Heraklion Regional Unit
Outdoor Sports

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Our most recommended Heraklion Regional Unit Outdoor Sports

Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia

1. Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia

Enjoy breakfast at Rethymno, the first stop on this 17-hour Samaria Gorge excursion. Begin your trek at Xiloskalo, where you'll enter the vast, 18-kilometer canyon. Hike along a path that follows the route of the ancient Taras River. Admire the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans in war times and now are home to wild goats. See the abandoned village of Samaria before reaching the Iron Gates, 3 kilometers before the end of the gorge. Rest and enjoy lunch (at your own expense) at the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea before boarding the ship that takes you back to the village of Sfakia.

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.

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

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

4. 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. 

From Analipsi: E-bike Off-Road Tour

5. From Analipsi: E-bike Off-Road Tour

Embark on an off-road e-bike tour from Analipsi and discover the beauty of the Cretan countryside. Travel at a slow to moderate pace with many stops to rest, take photos, learn about Crete, admire the views, and visit the highlights of the area. After a short safety introduction, jump on your bike and travel through low-traffic roads to the countryside following a route of farmer and quiet tarmac roads. Go uphill on rural smooth dirt tracks and back downhill on asphalt roads. Hear stories about the cultivation of the olives, the use of plants, the traditional life, ethics, and the nature of Crete from your guide.

From Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Mountains Trek & Agia Roumeli

6. From Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Mountains Trek & Agia Roumeli

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.

Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

7. Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

This tour will take you high into the mountains of the Lassithi Range (or Dikti Range), offering you an abundance of stunning panoramic views. Picking you up from your accommodation at 10:00AM, you will then start your climb up through several very picturesque traditional villages, one of which you shall stop at for a short break to shop or grab coffee. You will next go off road and move on up through the Kroustas Forest to a point approximately 1,000 meters above sea level. From way up there you will be able to see both the Lybian Sea (south coast) and the Aegean Sea (north coast). You will also be able to view the stunning peaks of the snow capped Mount Spathi (2,140 meters above sea level, second highest on the island), whose north face is home of the Psychro Cave, birth place of the Greek god Zeus. The views you will encounter throughout your tour can't be beaten, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Whilst in the mountains you will be taken to a traditional Greek taverna for a meze lunch with local wine, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to your point of origin.

From Heraklion: Day Trip to Imbros Gorge and Fragokastello

8. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Imbros Gorge and Fragokastello

Kick off your Cretan adventure when you’re picked up from your pickup point and driven by bus to the village of Skaleta, the farthest western point of the beachfront. Sip on some coffee before discovering the beauty of the second-most visited gorge on the island, Imbros Gorge.  Easier to navigate than the renowned Samaria Gorge, Imbros is just as captivating with several narrow stony passages, steep slopes and cliffs, and grand shady trees that will protect you from the hot Greek sun. Enjoy a route that mostly descends but is never steep over 2.5 hours, a trek ideal for families with children. At the end of your walk, find yourself at one of the most stunning beaches in Crete, Fragokastello. Discover the impressive Venetian castle of Fragokastello on golden shores with its own unique history, closely related to the legend of Drosoulites. Sit back and relax on the beach, enjoying breathtaking views of lofty mountains, wide plains, and the surrounding deep blue sea. Refresh yourself floating in shallow turquoise waters. After swimming, enjoy a delicious meal in one of the nearby taverns before heading back to your pickup point with unforgettable memories.

Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

9. Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

Take a tour to Richtis beach on the far side of Mirabello Bay and trek through the forest to the stunning Richtis waterfall. After pickup from your accommodation, enjoy the beautiful scenery on the 1-hour drive to the bay of Mirabello. Leave the asphalt and travel off road down to Richtis beach, hugging the mountainside.  Park at the bottom and enter Richtis gorge to start the 30-minute walk to reach the falls. Follow a trail through the forest, listening to the sounds of birds and running water. Stop to admire the incredible waterfalls, with time to climb up the stairs to the top of the falls, take photos, or swim in the cool waters.  When you are ready to leave, head back to the beach along the same trail. During the tour you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch at a local tavern, with wine and water included. At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in the Elounda area.

Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

10. Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

Journey into the wild and untamed side of Crete by Land Rover. Visit quiet, spiritual Agiofarago with its wild beauty, then experience the contrast of noisy Matala with its hippie style. After being picked up from your hotel, drive south through the plain of Messara, to Agiofarago: the gorge of the Saints. Enjoy a drink in the traditional village of Siva, then stop at the 14th century Odigitria Monastery. From there the rugged dirt tracks will lead you to Agiofarago. Stretch your legs along a 30 minute path crossing the gorge, scattered with oleander and olive trees. Discover a beautiful beach stretching to the Libyan Sea, where you can swim and snorkel. Enjoy a delicious picnic with local Cretan products. Continue to Matala, a small but crowded village, with a long sandy beach and crystal clear deep waters. Explore carved Roman tombs, have a swim at the beach, and eat lunch in a traditional local tavern.

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What people are saying about Heraklion Regional Unit

I had a short amount of time on the island and I didn't want to spend it figuring out logistics for a visit to Samaria Gorge, so I opted for this tour operator. The information email didn't arrive so I needed to reach out to the owner, but they forwarded me the info very quickly. I was happy that I was picked up at 6:20am rather than 3am like I thought I was going to be. The drive was very easy and pleasant. There was AC and I opted for the top part of the bus, and the very back, so I had a very long row to myself and used it to sleep! It was great. The tour guide was amazing with her ability to speak multiple languages. We stopped a couple times to get snacks and use the restroom. The confusing part was when you're done with the gorge and you're waiting to meet the guide for your boat ticket. She explained where she would be and at what time, but she was late and she was at the restaurant next to the one she said she'd be at -- not a big deal, in the end, but a little confusing.

Super nice trip. Really recommended to everyone! You see some beautiful places that you don't see right away... several small stops for short breaks (drinking, smoking) and a big stop in the tavern with delicious food (mega olive oil, bread, specially grown tomatoes and and and) all in All in all a very nice excursion that is absolutely worth the money!

Very grateful they picked me up from my hotel. I know it was out of the way for them.

Mighty, beautiful and powerful nature. Cannot be captured in words and/or images.

A very nice trip, beautiful view, super organized.