Heraklion Extreme sports & adrenaline

Our most recommended Heraklion Extreme sports & adrenaline

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

1. 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.

Crete: Land Rover Safari on Minoan Route

2. Crete: Land Rover Safari on Minoan Route

Explore Crete by Land Rover on a full-day adventure along the Minoan Path, and experience a blend of ancient myths, spectacular landscapes, and a barbecue lunch on the Lassithi Plateau. Following a pick-up from your hotel, drive through spectacular mountains en route to the Aposelemis Basin Reservoir, and see an ancient aqueduct of the Roman Empire. Continue to the village of Kastamonitsa in the foothills of the Afendi Mountains. Stop for a Cretan-style breakfast and raki tasting. Next, brace yourself for the dirt tracks of the Minoan Path. Drive through a stunning mountain landscape to see wildlife and the unbelievable scenery. Learn the myths and legends of Crete on the way to a shepherd's mitato (mountain shelter). Feed the animals as you watch the shepherds produce cheese according to traditional methods. Taste some of the fresh, rich cheese. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Lassithi Plateau and north coast. Continue to Dikteon Cave to marvel at the birthplace of Zeus. Work up an appetite before your lunch at a local taverna. Try a selection of traditional dishes (vegetarian option available) and a glass or two of wine. Then, go to Lassinthos Eco Park to admire traditional handicrafts. Back on the Lassithi Plateau, experience a wilderness and farming land where time has stood still. See donkeys put to work to help farm the land. Then, go to Seli to take photos of the unique scenery. Drive to the village of Krassi, famous for its 2,000-year-old tree and natural spring water source. Continue down the mountain roads, passing ancient olive groves before you reach the spectacular coastline and deep blue sea.

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

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

Stop to purchase a hearty breakfast in Rethymno on this full-day 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.

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

4. 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.

Crete: Hot-Air Balloon Flight with Traditional Breakfast

5. Crete: Hot-Air Balloon Flight with Traditional Breakfast

Experience a hot-air balloon over the Lasithi plateau of Crete. Afterwards, enjoy a tasty Cretan breakfast at a traditional taverna with a small gift to complete your experience. Choose to be picked up from your hotel in Heraklion or make your own way to the meeting point. At the meeting point a comfortable minibus will pick you up and take you to the most appropriate point for the flight, depending on the weather conditions. Board a small-group basket together with an experienced balloon captain. You can fully participate in the preparation of the hot air balloon for the flight with the crew. Before the flight, there will be a detailed briefing from the pilot about what you will see, as well as general safety guidance. Then, enjoy the sensation of gracefully rising above the ground. Take memorable photos of the stunning panoramic views over Crete and the surrounding ocean. After setting back gently on the ground, travel by bus to a local taverna where you will be offered sparkling wine to celebrate your new experience. Enjoy a traditional Cretan breakfast with eggs, cheese, rusks, and cheese pies. Receive a flight certificate and a small gift to remember your flight.

Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

6. 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.

Crete: Land Rover Safari Nida Plateau Route

7. Crete: Land Rover Safari Nida Plateau Route

Get picked up from your hotel in Gazi and head straight off-road along the river bed to the picturesque village of Pendamodi. Here, enjoy a quick stop to see the picturesque church and natural springs. Journey through the vineyards of the largest wine producing area on the island to the village of Krousonas and sample some local produce such as olive oil and raki. Enjoy some free time here to get a coffee and take in the stunning views. Continue towards Livadi Plateau with views of the many apple orchards in the area and meet some friendly local goats. Next, stop at the Nida Plateau, the highest point of the day, and enjoy spectacular views of Crete's highest snowcapped mountain ‘Psiloritis’. Listen to tales of the resistance and Crete’s chequered history, visit a very unusual monument and a traditional Shepherds ‘mitato’, and experience the traditional Cretian method of cheese making. Next, visit the Ideon Andron cave, where mythology states that Zeus took refuge and escaped death. Head to the famous village of Anogeia for a delicious BBQ lunch with unlimited wine (vegetarian option available) with views of the highest plateau on the island. Once refreshed, go for a short walk to the center of Anogeia (optional). Finally, slowly head back off-road to the home of El Greco, the village of Fodele, and take some time to relax before beginning your journey back to the hotel.

Southern Crete: Land Rover Safari With Lunch and Wine

8. Southern Crete: Land Rover Safari With Lunch and Wine

See Crete from a different angle on this all-day Land Rover safari tour. Begin the day in Heraklion, where you will get to know your guide and listen to a short presentation of the excursion before heading south, to the foot of Mount Giouchtas, where, according to myth, Zeus is buried. Continue the journey via the provincial roads through some of the oldest and historically rich villages of Crete until you reach Vasiliki. There, have a coffee or soda before heading to Tripiti Beach. Swim in the crystal water of southern Crete, enjoy the sun, and have a drink at a small hippie-style tavern. Later, visit the isolated and lesser known Fylakas Beach, and explore the seabed with a snorkeling mask. Enjoy lunch at an authentic tavern that offers delicious, high-quality traditional Cretan food, located inside the oldest known olive tree grove. Continue the journey toward the village of Krotos, and see the wild beauty of an untouched landscape. After a short drive, reach Panagia Vithano, where you can should be sure to take more photos.

Crete: Land Rover Safari on the Holy Mountain with Lunch

9. Crete: Land Rover Safari on the Holy Mountain with Lunch

Experience an off-road journey to the mythical and sacred mountain of Giouhtas. Explore the unique Cretan landscape surrounded by vineyards and olive groves while you learn more about this regions rich history and many legends. Meet your guide and drive towards the highest peak of Giouhtas through a beautiful pine forest and past the church of Christ the Lord, built in 1443. Absorb the magnificent view of the valley of Archanes, search for herbs and observe the imposing vultures in the steep cliffs. Then enjoy a special tasting session at the Fabrika Wine Experience. Trace the full process of winemaking, from harvesting to maturation and bottling of wine, while getting acquainted with traditional wine-making methods and tools. Finally, drive through the impressive Archaniotiko Gorge to Syllamos village, where you will experience excellent Cretan cuisine in an almost fairytale landscape. Head back to Heraklion along an ancient road passing a Venetian aqueduct built in 1628. Stop for some pictures and discover the structure in all its beauty.

Heraklion: Psiloritis Mountain Land Rover Safari

10. Heraklion: Psiloritis Mountain Land Rover Safari

See Crete from a different angle on this all-day Land Rover safari tour. Begin the day in Heraklion, where you will get to know your guide and listen to a short presentation of the excursion before heading to the Livadi Plateau. Enjoy the incredible views of Heraklion and the Cretan as the Land Rover climbs through the mountainous, provincial road to the eastern slopes of Psiloritis. Marvel at the breathtaking atmosphere of the plateau, including the thousands of apple and pear trees that are scattered throughout the area. Continue on to the plateau of Vromonero, where you will enjoy a picnic of Cretan specialties under the shade of oak trees. After eating lunch, go on the off-road route to the plateau of Nida, where you will visit Idaion Andron, the cave where Zeus was born. On the way back, stop at Ancient Zominthos, which was only discovered in 1982 but is considered one of the most important archeological discoveries in Crete.

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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

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Had an excellent day out. Chris our driver and guide for the day was a pleasure to be with. Chris kept us entertained throughout the day with stories and explanations, plus continuous pointers of things to look out for. The views were amazing even on the rather cloudy day that we went. The only thing that we could not do was go into the ‘Zeus’s cave’ as the que was to long at the caves to get in within the time we had there. All in all though, a fantastic day out and would definitely recommend.

Our adventure was incredible! We were picked up on time, with 6 of us in the Land Rover. Our host Mike was very funny and knowledgeable. We had some amazing views as we drove up the dirt path up the mountain, with the most spectacular sunset at the top with fruit and champagne. The food at the taverna was nice. Being in the back of the Land Rover wasn’t great, on the bench rather than a proper seat, but we each switched around every stop so it wasn’t so bad.

Great tour, the guide, Georgis, I hope I spelled him correctly, was extremely nice, spoke great German and had a great deal of knowledge about almost every place he showed us. For me, the tour was definitely the highlight of my vacation. Very nice guides and everything worked perfectly.

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!

Great safari through the Dikti Mountains. Our guide (Giorgos) was very funny and told us a lot about culture and history. At about 1,000 m the sunset is observed, while (funny) photos are taken. Food, wine, water and tasting of raki and olive oil were just great.