Heraklion
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Heraklion Meet the Locals

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

1. Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

Begin the tour at the Peninsula Resort and Spa with a short theoretical introduction and a quad driving lesson before the adventure begins. Follow a beautiful off-road cliff path along the sea and into the heights of Achlada away from traffic and in the midst of the most beautiful nature the area has to offer. Enjoy breathtaking views over Agia Pelagia until reaching Heraklion, then continue to the ancient and abruptly abandoned ghost village of Achlada. Find out more about the background of the village and the traditional Cretan way of life and share a special personal moment with the last two remaining inhabitants of the village. Stroll through this otherwise inaccessible village at leisure. From the heights of Achlada, pass in between the mountains surrounded by breathtaking nature before continuing to Fodele, a traditional Cretan village, also called the village of the oranges and birthplace of the famous painter ‘El Greco’. Explore Crete’s culture and marvel at its local handicrafts. Take some time for shopping and a visit to the museum or to the village’s orthodox churches. Sit back and enjoy a famous freshly squeezed orange juice made from the local orange trees for a more relaxing experience. Return to the hotel at 1.00 p.m., just in time for lunch, or alternatively, there is the possibility to have lunch in a local restaurant and try Greek Meze – a variety of Greek delicacies served on small plates.

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

2. Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

Start your day by meeting your guide at the farm, where you will have a relaxed cup of coffee before taking a basic training session to make sure you feel safe and comfortable while riding a horse. Then, hop on your horse to begin your ride out into the mountains. After riding for about an hour, you'll arrive at the top of the Finikia mountains, where you'll stop for a break. Help yourself to a soft drink, or fruit, and take a moment to admire the amazing views and snap a picture or two. In the distance, you can spot the nearby mountain of Archanes, the place where the Greek God Zeus is said to be sleeping. Then get back on your horses and make your way back to the starting point. After riding for another hour, you'll arrive at the stables and then sit down for a delicious traditional Cretan lunch, including homemade wine. After lunch, have a seat out in the garden of the farm, help yourself to some more wine, or enjoy a few more minutes of riding. At about 1:15 PM, you will head back to your hotel or apartment.

From Hersonissos: Quad Bike Safari in the Mountains of Crete

3. From Hersonissos: Quad Bike Safari in the Mountains of Crete

Depart Hersonissos on a Quad Bike safari into the mountains of Crete and discover a more authentic side of the island as you get back to nature on small, traffic-free roads. Drive to the traditional villages of Koutouloufari, Piscopiano and old Hersonissos before heading to the Lasithi plateau. Continue along the riverbed en route to the village of Potamies, and pass small gardens of fruit trees and olive groves along the way. Enjoy the scent of different herbs and listen to the sound of millions of tiny tsitsikia (insects). Visit some small churches and see sheep and goats grazing as you continue to the traditional village of Karouzanos. Stop at a café before driving towards Askous village. Get an amazing view of Lyttos and Kasteli before traveling downhill to the village. Enjoy an authentic tsikoudia (raki) and some tasty snacks. Then, continue downhill to the Aposelemis dam and underwater village of Sfentili en route to the Panagias monastery. 

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

4. Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

Take a trip to the Cretan Mountains as you ride a horse along the paths and hilltops of the mountains. Admire the panoramic view of Giouhtas mountain and Agios Silas village. Start your day by meeting your guide at the farm. Take a basic training session to make sure you feel safe and comfortable while riding a horse. Then, hop on your horse to begin your ride out into the mountains. Stretch your legs with a short break made during the trip with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape of the mountains. Refresh yourself with a glass of orange juice and take amazing pictures with the beautiful scenery. Feel the fresh Mediterranean breeze at the top of the mountain.

From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

5. From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

Start your day of discovery with a pick-up service. Right after you board your comfortable, air-conditioned bus, you will journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4-hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 4:00 PM and return to Heraklion for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop-off at around 7:30 PM.

Karteros Beach: Guided Sea Kayaking Tour to Boufos Cave

6. Karteros Beach: Guided Sea Kayaking Tour to Boufos Cave

Swim in stunning locations and explore hard to reach shores on this sea kayaking tour from Karteros beach to the sea cave of Boufos. See the island of Monocharakos and end your tour by trying a delicious local snack. If you enjoy sea activities you can select this to have fun and swim in beautiful places. The starting point is the beach of Karteros, located east of the Heraklion airport. You will meet your tour leader, an experienced instructor who will explain to you the safety measures and will give you the necessary equipment (life jacket, waterproof bag, waterproof cell phone case). Meet your guide and get set up with high-quality sea kayaking gear like a life jacket and paddle. Keep your things safe and dry with the provided waterproof bag and waterproof phone case. Listen as your guide provides you with a a detailed safety briefing to ensure you are comfortable on the water. Set off your kayaking adventure. Paddle north along the dynamic coastline to the rocky island of Monocharakos. Plunge into the crystal-clear water for a refreshing swim. Continue to the sea cave of Boufos. Explore this unique geological formation before heading back towards your starting point at Karteros beach. Finish your tour by soaking up some sun while savoring an authentic Cretan meze snack.

Heraklion: Eco Bike Sightseeing Tour with Greek Meze

7. Heraklion: Eco Bike Sightseeing Tour with Greek Meze

Head to the meeting point and get kitted out with the necessary bike gear while listening to a safety briefing. When you’re ready, hit the road with your local guide and set off on your sightseeing adventure. Glide alongside the city’s imposing Venetian Walls as you make your way to Koules Fortress. Hop off your bike to take some photos of this impressive landmark and learn about its history. From here, ride into the Old Town district to see monuments of the Second World War as well as some of the city’s more modern sights. Pass by the city’s Orthodox church and mosque next, and learn about the influence of religion in Heraklion. You’ll also get a better insight into the city’s history with the Ottoman Empire. Later, cycle thorough the narrow streets of Iakkos and soak up views of this picturesque neighborhood. Once you've worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy some delicious Greek meze and learn about traditional cuisine. Finally, stop at one of the city’s ancient markets before heading back to the meeting point where the tour ends.

Crete: Heraklion Bus Day Trip with Pateles Market Visit

8. Crete: Heraklion Bus Day Trip with Pateles Market Visit

Explore the sights in Heraklion with this bus tour from selected areas of Crete. Discover sights like Liberty Square and Koules fortress on a sightseeing tour. Spend some free time downtown and stop at the Pateles Farmers Market and the Cretaquarium Enjoy the convenience of pickup from locations outside of select hotels in Malia, Stalis, Hersonissos, Analipsi, Anissaras, Gouves, Gournes, Kokkini Chani, Heraklion, Ammoudara, and Heraklion. Sit back and relax on a spacious, comfortable, and air-conditioned bus.  Start with a sightseeing tour around the city with a first stop at Liberty Square to take in the statues and fountains. Explore the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian influences on the city. Admire the imposing fortress of Koules at the harbor and the Venetian Walls that surround the old city. Have some free time to sit at one of the many restaurants or coffee shops in Lions Square or to see one of city museums, the Municipal Library, or the Art Gallery. Make your way to the Pateles Farmers Market where you can peruse dozens of stalls and haggle for excellent deals. Next, stop at the Cretaquarium where you can purchase a ticket to view various Mediterranean species, including sharks and tuna. Spend some time to get a coffee in a café before transferring back to your hotel.

Heraklion: Cretan Wine Tasting Tour & Gourmet Lunch

9. Heraklion: Cretan Wine Tasting Tour & Gourmet Lunch

Journey through the authentic flavors of Crete at a private wine tasting with professionals from the industry, and sample 15 different wines. Join a small and friendly group of no more than 8 people and learn more about the vines, terroir and gastronomy of Crete. Hear about local produce, such as olive oil and cheese. Benefit from the services of a guide who is a former journalist and restaurant chef, and speaks both English and French. Meet some of the best producers of the island's wines from the central regions of Archanes and Peza, where wine was first made in Crete. Take a tour of 2 of their wineries and vineyards, and then experience the flavors of the wines at a private tasting of 15 wines following a wine presentation. Enjoy a sensational tasting of olive oil and other traditional products from Crete, such as honey, marmalade, wine vinegar and more. Then, meet a selection of chefs at a gourmet lunch in one of the best restaurants in the wine making region; and get ready to be dazzled by their creative talents in the kitchen! 

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

10. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

Visit the monastery of Kera Kardiotissa and the Dictaean Cave then meet a potter at work on this exciting day trip. You’ll see panoramic views of the Lasithi Plateau and discover the epic Minoan Palace of Knossos. Your first stop is the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera. Famous for the icon of Mary, believed to be miraculous, it’s surrounded by fortified walls and the church features murals dating back to the 14th century. The next stop is the village of Psychro, where you’ll take a walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, found above the village of Psychro at 1025 meters altitude. According to Greek mythology, it’s believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia, a goat, in secret to be protected from his father.  A most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites. In the village of Psychro, a local potter will show the process of making his art at his ceramic workshop, following centuries-old traditions. A great opportunity to try it for yourself!  The next stop is Seli Ambelou for lunch with a panoramic view of the Lassithi Plateau.  It’s then time for the final destination, a visit to Knossos Palace, the capital of Minoan civilization. You’ll walk through the ancient site and learn how the citizens, believed to be the first Europeans in an organized community, lived 4,000 years ago. You’ll explore the palace and learn about the throne room, the frescoes, and the Minoan columns. 

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 28 reviews

What a fantastic and amazing bunch of people. The gentleman that owns the ranch is hilarious and quickly breaks down any ice or nerves you may have when you get there. His daughter is also very knowlegable and both make the experience informative and hilariously enjoyable. I went on my birthday and my SO surprised me and told them without me knowing. This led to them buying me a cake and it being smashed in my face per the owners request. The lunch alone was a fantastic end to a magical day, beautiful home cooked, traditional Greek food with a great back drop and even greater hosts. I will cherish the memories I had here forever. Love you all. Thank youu

We had a great time on our tour with Alex. I would definitely recommend this tour to others. To start out with we were a little skeptical with the size of the bikes but soon learned it was better that way biking through the small crowded streets of the city. No pedaling allowed or required on these bikes, they were really easy to use as long as you know how to ride a bike ;-) Alex brought us to a tavern where he fed us some great food. Go on this tour if you arrive in the city and need to know where you have to go.

Unforgettable experience! Irene was very nice and flexible, provided many suggestions that could suit us better. Everything went smoothly. Horse riding seems to be intimidating, but believe it’s not. It is, instead, a very nice sport you can do before going to beach and relax. The dinner was homemade and heartwarming. Everyone got full with satisfaction. I’ll definitely come back next time I come to Crete!

Had a great time at the Finikia Farm! Very nice and humorous host and daughters. Well guided with the horses, had a nice trip of 2 hours and then received a warm welcome with a delicious lunch with homemade wine. We enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone!

Wir können die Tour nur empfehlen! Aris ist ein toller Guide, wir hatten viel Spaß und haben noch eine Menge über Land und Leute, beim anschließenden Picknick mit einem kleinen persönlichen Snack, gelernt. Danke für den Raki und die Oliven!