Heraklion Regional Unit
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Heraklion Regional Unit Off the beaten track

Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

1. Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

Take a tour to Richtis beach on the far side of Mirabello Bay and trek through the forest to the stunning Richtis waterfall. After pickup from your accommodation, enjoy the beautiful scenery on the 1-hour drive to the bay of Mirabello. Leave the asphalt and travel off road down to Richtis beach, hugging the mountainside.  Park at the bottom and enter Richtis gorge to start the 30-minute walk to reach the falls. Follow a trail through the forest, listening to the sounds of birds and running water. Stop to admire the incredible waterfalls, with time to climb up the stairs to the top of the falls, take photos, or swim in the cool waters.  When you are ready to leave, head back to the beach along the same trail. During the tour you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch at a local tavern, with wine and water included. At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in the Elounda area.

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Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba

2. Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba

This is the ideal diving course for anyone over 10 years old who wants to try scuba diving but does not have a diving certificate. 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.

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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.

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From Heraklion: Afternoon Sailing Trip to Dia Island

4. From Heraklion: Afternoon Sailing Trip to Dia Island

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 is 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.

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From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

5. From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

Start your day of discovery with a pick-up service. Right after you board your comfortable, air-conditioned bus, you will journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4-hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 4:00 PM and return to Heraklion for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop-off at around 7:30 PM.

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Day Tour of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka

6. Day Tour of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka

Reach the cosmopolitan city of Agios Nikolaos on the Gulf of Mirabello, passing the north-east coast and St. George’s Gorge. Agios Nikolaos is famous for its picturesque bottomless lake, explored by the ocean researcher Jaques Cousteau and the subject of numerous legends. Discover the pretty city on your own, stroll through the shops, or relax in one of the cafes and watch the world go by. Continue to Elounda, enjoying some of the most beautiful views of Crete. Look across the Elounda Lagoon at the enchanting islands of Spinalonga and Kolokitha. Spinalonga has been an important place throughout history: for the ancient Greeks as natural protection for the city of Olous; for the Saracens as a hiding place for their pirates; for the Venetians as a fortress; for the Turks as a settlement; and for a long time the island served as a leper colony. At Spinalonga Island you can choose to join an English guided tour or explore the island by yourself. If you do not wish to visit the archaeological site at all, you can join a one-hour boat trip to a secret location with a surprise, and dive into the crystal clear water. After a short drive you will reach Plaka, a small fishing village directly opposite Spinalonga. From there a 10-minute boat ride takes you to the island. Plaka was the ferry port of the leper colony, whose history was documented in a book and a Greek television series. Visit the filming sites, enjoy lunch or have a refreshing swim. The last stop of the day is Elounda, a former fishing village but today a famous holiday resort with the most 5-star hotels in Greece. Take plenty of time to stroll through the picturesque harbor and have a cup of coffee before heading back to your accommodation.

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From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

7. From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

Depart from Rethymnon at around 8:30 AM, heading eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards the inland of Crete until you reach the tour's highlight – your visit to the Palace of Knossos. This is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. You will be guided (for about 2 hours) through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and hear about both the Minotaur and Ariadne.  Afterwards the bus brings you to the heart of the capital city of Crete – Heraklion. There you have the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally you will have two hours of free time to enjoy the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch and drink raki. Time will pass before you know it, and at around 6:00 PM the bus will depart on its return journey to Rethymnon.

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From Agios Nikolaos: Sarakina Gorge and South Coast Tour

8. From Agios Nikolaos: Sarakina Gorge and South Coast Tour

This tour will take you high into the mountains of the Lassithi Range (or Dikti Range), offering you an abundance of stunning panoramic views. Picking you up from your accommodation at 10:00AM, you will then start your climb up through several very picturesque traditional villages, one of which you shall stop at for a short break to shop or grab coffee. You will next go off road and move on up through the Kroustas Forest to a point approximately 1,000 meters above sea level. From way up there you will be able to see both the Lybian Sea (south coast) and the Aegean Sea (north coast). You will also be able to view the stunning peaks of the snow capped Mount Spathi (2,140 meters above sea level, second highest on the island), whose north face is home of the Psychro Cave, birth place of the Greek god Zeus. The views you will encounter throughout your tour can't be beaten, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Whilst in the mountains you will be taken to a traditional Greek taverna for a meze lunch with local wine, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to your point of origin.

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From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

9. From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Following pick-up from your hotel in Rethymno, travel along the northern coast of Crete by comfortable bus. Make your way to the archaeological site of Knossos, where King Minos built his palace. Get a 2-hour guided tour of the monument, designed by Daedalus in such an intriguing way that no visitor was said to find their way out without the help of a guide! Journey through the incredible history of King Minos and the Minoan civilization, and hear about some of the legends of Crete at what was once the island's largest palace. Then, drive to the ancient city of Heraklion to take a guided tour of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Learn more about the island at what is considered to be one of the finest museums in the world dedicated to Minoan art with its many galleries of historic frescoes, jewelry, statues and more. Get some free time for coffee or lunch, and shop for souvenirs in the city center before the return journey to Rethymno. 

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Heraklion: Cretan Wine Tasting Tour & Gourmet Lunch

10. 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! 

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What people are saying about Heraklion Regional Unit

Very nice! Our guides were very informative and helpful and it was amazing to scuba dive for the first time! Directions were very clear from an English-speaking perspective. We also were provided lots of water. Only issue I ran into was the tour was not actually 1.5 hours long. It was more like 5 hours with the wait time!

It was absolutely an awesome highlight in my trip to Crete. As a nice non-swimmer, I was a little bit nervous at the beginning. But the crew was so professional and my instructor was always by my side and made me feel safe.

Very nice trip with swimming in the waterfall as the highlight. Petra is of course also a fantastic guide.

Great experience. Maybe I will choose different part of beach.

Great tour guide, great tour, absolutely recommendable