05 December 2016

 

Amazing things to do in
Heraklion

Heraklion

Sights and sounds of Heraklion

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4x4 Safari Lassithi Tour
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4x4 Safari Lassithi Tour

Safari adventures

This is a great tour for lovers of outdoor adventurers and is organised by experts in active tourism. Discover the natural beauty and hidden secrets of the Cretan mountains, canyons and crystal clear seas during a thrilling journey in your 4x4 vehicle along asphalt and later rough roads, through mountainous areas where the views are breathtaking.

Along the way you stop at deserted settlements and get acquainted with the local traditions and lifestyle. And you will be taken to secret spots that you won’t find on any map or in tourist guides. On this tour you experience a combination of wild sceneries and dusty tracks and have time for a refreshing swim and a lunch break in a traditional tavern.

Pick up service is not available from Sissi resort. If you stay in Sissi, you will have to get to Malia in order to join the bus.

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Chrissi Island Tour
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Chrissi Island Tour

Golden opportunity

Chrissi Island is one of the 81 uninhabited isles around Crete and to reach it you take the boat from Lerapetra, the southernmost town in Europe, for the 45 minute journey. When you set foot on its beach, you will not be sure whether you are in the Mediterranean or on one of the islands in the Caribbean Sea. This isle was inhabited by the Minoans, flourished during the Roman and Byzantine periods, then became a pirate’s shelter.

The tropical vegetation and the cedars provide ideal living conditions for hares, partridges, quails, and pheasants. Thousands of sea-shells turn white under the blazing sun before the air and sea grind them into fine specks of golden sand – hence the name of the isle Chrissi, which means Gold. This island is ideal for swimming and walking around and there are two taverns where you can grab a spot of lunch.

Pick up service is not available from Sissi resort. If you stay in Sissi, you will have to get to Malia in order to join the bus.

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Crete Highlights from Heraklion
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Crete Highlights from Heraklion

Take an island tour

Experience a unique trip to the Cretan mountains and feel the magic of the genuine local culture and hospitality. Your first stop during this tour is at the village of Archanes, which is more than 4,000 years old, yet combines historical memories with the liveliness of modern life. You can enjoy a stoll through its narrow streets and see the relics of the Minoan rural palace in a place called Toyrkogeitonia.

Afterwards you cross the island through vineyards and olive groves and stop at the monastery of St. George Epanosofi dated from the 17th century. Then on the way to the small village of Stironas, known for its goat and sheep raising tradition, you stop at a genuine raki distillery at a privately owned farm to enjoy a glass of homemade wine and watch a folklore show. Then visit the village of Thrapsano and see the potters at work. Pick up service is not available from Sissi resort.

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Elafonissi Island Paradise
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Elafonissi Island Paradise

A day in paradise

On this tour you see many interesting sights as well as visiting the beautiful island of Elafonissi in the south west of Crete. Begin with a scenic drive from the north coast through small picturesque mountain villages to one of the most beautiful beaches of Crete. Then stop in the gorge of Topolia and visit the church of Agia Sophia built inside a large limestone cave. With a little luck you might spot a vulture in the sky here.

Then travel on to the lovely island of Elafonissi which is separated from the mainland by a raised sand bank. You reach it walking through the Libyan Sea. Its coral sand of white and pink gives it an almost tropical effect. You will have time enough to enjoy the crystal clear waters of this paradise island before stopping on the return journey at Vlatos to see the spectacle of beautiful Platanus trees along a small mountain river.

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Gramvousa Lagoon Cruise
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Gramvousa Lagoon Cruise

Lazy day at the lagoon

Gramvousa is a stunning unpopulated islet with beaches of fine sand and pebbles, at the far north western tip of Crete. Head on this fun excursion cruise close to the peninsula and see the geological phenomenon of the tilting of Crete, which means it’s rising out of the sea in the west and dipping in the eastern part. After around an hour you land on the fortified island of Gramvousa.

On top of the steep sided rocky knoll of the islet are ruins of a Venetian castle from 1582. After a light lunch on board you stop at the Lagoon of Balos with its pristine sands, reddish shell fragments and crystal clear warm water . . . a pure paradise for swimmers. Later return by boat to Kissamos where the bus will be waiting.

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Imbros Gorge
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Imbros Gorge

Walk through the gorge

Picturesque Imbros Gorge is the second most popular gorge on Crete and is a nine mile long canyon located near Chora Sfakion in the south of the island. It runs parallel to its “big sister” the Samaria Gorge and ends at the village of Kommitades on the fertile plain of Askyfou. The first half hour of this tour is a downhill walk with the gorge getting narrower along the way.

After around 75 minutes you’ll find yourself in the narrowest, most spectacular part of the gorge. Legend tells that two brothers were banished from Imbros in Turkey and lived afterwards in the Imbros village, Crete. The Imbros Gorge mule trail was the only link between Chania and Chora Sfakion before the road was built and remains of this trail can still be seen. This is a relatively easy walking tour and the scenery is spectacular.

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Knossos & Heraklion City Tour
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Knossos & Heraklion City Tour

Have a nose around Knossos

No visit to Crete is complete without seeing the famous Minoan Palace of Knossos and the town of Heraklion, capital of the island. The palace lies just four miles southeast of Heraklion, in the valley of the river Kairatos and is the monumental symbol of Minoan civilisation, due to its construction, use of luxury materials, advanced building techniques and impressive size, the site remains one of the wonders of the world.

Visit the room of the throne and see the frescoes depicting the Prince of Crete. Afterwards visit the capital Heraklion where there is free time and the chance to go shopping. Heraklion is the largest urban centre of Crete and during the Minoan period served as a port to Knossos. The city is a haven for architects and historians, as well as a cosmopolitan place with thousands of tourists visiting the museums.

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Samaria Gorge Walk
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Samaria Gorge Walk

The gorge is gorgeous

Crossing the gorge of Samaria is more like an adventure than a tour but it certainly makes for a memorable excursion. Arrive at the plateau of Omalos high up in the White Mountains where the trek begins. The Samaria gorge is the longest in Europe and your trail goes for 15 miles south through a wonderful terrain and exits on the south coast of Crete beside the Libya Sea.

Here there will be time for lunch and swimming in the crystal clear waters at the fishing village of Agia Roumeli. From there take the boat for Chora Sfakion or Sougia and then return to Heraklion by coach. For a comfortable crossing of the gorge you should wear a good pair of walking shoes and take a camera because the scenery throughout the day is simply stunning.

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Santorini Sea Runner/Mega Jet
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Santorini Sea Runner/Mega Jet

Speed off to Santorini

Santorini is known as the most magical and picture postcard Greek island and it's only a stone's throw from Crete. This volcanic half-moon island is, and always has been, a popular tourist destination steeped in history with a very cosmopolitan feel. Santorini is the most southern island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is around 63 nautical miles north of Crete.

The island is famous for its unique breathtaking views, beauty and colours . . . black sand, white washed houses, red cliffs and the deep blue sea and some consider it to be the lost Atlantis. On this tour you take a speed boat across with a professional guide who will tell you all about Santorini's fascinating history. This is one of the most popular tours for people staying on Crete.

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Spinalonga Island Tour from Heraklion
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Spinalonga Island Tour from Heraklion

Secrets of Spinalonga

Visit this island whose walls hold a thousand and one secrets. This is a truly unique experience and you will also have the opportunity to admire the beautiful and wild rocky beaches around the gulf of Mirabello. From the pretty port of Agios Nikolaos you head north towards Elounda and sail close to the coast on the way to Spinalonga Island. An atmosphere full of mysteries awaits after this relaxing boat journey.

This little rock island in the gulf of Elounda was firstly inhabited by Christians who used it as a hiding place during the Roman occupation of Crete. In 1575 the Venetians built an impressive fortress here which was later converted into a colony for lepers. Next stop is the beautiful village of Elounda where you have lunch and do some shopping and sightseeing. On the way back to Agios Nikolaos stop for a swim at Kolokitha beach.

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Flights to
Heraklion

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Heraklion are from
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Heraklion

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