Heraklion
Summer

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Our most recommended Heraklion Summer

From Heraklion, Agios or Nikolaos: Full-Day Santorini Trip

1. From Heraklion, Agios or Nikolaos: Full-Day Santorini Trip

Climb aboard a luxury high-speed catamaran in Heraklion harbor for the 2.5-hour crossing to Santorini. Upon arrival, take a tour of the beautiful island by air-conditioned bus and get an informative commentary about the history of one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Travel to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip for magnificent views of the typical blue and white houses across the hillside. Continue to the capital at Fira and get some free time to browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with views of the volcano. Go for a stroll along a black sand beach at Perissa or Perivolos before the return boat departure at 5:45 PM.

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Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

2. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

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From Heraklion: Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour

3. From Heraklion: Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour

Travel by air-conditioned coach to the west of Crete. Enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast at the small village of Skaleta and then continue to Kissamos to board a boat and start your cruise. Admire a vast cave that was most likely an ancient shipyard. See sea turtles and dolphins playing in the water. Disembark on the island of Gramvousa, also known as "Pirates' Island". Here, you can encounter over 100 bird and 400 plant species. Enjoy plenty of free time to swim at a gorgeous beach. Alternatively, feast from an (optional) lunch on board. Continue your cruise to the lagoon of Balos and discover one of the loveliest sites in Greece. Get a breathtaking view of the lagoon, before the return journey to the meeting point.   

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Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba

4. Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba

This is the ideal diving course for anyone over 10 years old who wants to try scuba diving but does not have a diving certificate. Begin your day with the basic theory on diving and the skills necessary to do so. You will then move on to real-life diving under the supervision of a certified instructor. During the dive, you will have the opportunity to explore the bottom of the sea in Agia Pelagia, learn the basic commands, and get the chance to observe up-close the fish and sea creatures living near the seabed.

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Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer

5. Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer

Benefit from hotel pick-up at approximately 08:00 and journey to Acqua Plus Water Park in Heraklion for an estimated arrival time of around 10:30. Then, enjoy the park at leisure until 17:00. Situated just 5 kilometers from Hersonissos and 30 kilometers from Heraklion, Acqua Plus Water Park entertains thousands of visitors every year with its thrill rides and relaxation areas. Divided into 2 sections - one for adults and the other for kids - the park includes a large number of extreme slides and water features. Zig-zag your way through 3 different pools on the Crazy River, or ride through the Black Holes and experience beams of light that attack your senses before you emerge for the final splash! Stroll around the gorgeous garden, filled with native plants and exotic flowers to create a Garden of Eden. Perched on a hill, the park is easy to work your way around with little effort. Save your energy for rides such as the Kamikaze waterslide or Tsunami. Take the little ones to the dedicated kids area and drift around on the Lazy River or just watch them play in the active playground. Avoid waiting in lines with a unique system that ensures you can enjoy the slides and games as much as possible, and benefit from the park's reputation for cleanliness, hospitality and safety. Qualified lifeguards and a stand-by doctor are ready to assist and protect you at any minute of the day.

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Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

6. Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you begin your hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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Day Tour: Spinalonga, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, & Kolokitha

7. Day Tour: Spinalonga, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, & Kolokitha

You will be picked up from the Heraklion area and taken along the picturesque northeast coast through the gorge of St George, reaching the small fishing village of Elounda. Today Elounda is a popular holiday resort, often visited by celebrities for the luxurious white beaches. From there, take the boat to the small island of Spinalonga. The history and the culture of Spinalonga are laced with different diverse strands of history. In Ancient Greek times it served as a natural guard for the city of Olous; later it was used as a hide-out for Saracen pirates, turned into a fortress by the Venetians, and later settled by the Turks.  After your guided tour of the island, escape to the small sandy pirate bay of Kolokitha, where the boat will be anchored. Swim in the crystal clear waters, and then savor a delicious barbecue served on board. Later the boat returns to Elounda, where you take the bus to go to the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. Enjoy shopping, exploring and marveling at the bottomless lake there. At the tour's end, the bus will take you back to Heraklion area.

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From Heraklion: Chrissi Island Day Trip

8. From Heraklion: Chrissi Island Day Trip

Experience life as castaway on a desert island in the Libyan Sea. Depart Heraklion for the uninhabited island of Chrissi, setting sail from Ierapetra on the southern coast of Crete. Look for yellow-legged gulls and dolphins as you cross the water. Then, drop anchor upon arrival at Chrissi, and get back to nature in the wildlife refuge area. Discover the intense beauty of its pristine beaches, and see shell fossils in the volcanic rocks. Enjoy the shade of the ancient cedar forests, and encounter an old salt marsh and Roman tombs. Go to the small Church of St. Nicolas and soak up the peace of an island paradise far from the crowds.

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From Heraklion: Morning Sailing trip to Dia Island

9. From Heraklion: Morning Sailing trip to Dia Island

Enjoy a cruise, snorkeling and fishing in crystal clear waters on this relaxing and fun trip to Dia Island. Relax on the 1-hour trip to the island, taking in the scenery and enjoying the comfort of your boat, which will have a maximum of 8 passengers onboard. Next, visit the romantic gulf and ancient Minoan port of St. George. Spend 2.5 hours swimming in the turquoise water, walking on the beautiful trails, fishing or just relaxing on the beach. Relax and let the crew take care of you by providing you with any snorkeling and fishing equipment you need. Enjoy unlimited refreshments, seasonal fruits and a delicious Mediterranean lunch served by the crew.

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From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

10. From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

Start your day with pick-up from the nearest point to your hotel. Drive towards the west side of Crete in a bus to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After your escort gives you all the necessary information about the cruise, arrive at the port to board the ferry boat to Gramvousa. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:30 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa on the ferry, which has a restaurant with self-service meals and snacks. Sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge for the journey of approximately 45 minutes. During the cruise, marvel at the cliff edges of the wildest part of Crete and learn about the history of the island with the onboard commentary played through the speakers in various languages. Upon arrival in Gramvousa, either have a swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. Enjoy 2.5 hours on Gramvousa before you continue to the lagoon of Balos, which is 20 minutes away. As soon as you arrive at the lagoon, you'll have a little less than 3 hours to enjoy the area. You may go back to the boat at any time for food or also hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. In the early evening, board the boat to head back to the port of Kissamos, where a bus will be waiting to return you to your hotel area.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,048 reviews

Amazing day in Santorini. Well organised, everything is taken care of so you can relax and enjoy the views. The boat trip is really comfortable and the tour guides explain everything. Plenty of opportunities for superb photos. Skip the recommended restaurants and walk further along for quieter restaurants with equally amazing views. Take cash for drinks and snacks on the boat and a charging pack so you can take loads of photos without the worry of running low on battery. This is a once in a lifetime trip that you will not regret.

Knossos was amazing, and our guide brought to life the history inside the myths! I had previous knowledge about both the Minoan civilization and general Greek mythology, but our tour taught me a surprising amount! This is a testament to the quality of our guide!

I can't imagine visiting Knossos without a guide to help bring it to life. My guide was waiting for me at the entrance with my name on a sign - couldn't have been simpler! Worth the extra money to get the most out of this incredible place.

Knowledgeable guide, and really interesting history around this ancient palace and civilization!

Quality excursion, value for money and impeccable organization.