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Heraklion

Outdoor Activities

Our most recommended Heraklion Outdoor Activities

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: Morning Sailing Trip to Dia Island

2. 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.

Heraklion: Preveli Tropical Beach and Palm Forest Day Trip

3. 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.

Crete: Scuba Experience with Certified Instructor

4. Crete: Scuba 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.

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

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

Enjoy breakfast at Rethymno, the first stop on this 17-hour 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: Day Trip to Chrissi Island by Bus and Boat

6. Crete: Day Trip to Chrissi Island by Bus and Boat

Travel from select locations on Crete by bus to the the town of Ierapetra and board a comfortable boat. Set sail towards the island of Chrissie and stop to swim and sunbathe at pristine beaches or take a stroll through cedar forests.  Choose from tour options that offer hotel pickup from many of Crete's towns. Hop aboard a spacious bus and relax on the ride to Ierapetra. Take in the stunning port as you board the boat and embark on your adventure to Chrissi Island.   Cruise to this uninhabited island around that is around 15 kilometers south of Ierapetra. This small island is only 7 kilometers in length and covers an area of 4,743 kilometers. Admire its golden sands and its rare variety of Lebanon cedars.  Anchoring on the south side of the island, head to the nearby beach for swimming and sunbathing. Walk a path that runs through the island and the cedar forest to the otherworldly beach of Chrissi Ammos. Have the option to hunt for seashells, check out the rockier coast of the island, or make the trek to the island’s lighthouse. Swim in turquoise waters and soak up the sun in this magical and totally undisturbed place of natural beauty. Return to the port in Ierapetra by boat, taking in views of the fort as you land. Transfer by bus back to your accommodation. 

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

7. 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.

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

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

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you begin your hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

From Heraklion: East and South Crete Villages Tour and beach

9. From Heraklion: East and South Crete Villages Tour and beach

We start our trip with a visit to an olive oil park where you can experience first-hand the standardization of extra virgin olive oil, table olives and olive paste. Here you will be able to taste the authentic Greek product, which is famous worldwide for its great taste and its nutritional value, as well as, other authentic Cretan products like “raki” and honey. Later, we visit one of the oldest villages on Crete, which even today retains elements of Venetian architecture, the village of Kritsa. Here, you will have about an hour and a half of free time to stroll around its narrow streets. There you will find a lot of little souvenir shops, picturesque paths, Greek coffee shops, many old chapels, museums and try not to miss the traditional weavings manufactured with looms exclusively made by hand. Then, we head towards Myrtos Beach, 13km west of Ierapetra, at the output of a wide valley filled with greenhouses and citrus groves. You will have plenty of free time to enjoy swimming and sunbathing at the nice beach of Myrtos, with the coarse gray sand that doesn’t stick to your body. The beach is very spacious, isolated with crystal clear water. Moreover, Myrtos has a lot of taverns where you can enjoy traditional Greek food. After 2 and half hours in Myrtos, the day will end and we will make our way back to your hotels. 10:15 Olive oil tour & tasting 11:15 Arrival at Kritsa – Free time 12:45 Departure from Kritsa 13:45 Arrival in Myrtos – Free time 16:15 Departure from Myrtos 18:00 Arrival in Heraklion STAY IN OLIVE OIL PARK: app. 30 minutes STAY IN KRITSA: app. 1 ½ hour STAY IN MYRTOS BCH: app. 2 ½ hours ROUTE: 166 km DURATION: app. 8 hours Pick up Ammoudara: 08:00 Heraklion: 08:05 Karteros: 08:20 Kokkini Hani: 08:25 Gournes: 08:25 Gouves: 08:30 Analipsi: 08:40 Anissaras: 08:50 Hersonisos: 09:00 Stalis: 09:10 Malia: 09:25 Sissi: 09:40

From Heraklion: Day Trip to Imbros Gorge and Fragokastello

10. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Imbros Gorge and Fragokastello

Kick off your Cretan adventure when you’re picked up from your pickup point and driven by bus to the village of Skaleta, the farthest western point of the beachfront. Sip on some coffee before discovering the beauty of the second-most visited gorge on the island, Imbros Gorge.  Easier to navigate than the renowned Samaria Gorge, Imbros is just as captivating with several narrow stony passages, steep slopes and cliffs, and grand shady trees that will protect you from the hot Greek sun. Enjoy a route that mostly descends but is never steep over 2.5 hours, a trek ideal for families with children. At the end of your walk, find yourself at one of the most stunning beaches in Crete, Fragokastello. Discover the impressive Venetian castle of Fragokastello on golden shores with its own unique history, closely related to the legend of Drosoulites. Sit back and relax on the beach, enjoying breathtaking views of lofty mountains, wide plains, and the surrounding deep blue sea. Refresh yourself floating in shallow turquoise waters. After swimming, enjoy a delicious meal in one of the nearby taverns before heading back to your pickup point with unforgettable memories.

Frequently asked questions about Heraklion Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in Heraklion?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion

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What people are saying about Heraklion

The "navigators" were very welcoming and kind. Everything was perfect both in the meal and the place where the boat anchors. With the masks and snorkels provided on the boat, the discovery of the turquoise seabed was just sublime. The meal was also very good with a Greek salad, chicken with vegetable rice and for dessert, a fruit salad. We had taken the sunset cruise and frankly it was awesome. I strongly recommend doing it because the setting is just crazy. I highly recommend doing this excursion!

Great outing, comfortable boat, caring crew, good meal... Pleasant sailing and beautiful little cove. Opportunity to go see a small church and enjoy a superb panorama Loan of masks, flippers and snorkels. Be careful though, you have to swim a hundred meters to reach the beach. It is necessary to provide a vest, a mud or armbands for the children (we have 4 year old twins). The price is a little high for young children (the same as for adults).

Fantastic day out, beautiful boat, great lunch and the guys were just excellent. Would highly recommend.

It was amazing! The boat, the water, the sunset…a must have experience all around.

We had a fantastic afternoon on the boat. Highly recommended!