Heraklion Culinary & nightlife

Our most recommended Heraklion Culinary & nightlife

Heraklion: Food Tastings Walking Tour

1. Heraklion: Food Tastings Walking Tour

Get an introduction to the best food that Heraklion has to offer by treating your palate to traditional Cretan dishes and exceptional local wines! Go on an unforgettable tasty journey through Heraklion’s local neighbourhoods. After meeting your local guide, start off with a traditional Greek coffee also known as ellinikós kafés. Learn why Greeks love coffee and see it brewed the traditional way in sand and be taught “cup reading”, a centuries-old tradition that reads your future. Enjoy Heraklion’s well-known bougatsa in a family-owned business that has mastered its bougatsa technique since 1922. Consisting of semolina custard, cheese, or minced meat filling between layers of phyllo, bougatsa is a must-taste pastry that you shouldn’t miss while being in the city. Continue to a local market where you’ll meet the local vendors and learn about their products. Sample some of the basic elements of Cretan cuisine such as olives, rusks, and cheese. Become a cheese-tasting expert by receiving local hints and learn how to spot the best local cheeses. Taste the island’s famous olive oil and find out why organic Cretan olive oil is one of the best oils in the world. Sit down for a local organic meat dish or if you want to show yourself how brave you are, sample a dish that is loved by most Cretans: fried snails. Move on to your last stop and taste some local Cretan wines in a family-run shop. Keep in mind that winemaking in Crete has a long history that dates back to the Bronze Age. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more tips on what else to see, do and eat during your stay.

Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos

2. Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos

Receive a short 30-minute tour on your arrival at the museum of rural history and folk craft in the Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village. Traditional Cretan cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. Here you can learn from the masters while they create famous Cretan dishes which you can participate in before making your very own. You can create stuffed vine leaves, stuffed vegetables, pork with wine sauce, lamb with green beans, traditional Cretan ntakos, tzatziki and sarikopites, and coiled cheese pies. Afterwards, you can sit down to enjoy the dishes you have prepared with local wine and mineral water. Participants will also receive a cooking certification document, which has been authorized by the Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village.

Crete: Full-Day Land Rover Safari at Sunset w/ Dinner & Wine

3. Crete: Full-Day Land Rover Safari at Sunset w/ Dinner & Wine

Explore the Cretan mountains outside of Heraklion from the seat of a Land Rover during a guided day tour. Witness a stunning sunset over the Lassithi Plateau before stopping off for a local-style BBQ dinner with wine. Begin your journey with hotel pickup and make your way through the magnificent mountains of Crete. Visit the Aposelemis Dam and an ancient Roman aqueduct as your guide shares interesting insight. Next, stop off in the picturesque village of Kastamonitsa, nestled in the foothills of the Afendi Mountains. Enjoy the chance to sample local products such as olive oil and raki, a distilled alcoholic drink made with grapes and anise. Back in the vehicle, brace yourself as you venture down dirt tracks and follow the Minoan path through mountain passes. Catch spectacular views of wildlife and unbelievable scenery, learning about mythology and history along the way. Take a break to relax over a glass of prosecco and fresh fruit salad while admiring the sunset. Be sure to take plenty of photos to share of the amazing backdrop. After building up an appetite, head to a local tavern for a delicious Cretan-style meal that will include appetizers and main courses as well as vegetarian options. Wash down the food with unlimited wine served with dinner. Make your way back down the mountain roads as you head toward your hotel, marveling at the views of the moonlit coastline and illuminated towns along the way.

Heraklion: Cretan Wine Tasting Tour & Gourmet Lunch

4. Heraklion: Cretan Wine Tasting Tour & Gourmet Lunch

Journey through the authentic flavors of Crete at a private wine tasting with professionals from the industry, and sample 15 different wines. Join a small and friendly group of no more than 8 people and learn more about the vines, terroir and gastronomy of Crete. Hear about local produce, such as olive oil and cheese. Benefit from the services of a guide who is a former journalist and restaurant chef, and speaks both English and French. Meet some of the best producers of the island's wines from the central regions of Archanes and Peza, where wine was first made in Crete. Take a tour of 2 of their wineries and vineyards, and then experience the flavors of the wines at a private tasting of 15 wines following a wine presentation. Enjoy a sensational tasting of olive oil and other traditional products from Crete, such as honey, marmalade, wine vinegar and more. Then, meet a selection of chefs at a gourmet lunch in one of the best restaurants in the wine making region; and get ready to be dazzled by their creative talents in the kitchen! 

Heraklion: Minoan Experience Live Show with Dinner & Wine

5. Heraklion: Minoan Experience Live Show with Dinner & Wine

Start with pickup from your hotel and transfer to a scenic open-air theater. Begin the night with a theatrical dancing and acrobatics performance which has its origins in the ancient Minoan civilization. Enjoy this one-hour performance of ancient rituals with traditional costumes and live music. After the performance, be welcomed to the dining area, where you can feast on ancient and modern Cretan cuisine. As you enjoy a hearty buffet dinner and local wine, listen to music played on ancient and modern Greek instruments by a live band. After dinner, enjoy some Cretan dancing and popular folk songs. Feel free to join in on the dancing and experience a memorable cultural evening.

Heraklion: History & Culture Walking Tour with Food Tasting

6. Heraklion: History & Culture Walking Tour with Food Tasting

Explore the historical city center of Heraklion. Visit, along with your expert tour guide, Heraklion’s major monuments; travel through time and its rich history. Discover the past and the present of a city that combines old with new. The 7th labor of Hercules was performed here, the birthplace of El Greco and Nikos Kazantzakis. On this tour hear stories about Heraklion's turbulent past and visit its legendary churches, fountains, and monuments. On this tour you will also get to enjoy local products finger food and wine amidst Venetian monumental buildings. Stroll through off-the-beaten-path areas in the city, learn about the Mediterranean diet. On this 2-hour tour feed your body and mind.

Private Wine Pairing for Brunch

7. Private Wine Pairing for Brunch

Escape on the most intimate and exclusive Cretan brunch journey with your loved one or a group of friends. Explore a vineyard, cellar and the production facilities with the winemaker before you dive into a homemade Cretan brunch. The setup is designed to please the eyes! The food is prepared by a local taverna and is based only on local and traditional products, and will be accompanied by 5 wines. All pots and plates are handmade with care by a local ceramist from natural clay. Your private sommelier will teach you how to taste wines like an expert, and introduce you to the secrets of food and wine pairing; After this delicious experience, and if the weather allows it, visit and discover the nearby and hidden gem known as Patsos Gorge, inside of which are numerous walkways and hidden altars.

Heraklion Wine Country Tour

8. Heraklion Wine Country Tour

The region of Heraklion is the largest wine region of Crete where most wineries are located and holds the biggest number of Protected Denominations of Origin for winemaking. Hop on board of our van for this exciting wine tour, where you will dive into the world of Cretan indigenous grapes and explore some of the region’s most beautiful sceneries and vineyards. You will visit two authentic Cretan wineries, their vineyards and cellar and learn about their story, tradition, and philosophy. After the full wine tasting at the first winery, you will indulge in an amazing wine and food pairing lunch experience at the second winery, with a typical Cretan lunch prepared for you by a local taverna. We will pick you up and drop you off with the other guests at a central meeting point, GDM Megaron Hotel, in Heraklion City Center.

Cretan Olive Oil Tasting and Food Pairing

9. Cretan Olive Oil Tasting and Food Pairing

About During the first part, the visitors will taste 3 samples of Savouidakis Extra Virgin Olive Oils which come from Koroneiki variety of Crete and will learn how to recognize their positive characteristics, «fruity", "bitter", "spicy". They will also learn how to recognize a defective olive oil from a quality one -by tasting 2 extra samples- and in the last part of the session we will discuss on how we can make our cooking recipes boost by simply using the right olive oil. What makes this activity unique? If you are an olive oil lover, our workshop is designed for you! Have you ever thought that olive oil could hide so many pleasant flavors and aromas? Did you ever imagine that each food recipe needs its specific olive oil? Have you ever wondered whether the olive oil you choose for your table is of good quality or not? By attending our workshop all the above questions will be answered and you are going to discover the positive aspects of extra virgin olive oil that you did not know they existed. Feel free to enjoy our "Love at First Tasting" experience.

Heraklion: Ecobike Tour with Food tasting

10. Heraklion: Ecobike Tour with Food tasting

Enjoy an e-bike tour with Cretan food tasting in Heraklion, Crete with a guide. Discover Heraklion's highlights as well as lesser-known corners as you learn about the characters who have shaped the city that you see today. Visit some locally loved hangouts where regional food and drinks await. Head to the meeting point and get kitted out with the necessary bike gear while listening to a safety briefing. When you’re ready, hit the road with your local guide and set off on your sightseeing adventure. Start the day with a traditional Greek coffee after meeting with a local food guide in the square of Pancretan stadium. Then, ride towards the city of Heraklion, stopping at an ideal spot for photos, followed by a sample of local mezes (small dishes) in a traditional tavern. Tuck into a midday meal at a tavern while enjoying sea views. Try the sweetest Loukoumades (fried dough dessert). Experience both the Mediterranean and Cretan sides of Greek cuisine. Meet locals, from the tavern owners to local farmers. Once you've worked up a bit of an appetite, savor some delicious Greek meze and learn about traditional cuisine. Finally, stop at one of the city’s ancient markets before heading back to the meeting point where the tour ends.

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Frequently asked questions about Heraklion

What are the best day trips and excursions from Heraklion?

The best day trips and excursions from Heraklion are:

Chania

Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion

Want to discover all there is to do in Heraklion? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Heraklion

Amazing guide, amazing food!!! We went on this tour with Eva in June and she was absolutely incredible! She was so knowledgeable of the history of Crete and of the city, she made us feel so comfortable and at home, and she engulfed us in the culture of Greece. The food was plentiful and delicious—there was great variety including meze, cheese, wine, and desserts. We were delightedly full after the tour! We cannot thank Eva enough for this experience!

The entire day was 5 stars! From the olive oil tasting and tour to the wine tasting and 5 course lunch with wines paired with each course! Wish we could have brought more items back to the states. Guide was well versed in everything we experienced! We would give this 10 states first possible!

My wife and I had a wonderful afternoon with Evie. We toured the rustic village, prepared some food and dined outdoors in the courtyard overlooking the valley and could see Heraklion off in the distance. There were just the two of us and it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Very flexible guide who changed up the stops to accommodate the interest of the participants. Easy walk and excellent local food choices. Enjoyed it very much.

it was an amazing experience. Evie was an exceptional host and the food was amazing! ended up being a private tour which was great! would highly recommend.