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Heraklion

Day trips

Our most recommended Heraklion 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.

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

4. 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.

From Heraklion Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

5. 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

6. 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.

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

7. 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.

Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

8. Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

Discover Lasithi Plateau and its important landmarks on a guided day trip from Heraklion, with hotel transfers included. Visit Krasi village, the Kera Kardiotissa Monastery, and the Psychro Cave. Participate in a ceramics workshop and end your day exploring the traditional village of Knossos Palace. After a hotel pickup, head to the traditional mountain village of Krasi known for its quaint central square with stone fountains and an enormous plane tree thought to be 2,400 years old. See intimate tavernas and cafes scattered among the streets, small stone churches, and freshwater springs. Next, explore the Eastern Orthodox Keras Monastery, dedicated to Virgin Mary. Then, visit the Vidiani Monastery located at the foothills of Louloudaki Mountain. Learn how it was built in the 19th century by the monk Methodius Peraki, probably on the ruins of an older monastery. Continue to Psychro Cave, the mythical birth place of Zeus. Admire the ancient Minoan sacred cave and its stalactites and stalagmites. Next up is a ceramics workshop led by a local potter to see how traditional ceramics are made and try your hands at making one. Afterward, stop at a traditional tavern for lunch. Choose from a variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lassithi plateau, homemade wine, and products from the surrounding mountains. Leaving the beautiful region of Lasithi behind, end the tour at the Historical Site of Knossos, Europe's oldest city. Join a 1-hour guided tour and take photos of this Bronze Age archaeological site. Then, hop back on the bus to return to your hotel.

From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

9. 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: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

10. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

Enjoy some time away from the beaches and explore a different side of Crete on a guided excursion. See the freshwater springs in the small town of Krasi, visit the Kera and Vidiani monasteries, step into the mythical Psychro Cave, and take part in a traditional ceramics workshop. Get picked up from your accommodation in the morning and take a short drive to the traditional village of Krasi. Gaze at the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest tree on Crete as you take in the countryside scenery. Up next, stop at two local monasteries. See the Monastery of Kera dedicated to the Virgin Mary, near the town of Kera. Move on to Vidiani Monastery, a small male monastery at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain. Uncover the secrets of the mythical birthplace of Zeus, Psychro Cave, decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Lastly, participate in a ceramics workshop and see how traditional pieces are made, before heading over to a typical Cretan tavern with local products and dishes to enjoy lunch at your own expense.

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Frequently asked questions about Heraklion Day Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 884 reviews

The day trip was lovely. We got picked up in front of a hotel 2 minutes from our apartment, which was convenient. Traveloling from Heraklion, be ready for a pretty long commute and pick up in various different spots along the coast- we were picked up in a van, switched to a larger one in Heraklion and to a double decker bus somewhere along the coast. All these changes notwithstanding, the pick up was efficient and we were not made to wait at all, pretty much, which is impressive. The boat tour was relaxing, the beach lovely, the food good, and the tour of Spinalonga very informative and lively. All in all, a very nice day discovering areas of Crete we would not have accessed otherwise. Recommended!

The transport was well arranged, but make sure you also check your spam mail! Unfortunately, the emails often end up here. Transport went smoothly and once there everything was fine. We were assigned a guide, but if you didn't want this you could also visit the palace at your own pace. Then we went to Heraklion where you get two hours. We visited the museum here and had something to eat here. Transport back was also punctual!

The tour was great and all went to plan. Michael was a fabulous tour guide and very knowledgeable and interesting. He spoke 3 different languages on the bus which was very impressive. But then he told me he actually speaks 5 languages! Also our driver drove very safely and efficiently. It was a wonderful experience.

Everything was as planned. All the info about pick up was detailed. We start from Gouves and left from Samaria to Chania. Guide help to to get the bus to Chania, so that was perfect, we haven’t go to arrange anything by ourselves, made our lifes so much easier! Recommend!

The trip was well organised and the guide was very helpful