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Things to do in Heraklion Regional Unit

Our most recommended things to do in Heraklion Regional Unit

Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

1. Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line 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. 

From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

2. From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

Enjoy a roundtrip tour to Santorini. Travel comfortably on a modern boat and in air-conditioned buses while learning about this island's history and mythology. Capture pictures of Santorini's famous Aegean architecture and narrow, winding streets.  Travel to Heraklion port where you will depart on a high-speed boat for Santorini. Enjoy ocean views on the 2.5-hour cruise to the island and pickup a snack from the bar onboard.  Arrive at Port Athinios and hop aboard the bus for the guided tour. Travel 40 minutes to Oia, where you will admire the blue and white houses built over the cliffs. Learn about the city before enjoying free time to admire the volcanic caldera at your own pace. Next, travel 30 minutes to Fira, the main town of Santorini, built on the edge of a 300-meter cliff. Check out its narrow streets, white vaulted houses, and bright blue domes. Have the option to take a cruise from Fira in a wooden boat to the volcano and hot springs (for an additional charge) or spend more time exploring the city. Return to Port Athinios where your guide will help you board the return ferry.  Take in the late-afternoon views on the boat before arriving at Heraklion port.

From Heraklion: Morning Sailing Trip to Dia Island

3. 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.

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

4. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

Settlements in Knossos date as far back as the Neolithic period. Neolithic remains from around 7000 BC are found throughout Crete. Explore the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization and enjoy a skip-the-line tour of the Knossos Palace. The Knossos Palace was built from 1700 to 1400 BC. Advanced architectural techniques were used in its construction, and sections of the palace stood up to 5 stories high. It featured 1,300 rooms connected by corridors, and a theater and extensive storerooms, which held large clay containers of oil, grains, dried fish, beans and olives – often with gold hidden beneath.

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

5. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Embark on a full-day guided trip to northeastern Crete and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island. Visit Agios Nikolaos with its famous lake, and explore the picturesque village of Elounda. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Cave of Zeus Off Road Safari Tour

6. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Cave of Zeus Off Road Safari Tour

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Enjoy a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, the cave of Zeus, and the beautiful scenery of the plateau. Start with pickup from your accommodation. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional local farm. See the process of milking and cheese-making, meet the animals, and sample their fresh cheese. Next, head to the Aposelemis dam, the largest water supply project in Crete. See the village of Sfendili submerged in the waters of the dam with its impressive old houses fading on the surface of the water. Explore the natural wetlands and spot a unique variety of birds. Continue uphill on the dirt roads to the gorge of Empasa. Enjoy the views of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. Take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Follow the trails of the gods and after that take a tour around the plateau to get a sense of local life. Finally, enjoy authentic food baked in the wood oven in one of the most celebrated taverns in the picturesque village of Krasi. Admire the town square filled with fountains and see imposing plane trees that are up to 2000 years old. Return to your hotel full of unforgettable memories of Crete.

Horse Riding with Lunch in the Mountains near Heraklion

7. Horse Riding with Lunch in the Mountains near Heraklion

Discover the wonderful mountain landscape around Heraklion and decide between riding comfortably in a coach or riding a horse yourself. After around 50 minutes, arrive at the top of the Finikia Mountains - a perfect place for a cozy picnic with soft drinks, raki and fruit. Enjoy the fantastic view of the sleepy mountains of Zeus, father of the gods, said to have been born in the Dikti Cave on the Lasithi Plateau. Continue your ride over the incredibly beautiful landscape and enjoy a hearty lunch in Cretan style with traditional house wine. Spend a little time on the lands, relax with a glass of wine and watch as your children take the reins.

From Heraklion: Chania Town, Kournas Lake, and Rethymno Tour

8. From Heraklion: Chania Town, Kournas Lake, and Rethymno Tour

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive: 3 hours 1st stop: Chania Town – 2 hours 30 minutes Our groups will enjoy their time to wander around the beautiful Venetian streets and neighborhoods of this picturesque town of Greece. Walk through its roads full of little shops, markets and local restaurants around theirfamous old port. Bus Drive: 1 hour 2nd stop:The lake of Kournas – 1 hour 20 minutes The largest natural lake of Crete reflecting the White Mountains gives you the sense of an Alpine landscape. Grab the opportunity to hire a pedal boat for a lovely ride around the lake, swimming and enjoying a meal in one of the little tavernas (not included). Bus Drive:20 minutes 3rd stop: Rethymno – 1 hour 30 minutes Visit Rethymno and its picturesque venetian town. Enjoy your free time to walk along the old port and beautiful oriental beach road. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Bus Drive: 2 hours

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

9. Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

Experience Ancient Crete at your own pace with a combined e-ticket for the island's top two archaeological attractions, the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Experience two captivating self-guided audio tours on your smartphone. Receive your ticket in a separate email from our local partner, and download the app and audio tours onto your phone prior to your visit. Then travel back in time to experience the grandeur of Crete from the Minoan period to Roman times. Put on your headphones and discover the Palace of Knossos and the exquisite artifacts exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Through the power of storytelling, learn interesting facts and hear little-known stories from ancient times. The content of the tours is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tours can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into ancient Crete and the Minoan civilization, and to engage with your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Agia Pelagia: Cretan Villages Quad Sunset Trip

10. Agia Pelagia: Cretan Villages Quad Sunset Trip

Meet your guide at the Peninsula Hotel and Spa in Agia Pelagia and start with driving tutorial session. Practice driving to ensure that you are confident with your quad bike. Cruise along lonely paths far away from main traffic that wind through scenic vistas.  Explore a cliff path that overlooks the sea and arrive at the traditional village of Achlada. Find out about the background of the village and hear about the ancient and traditional Cretan way of life. Share a special moment with the three last inhabitants of this village. Enjoy a drive and a walk through this village which is not accessible by any other means. Continues through the mountains to the mountain village of Rogdia where yiuo can gaze out at the bay of Heraklion. View the 16th century tower of Modino, a chateau that was once occupied by feudal lords.  Have some free time to watch as the colors of the sunsetting between the sea the mountains. Ride back to the meeting point after the sun sets.

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What people are saying about Heraklion Regional Unit

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8,954 reviews

Highly recommend this Ecobike tour with wine tasting! We had never ridden ecobikes before, but we got used to them pretty quickly. Alex and Marina were very communicative prior to the tour. Marina was our guide for the day and we thought she was fantastic: friendly and informative. We stopped by three different restaurants in town to sample delicious mezzes and five glasses of wine. Because Marina is a professional sommelier, we learned a lot about local wines. Alex joined us at the last stop and they shared anecdotes and local recommendations; it felt like hanging out with friends and we had a blast!

I am an archaeology student, and the guide was able to adapt to that, moving beyond all of the basic talking points and going deeper into the history and archaeological practice at the site. She was extremely knowledgeable!

The palace was beautiful and I enjoyed guided tour because we got some special informations that I am sure we couldn't get visiting on our own. I would highly recommend to visit this palace.

Excellent fun, the captain and crew were lovely and the food was surprisingly good. Views were stunning, highly recommended.

Alex and Maria was so kind and friendly, sightseeing was also good and food are fascinating