Heraklion Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Heraklion Outdoor activities

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

1. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Embark on a full-day guided trip to northeastern Crete and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island. Visit Agios Nikolaos with its famous lake, and explore the picturesque village of Elounda. 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.

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

2. 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 on Minoan Route

3. 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.

Crete: Scuba Diving Experience with Certified Instructor

4. Crete: Scuba Diving Experience with Certified Instructor

This is the ideal diving course for those who want to try scuba diving but do not have a diving certificate. Enjoy a pre-dive lesson and always be accompanied by a certified instructor. Begin your day with the basic theory on diving and the skills necessary to do so. You will then move on to real-life diving under the supervision of a certified instructor. During the dive, you will have the opportunity to explore the bottom of the sea in Agia Pelagia, learn the basic commands, and get the chance to observe up-close the fish and sea creatures living near the seabed.

From Crete: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat

5. From Crete: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat

Visit Santorini on this full day-trip from the island of Crete. After pick-up from your hotel, head to the harbor and begin your sightseeing boat tour on the Cretan Sea. Upon arrival, see the white houses of Fira that lie high above the edge of the crater, and decide whether you would like to spend more time on this volcanic island. Wander the small town of Fira or visit the picturesque town of Oia. Enjoy the leisurely Greek lifestyle and visit a taverna or two. Relax on the beach, enjoy the day by the sea, and simply leave your cares behind.

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

6. 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.

Black Rose Pirate Boat: 5-Hour Trip from Heraklion

7. Black Rose Pirate Boat: 5-Hour Trip from Heraklion

Embark on a multi-stop cruise from Heraklion to St. Georges Bay, Sissi, Stalis, and more. Hop on board the Black Rose pirate boat and enjoy a pirate-themed experience with face painting, music, dancing, and a BBQ meal. The Black Rose sails daily from the Port of Hersonissos through the clear waters of the Cretan Sea. The first stop on the trip is St. Georges Bay. You’ll have around 2 hours to swim and snorkel and explore the area. By the time you’re back on the boat, the pirate crew will have prepared a delicious BBQ meal for you to enjoy. Later, head for the coast of Malia and Stalis for the second swimming stop.

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

8. 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: Preveli Tropical Beach and Palm Forest Day Trip

9. Heraklion: Preveli Tropical Beach and Palm Forest Day Trip

Enjoy a full-day excursion from Heraklion to Preveli Beach on a bus trip with a local guide. Discover South Crete's Grand River, Kourtaliotikos Gorge, and a colony of Theophrastus palm trees. Sunbathe on the sandy beaches, swim in the turquoise waters, watch for wildlife, or hike regional trails.  Begin your tour with a bus ride from the north coast to Preveli Beach, where you can swim in the turquoise Mediterranean water or stroll the sandy beaches. Look for a rock shaped like a heart, known as The Stone of Lovers, and marvel at the steep cliffs and misty hilltops of nearby Kourtaliotikos Gorge.  Continue your tour by hiking along the banks of the Grand River to discover the Forest full of Theophrastus palm trees. Hike further up the river trail to a canyon and beach where you can further swim, hike, or sunbathe, before heading back down the path to the bus and returning to Heraklion.

Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer

10. Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer

Benefit from hotel pick-up at approximately 08:00 and journey to Acqua Plus Water Park in Heraklion for an estimated arrival time of around 10:30. Then, enjoy the park at leisure until 17:00. Situated just 5 kilometers from Hersonissos and 30 kilometers from Heraklion, Acqua Plus Water Park entertains thousands of visitors every year with its thrill rides and relaxation areas. Divided into 2 sections - one for adults and the other for kids - the park includes a large number of extreme slides and water features. Zig-zag your way through 3 different pools on the Crazy River, or ride through the Black Holes and experience beams of light that attack your senses before you emerge for the final splash! Stroll around the gorgeous garden, filled with native plants and exotic flowers to create a Garden of Eden. Perched on a hill, the park is easy to work your way around with little effort. Save your energy for rides such as the Kamikaze waterslide or Tsunami. Take the little ones to the dedicated kids area and drift around on the Lazy River or just watch them play in the active playground. Avoid waiting in lines with a unique system that ensures you can enjoy the slides and games as much as possible, and benefit from the park's reputation for cleanliness, hospitality and safety. Qualified lifeguards and a stand-by doctor are ready to assist and protect you at any minute of the day.

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Great day out! Michael, our tour guide, was brilliant and knew a lot about the local areas. As it was the national Independence Day of Greece , we had our schedule moved around a little so we were able to experience the parades that were happening - a really lovely consideration for the team to have made! Our pick up was very smooth and the bus journey was a beautiful route that allowed us to see the Cretan scenery. Elounda and Agios Nikolaos are stunning places and definitely worth a visit!! We had a good amount of free time in each place - the best part, jumping off our boat into the sea on our way back from Spinalonga Island! Bucket list check! Highly recommend this day out to everyone!

Belle excursion à Agios Nikolaos, le car nous a amené récupéré à l’heure à un lieu de rendez vous proche de notre hôtel. A l’arrivée nous avons eu 2h pour visiter Agios Nikolaos et ensuite nous avons mangé un repas sur le bateau (poulet, salade et fruit). Nous avons eu 30 minutes pour nager à côté du bateau et ensuite arrivée a spinalonga ou un guide nous a expliqué l’histoire et ensuite nous a laissé temps libre pendant une heure.

The instructors were "on the ball" -responding well to the issues that arose for me in my first dive. I felt very safe.

Brilliant day out, lots to see and enough of time to explore each stop.

This was a major highlight of our trip to Crete, highly recommend