cafes are the place to sit back and watch the Hersonissos revellers dancing by. The best ones can be found on the main street and offer the perfect pit stop before heading out for an evening beach stroll or hitting the clubs.
Couples looking for a lively getaway and adventure in the sun are well catered for on a Hersonissos holiday. Trips, tours and excursions can whisk you off on high-octane, off-road trips or laid-back treks around the island. Uncover Cretan history in Hersonissos at the Roman ruins or the open air museum - or venture further afield to Heraklion for more cultural insight into the island’s past. These popular attractions can be busy, especially in the summer months.
If you’re looking to spend some quality time together as a couple, escape the crowds and head to the secluded coves on the west shores of the Hersonissos coast. Ideal spots for sunbathing and sharing a summer picnic, the warm waters that lap at the shore invite beach-loving sunbathers in for a refreshing dip. Back in the town centre, evenings are lively but the cosy Cretan tavernas offer a warm welcome. With authentic Greek food and a generous helping of Cretan hospitality, couples can enjoy a candlelit meal and magical ambience.
For an unashamedly hedonistic and lively town, Hersonissos has still retained its cultural landmarks and heritage. To delve into rural Cretan life, head to the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum. As well as the usual exhibits museums offer, this open-air attraction features a replica house detailing every aspect of how the Cretans used to live. Covering everything from Cretan vegetable gardens to their art, history and culture, this museum is a must for anyone wanting to understand the island’s roots.
To step even further back in time, the Roman archaeological relic site is one of the most popular attractions on the island. Not just for the remains themselves, but the excellent work of the onsite guides. Don a headset and wander around the historic ruins, while your guide gives an entertaining and insightful commentary into these ancient buildings.