Perfectly set overlooking two gorgeous beaches, Kokkini Hani is a tranquil little resort on the northern coast of Crete, just a 15-minute drive from the lively capital of Heraklion. It’s got a great choice of restaurants, many specialising in seafood, plus a smattering of shops and cafés. It’s popular with families, thanks to its low-key charm and wide choice of child-friendly attractions in the area, which include an aquarium and a water park. The lovely sandy main beach is well equipped with sun loungers and amenities for water sports, or you could escape the crowds and head to the smaller beach. It’s a great base for exploring the region, whether you want to do some sightseeing or shopping in Heraklion, the vibrant capital of Crete, or visit the magnificent Minoan ruins at Knossos.
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Kokkini Hani is fantastic destination if you want a laid-back holiday in the sun on the northern coast of Crete. Conveniently located just a short drive from the lively capital of Heraklion, it’s a tranquil little town, with two gorgeous beaches and plenty of atmospheric restaurants and tavernas. Families love it for its sandy beaches and low-key appeal, plus you’ll find an aquarium, a water park and other child-friendly attractions in the area. If you want some nightlife and shops, jump in a taxi to Heraklion or Hersonissos, both only 15 minutes away by car, or escape the coastal hubbub and explore the little hill villages just inland. Other top sights in the area include Knossos, the most spectacular Minoan site on Crete.
There’s a great choice of restaurants in Kokkini Hani, whether you’re looking for something quick and tasty or want to linger over some fabulously fresh seafood. The area around Kokkini Hani is full of fields and orchards, and much of this beautifully fresh produce ends up on local menus. Many of the restaurants are traditional, family-run tavernas which specialise in the delicious Cretan cuisine. You can enjoy some beautifully fresh seafood, or a refreshing Greek salad with juicy tomatoes, cucumber and olives topped with crumbled mizithra cheese. Or you might fancy one of the lamb dishes, such as the classic lamb with wild greens and lemon. And there are lots of delicious Cretan wines to try – you might even fancy a visit to a local vineyard.
Kokkini Hani is a very popular destination for families, thanks to its winning combination of gorgeous sandy beaches and great choice of child-friendly attractions in the area. The beaches offer shallow, transparent waters, which are protected from the wind by breakwaters, plus handy amenities such as sun beds and parasols for rent and plenty of child-friendly places to eat and drink. Family-friendly attractions in the town include an ostrich farm and a donkey sanctuary, and there’s a shiny modern aquarium in nearby Gouves. There’s another aquarium and reptile rescue centre in Hersonissos, where kids can see rescued sea turtles, and touch the lizards and snakes, or you could head to the water park for some slides. Kids may also enjoy a visit to the amazing Minoan ruins in Knossos, where the mythical Minotaur once roamed the labyrinth beneath the palace.
Kokkini Hani may be small, but it offers a great choice of activities, both on and off the water! At the beach, you can rent out kayaks or paddle boards, take surfing or kite-surfing lessons, or even have a go at water-skiing. There are jet-skis and banana boats for rent, if you want a bit of fun, or you could also hire a boat to explore the coastline. Inland, you’ll find some fantastic walking routes, which are suitable for all abilities, whether you’re looking for an easy hike to a beautiful picnic spot, or want to tackle one of Crete’s more challenging paths.
There are two beaches in Kokkini Hani, both of which boast crystal-clear waters. Like most beaches on the northern coast of Crete, they can get a little choppy when the wind picks up, but are protected by a series of breakers that stretch into the sea. The larger of the two has fabulous, golden sands, and boasts plenty of facilities, including sun beds and parasols for rent, and a few water sports are available, such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. The smaller beach is usually a little quieter, and is a mixture of sand and shingle. It is also well equipped, and both beaches are within easy reach of a great choice of restaurants and cafés.
Kokkini Hani is a laid-back little seaside town, although there are a sprinkling of bars which keep things lively on warm summer nights. You can enjoy a drink on the waterfront as the sun goes down, or linger over a post-dinner raki at a local taverna. If you are looking for wilder bars and nightclubs, you could head to Heraklion, the lively capital of Crete, or Hersonissos, the biggest resort on the island. Both are just 15 minutes away by taxi, and offer a fantastic choice of nightlife, whether you want to catch a game at a sports bar, chill out with some jazz, or dance till dawn at a fantastic beachfront nightclub.
An appealing little seaside resort on the northern coast of Crete, Kokkini Hani is an ideal destination for a relaxing and romantic holiday in the sun. It has lovely sandy beaches, with plenty of sun beds and facilities for water sports, and there is a host of charming little tavernas where you can enjoy a romantic meal. There are a few lively bars, if you fancy a cocktail or two, or you could simply linger on a waterfront terrace and watch the sun set. It’s a tranquil little town, but you can hit Heraklion, the island capital, or the lively resort of Hersonissos, if you’re in the mood for some shopping and sightseeing. There are several delightful traditional villages to explore inland, including charming Anopolis, which is full of pretty boutiques selling local crafts.
There are lots of fabulous cultural sights within easy reach of Kokkini Hani – including the vestiges of an impressive Minoan villa located right on the beach. Constructed in the 16th century BC, it is believed to have belonged to a high priest. Heraklion, the bustling modern capital of Crete, is only a short drive away, and is home to a host of excellent museums, including an archaeological museum that contains many of the treasures from the famous Palace of Minos at Knossos. Knossos, the largest and most spectacular Minoan site on Crete and the island’s biggest ancient attraction, is located just south of the capital.