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Heraklion Regional Unit

Day trips

Our most recommended Heraklion Regional Unit Day Trips

From Heraklion: Afternoon Sailing Trip to Dia Island

1. From Heraklion: Afternoon Sailing Trip to Dia Island

Embark on a half-day cruise to Dia Island from Heraklion and explore this rugged island with plenty of time to swim, snorkel, or relax on its pristine shores. Enjoy a Mediterranean lunch with a glass of wine. Benefit from optional pick-up from your hotel or cruise ship, or meet at the Venetian harbor at Heraklion Port at 14:30, and then relax on a 1-hour cruise to Dia Island on an intimate boat with space for no more than 8 passengers. Relax aboard the elegant sailing boat before dropping anchor in the romantic Gulf of Saint George at 15:30. Discover an idyllic location with a great history as an ancient Minoan port and one of the favorite destinations of the underwater explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau.  Enjoy 2.5 hours at leisure to fish, swim in the crystal clear water, take a walk among the island's cedar trees or just relax in the quiet bay overlooking Heraklion. Snorkeling and fishing equipment are provided for your comfort and convenience by the attentive crew, along with unlimited refreshments and seasonal fruits. Feast from a delicious Mediterranean menu of roasted chicken fillets, rice with vegetables, Greek salad, and wine. Depart Dia Island at 18:00 and journey back to Heraklion for an estimated arrival time of 19:00, where a transfer to your hotel or cruise ship is provided if requested.

From Heraklion: Santorini Island Guided Tour

2. From Heraklion: 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.

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

4. 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.

From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

5. From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

Start with pickup from Heraklion or the surrounding area. Drive over to Kastelli by bus to board your boat. Balos are Gramvousa are located on the West part of the island. Depending on the area your hotel is located is around 4 hours by bus to the place where the boats depart. Embark the boat from the village of Kasteli and head over to Balos Lagoon and enjoy plenty of time to swim in the quiet crystal clear waters, walk across the golden sand beach and soak in the sun as you relax. Cruise across the western Cretan sea and arrive at the tranquil Gramvousa. Swim along the coast and stroll up to the castle on the hill to admire panoramic views of the natural landscape as you hike up to that point. The drivers will be awaiting you at the port, in order to begin the drive back to Heraklion.

From Heraklion Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

6. From Heraklion Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

Explore Santorini by boat on this day trip from Crete. Take part in a guided bus tour of the island, walk through charming villages, and witness stunning views. Your experience starts off from Crete on the luxurious high-speed catamaran "Champion Jet 2." On arrival at Thiras port, you'll board a comfortable, air-conditioned bus with your experienced guides who will provide information about the island and its history. Your first stop is the unique village of Oia. Built on the northern part of the Caldera rim, Oia offers magnificent views of houses studded along the volcanic rock hillside overlooking both the Mediterranean and Aegean sea. Next, visit the island’s capital Fira, where you will have plenty of free time to explore the picturesque alleys, admire the incomparable Aegean architecture, shop, or simply enjoy a drink. Then, you have the choice of spending more time in Fira, visiting the magnificent black beach of Perivolos, or taking a boat tour of the Caldera (subject to availability). Finally, you'll return to the port for the trip back to Crete.

From Heraklion: Elafonisi Beach Day Tour with Pickup

7. From Heraklion: Elafonisi Beach Day Tour with Pickup

Spend 4.5 hours enjoying Elafonisi Island. Don't forget your camera, as you'll definitely want to capture this island's pink sandy beaches and clear Aegean waves. The day starts with pickup from a meeting point near your resort. Travel 4 hours to Elafonisi, taking in views of canyons, valleys, and hidden villages on the way. Learn more about Crete and its history from the local guide. Take 20-minute stop to stretch your legs or grab a quick breakfast before arriving to the destination. Once on the island, guests are free to take a swim in the clear waters, soak up the sun on the sandy beach, or chill and grab a drink at the snack bar. At the end of the visit, meet at the bus for the return trip to Heraklion. The journey will take approximately 4 hours, depending on traffic and your drop-off location.

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

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

Travel to northeastern Crete, visit Agios Nikolaos and see its beautiful scenery, and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island on this exciting day tour of some of Crete's most interesting sites. 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.

Heraklion: Spinalonga Cruise & Agios Nikolaos with Lunch

9. Heraklion: Spinalonga Cruise & Agios Nikolaos with Lunch

Explore the many natural wonders Crete has to offer on a multiple-destination boat tour departing from Heraklion with lunch included. Visit the coastal town of Agios Nikolaos, cruise through the scenic Mirabello Bay, stop for a swim in Kolokytha Bay, and admire the sights of Spinalonga Island. Enjoy a pickup from your Heraklion hotel and drive to the beautiful town of Agios Nikolaos with its picturesque lake. Take a leisurely morning walk and have a coffee while gazing at the beautiful port and the local lake, before setting sail. Later on, you'll board your boat. Have a light lunch on board before starting the cruise and then take in the views while crossing the unique Mirabello Bay and the Agios Nikolaos and Elounda coast.  Stop at Kolokytha Bay, where you can swim and dive from the boat into the crystal clear waters, then make your way over to Spinalonga Island. Join a Guided Tour of the island and enjoy some free time to wander around and snap amazing photos. Sail back to Agios Nikolaos and get dropped off back at your Heraklion accommodation. The regular meal consists of grilled chicken, mixed salad with tomatoes and cucumber, feta cheese, and a slice of bread. For a vegetarian option, the grilled chicken will be replaced with a tortilla with vegetables.

Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

10. Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Get picked up from your accommodation for a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, and the Dikti mountain range. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional paddock. 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. Feel in awe of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. If your group all agrees, take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Venture further up the route to an altitude of 1250m in the Limnakaro Plateau, where you can fully appreciate the majesty of the vast mountains. 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.

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What people are saying about Heraklion Regional Unit

A lot better than expected! We were apprehensive of it after reading reviews but it turned out to be a great day! A few things I would recommend/ note for next time: the boat does stop a distance from the island and is approx. 5-10 minutes swim depending on ability, the boat supplies life jackets and floats if you aren’t a confident swimmer (I wasn’t!) so the swim really wasn’t that bad in the end. I would take a waterproof phone case/ bag if you want to take anything onto the island (beach towel, camera, shoes, snacks etc.) as whatever you want to take to the island you need to carry on the swim. Definitely take flip flops/ sandals to wear on the beach as rocks are quite sore on the feet. Overall a brilliant day out and feel like I stroked an item of a bucket list I didn’t even know I had!

It was a relaxing and fun trip. we have 1.5 hours in the water and 1 hour of lunch and relaxing on the boat. The water was perfect to swim. Marko and Michael were really nice and attentive.

Very well organized, great guide and bus, delicious lunch. Such an amazing island! Pity we couldn't get more time on the island. Definitely recommended though!

Very well organized, great guide and bus, delicious lunch. Amazing views! Definitely recommended!

Great trip, highly recommend. Spinalonga is a must see!