Heraklion National parks

Our most recommended Heraklion National parks

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

1. 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: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

2. 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.

From Heraklion: Private Guided Tour of East Crete

3. From Heraklion: Private Guided Tour of East Crete

Experience East Crete like a local on a private guided tour from Heraklion. Get the inside track as you uncover the region's best-kept secrets, venturing from village to village to marvel at sights like the Kroustas Forest Historical Landscape Park, Agia Fotia, and much more. Start your guided day trip with a convenient pickup from your hotel and travel in your choice of luxury vehicle as you set out to explore East Crete. Venture from village to village to see the island through the eyes of a local. Stop at the hanging Byzantine monastery of Kremasta, an oasis of calm. Then, head to the villages of Kritsa and Kroustas for a glimpse into the past. Connect with locals as you wander around these traditional Cretan villages where time seems to have slowed. Next, go off the beaten track and follow ancient trails across the Minoan mountains as you visit the Kroustas Forest Historical Landscape Park. Admire Crete's natural beauty as you breathe in the clean mountain air and take in panoramic views of the Libyan and Aegean Seas. From here, you'll make your way to Agia Fotia, the ideal spot to break for lunch at one of the local taverns (cost not included). Then, travel to Sarakinas Gorge to discover a canyon with gurgling water, rich vegetation, and bird life. Finally, head to Ierapetra to bask in the warm turquoise waters of the Libyan Sea. Hop back into your vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy some complimentary snacks as you travel back to your accommodation in Heraklion, where your tour comes to an end. 

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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

We spent the day with our colleague Pedro, a great smiling and very friendly guide. The day started at 6 a.m. and ended at 10:30 p.m. The hike is quite long and a little dangerous without good shoes. We took 5 hours to do the 16km. The river is very beautiful. We advise you to take the tour and the ferry that takes us back is super big with lots of shadows

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!

… Reliable and uncomplicated. Good solution if you don't feel like driving the long distance from Irkaklion yourself. For the hike itself, you definitely need a guide if you are fit enough.

Super organized tour with a great and nice tour guide. A certain level of fitness and sturdy shoes are a must. It was exhausting but worth seeing. The sore muscles were worth it :)

need to have a good fitness level. overall a fab day. really enjoyed it. def a worthwhile visit