Holidays in Crete East - Heraklion
Crete East - Heraklion Holidays at a glance
Readers Awards 2012 - The Sunday Times Travel Magazine: - Greece has been awarded the prestigious "Best European Beach Destination" award by the Sunday Times Travel magazine. This is the second recent award for Greece, as the National Geographic Travellers' Editors, are including Thessaloniki (the second largest city in Greece) as one of the 20 must see places for 2013!
This is solid proof that for UK Press & public, Greece is a top holiday destination, an easy and safe to explore country, capable to satisfy every taste and budget.
The eastern side of Crete has long established itself as a firm favourite with holiday makers and it's easy to see why. With great beaches, varied and often very cosmopolitan resorts and night life, striking landscapes, picturesque villages and a wealth of places of historical interest it contains all that you could wish for on any holiday in Crete and more!
Heraklion, Crete's capital is situated on the northeast coast and is a lively place centred around its long, Venetian-influenced waterfront. The historic centre enjoys the relative calm of recent pedestrianisation and makes for a pleasant day's roaming, or people-watching from a cafe in one of the many bustling squares.
If you tire of its excellent shopping and noisy nightlife, you don't have to go far to find the magnificent landscapes and glorious sandy beaches fringing the Aegean sea. The largest of the Greek islands, Crete possesses an enchanting geography as diverse as it is breathtaking and visitors to the Heraklion region will be mesmerised by the stunning golden beaches, majestic snow-capped mountains and some surprisingly lush lowland greenery.
Who holidays in Crete East Heraklion?
Heraklion and East Crete holidays offer something for everyone from fabulous facilities for having fun to traditional Cretan villages where the centuries old traditions and lifestyle can still be seen and experienced. Crete holidays are a paradise for anyone seeking sun, sand and stunning beaches with crystal clear sea - an all round idyllic setting.
Crete East - Heraklion Holidays - Destination Profile
Crete East Heraklion holidays for a diverse selection of treasures
The region around Heraklion, on the northeast coast of Crete is an area of magnificent landscapes and glorious sandy beaches fringing the Aegean sea. The largest of the Greek islands, Crete possesses an enchanting geography as diverse as it is breathtaking and visitors to Heraklion will be mesmerised by the stunning golden beaches, majestic snow-capped mountains and some surprisingly lush lowland greenery. Cosmopolitan urban areas are bustling with life and busy, particularly at dusk when the lively night scene bursts into action - enough to satisfy the most energetic of young night owls.
Don't delay in taking advantage of our cheap East Crete holidays. Come and explore the treasures of the ubiquitous cultural attractions including the archaeological museum housing Minoan artifacts and the splendid Knossos Palace. The island's capital, Heraklion is a hive of activity around an attractive port defended in ancient times by its iconic fortress and harbour wall. Every street echoes the influence of Venetian rule and is filled with beautiful architectural reminders. Crete offers everything required of a Mediterranean holiday destination in its diversity of resorts and holidays here remain among some of the most popular with British tourists.
Anyone with an interest in ancient history will find plenty to thrill while on holiday in Crete - the island boasts a cultural heritage spanning at least 4,000 years and many fascinating archaeological sites remain for tourists to peruse at their leisure.
Eastern Crete also includes some of the most popular and well-known resorts such as frenetic Malia which apart from its great night life, boasts one of the best sandy beaches on the island with a wide range of water sports available.
The modern yet attractive resort of Aghios Nikolaos is one of the most photographed resorts in Crete and has a more sophisticated feel with great bars and restaurants to enjoy.
The more exclusive Elounda has a main square that bubbles with shops and tavernas and a beautiful harbour.
The fabulous blend of cultures found on Crete ensures an edifying trip for holidaymakers - influences of Venetian and Turkish rule can still be found on the stunning island - while the exceptionally friendly and warm inhabitants will make you feel welcome. Whether your dream holiday encompasses days lazing on the beach, visits to historical hot spots or a lively nightlife, you'll find that Crete holidays have just what you're looking for.
Value Crete East Heraklion Holidays with Olympic Holidays
Experience a Grecian paradise for yourself; book fantastic Crete holidays online with Olympic Holidays and discover an island that offers awe-inspiring holiday opportunities. Olympic Holidays the leading specialist tour operator to Greece and the Greek Islands with over 45 years expertise in offering quality holidays at at great value. As well Crete holiday packages, we offer an excellent range of cheap flights to Crete (Chania & Heraklion) and hotels in Crete. Discover the allure of Crete for yourself by booking a cheap holiday to Crete today, for great savings on Crete holidays book online or call our reservations team, lowest price guaranteed!!!
Holidays in Crete East - Heraklion - Things to see
Cretaquarium: Situated at Gournes, 15 km east of Heraklion is this huge indoor aquarium installed at a former US Air Force base. The artificial underwater world is home to over 2500 Mediterranean and tropical sea creatures with interactive educational multi-media activities. Buses run every 30 minutes from Heraklion to within ten-minutes walk of the aquarium.
Dikteon Cave: According to legend, the infant Zeus was born in this cave, and hidden here to avoid him being eaten by his father Cronos. It has an upper and lower section and a huge stalagmite known as the Mantle of Zeus. It can be reached by a steep walk from the village of Psyhro, with some lovely views of the verdant plateau of Lasithi, or you can pay to go up on a mule.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum: The museum is renowned for its huge collection of Minoan treasures and artefacts and is the place to visit to become immersed in the ancient civilization which began on Crete and, for centuries, dominated the Aegean islands.
Heraklion Wine Country: A treat for wine-lovers, tour one of the dozen or so vineyards among the beautiful rolling hills and valleys south of Knossos. Around 70% of Crete's wine is produced here. Find out about its production in the wine museums, and enjoy a tasting or two. A map entitled The Wine Roads of Heraklion is available at the tourist office as well as from the estates themselves.
Knossos Palace: In a beautiful setting just 5 km southeast of Heraklion, this palace is the most magnificent and evocative of Crete's Minoan sites. A tour can be combined with the Heraklion Museum to give an excellent insight into the history of the island and the Minoan civilization.
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum, Myrtia: Dedicated to the author of Zorba the Greek, here you can listen to a short documentary about Kazantzakis before scrutinizing film posters, letters, photographs and other personal effects of Crete's most famous writer. Afterwards, enjoy a coffee in one of the many kafeneios surrounding Myrtia's town square.
Spinalonga Island: Made famous as the setting for the film Who Pays the Ferryman?, Spinalonga island attracts thousands of visitors every year to see the ruins of the Venetian Fortress and its leper colony. Hop on a boat to the island and take your time exploring or find a quiet, sunny spot for restful day away in the sun, tucking into the authentic Greek barbecue and taking a quick dip before heading back.
Zakros and the Valley of the Dead: Situated at the eastern end of Crete, the village of Zakros is the starting point for a trail through Zakros Gorge, otherwise known as Valley for the Dead, due to the abundance of caves which are ancient burial sites. Follow it down to Kato Zakros, on the coast, for some spectacular scenery culminating in the partly submerged ruins of the Minoan Zakros Palace and a pebble beach where tavernas provide refreshments.
Things to do on a Holiday in Crete East - Heraklion
Popular activities during Crete holidays include:-
- Jet skiing
- Scuba diving
- Rock climbing
- Walking and hiking
Fun Excursions while on Crete Holidays
Make your holidays to Crete extra special by booking one of our wonderful excursions, we have a range of excursions that have been selected to cater for everyones interests. Some of our most popular excursions are:-
Spinalonga: This one is for the sailors and sun lovers amongst you. Interested? The come along with us to the haunting island of Spinalonga, an old Leper Colony!
Chrissi Island: An exceptional day to a tropical paradise set in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan sea. Sunbathe on the wondrous beaches of unusual coloured sand.
Unknown Crete: Travel through unspoilt villages where donkeys still travel the roads. Visit a local winery and see how wine is made with the chance to sample and buy.
Cretan Night: If you love food, drink and dancing, then you will love this night out. As you enter the venue, the Cretan lifestyle takes over as the evening is given to plenty of eating, drinking and merry making as only the Greeks know how.
Knossos: If you visit Crete and do not see the ancient palace of Knossos is compares to visiting Egypt and not seeing the pyramids. This is where European civilisation began with the dazzling Mineon people.
Jeep Safari: Travel off the beaten track through traditional mountain villages - a real chance to see a taste of real Greece.
Beach Party: Join your Olympic Reps on your very own sandy beach for an afternoon of partying in the sun! An hour and half free bar will get you in the mood to join in some wild and wicket games.
For further information and to secure your place on all the above exciting days and nights out, see your Olympic representative in the resort. The best time to book would be at the Welcome Get Together on the day after arrival.
Getting Around on Crete East - Heraklion Holidays
Bus: Public buses remain a solid possibility for seeing much of Crete. They're inexpensive, relatively frequent, and connect to all but the most isolated villages. The downside is that the schedules are not always the most convenient for travellers with limited time. Certainly you can take them between all major resorts and towns.
Taxi: Getting around by Taxi during Crete holidays is cheap and convenient, be sure to set the price beforehand or ensure the meter us running.
Car: An excellent way of getting around during Crete holidays, car hire gives you complete flexibility as well as the ability to see more of the island.
Crete East - Heraklion Holidays Shopping
Popular purchases for those taking Crete holidays include:-
- Tsikoudia or Raki local high street spirit
- Traditional woven fabrics, Cretan Rugs and Blankets
- Locally produced Olive Oil
Holidays in Crete East - Heraklion - Beaches
Amoudara - With 3 miles of golden sands the fine sandy beach at Amoudara is widely regarded as one of the best on the island.
Malia -the beach at Malia is widely recognised as one of the best on the island with deep-piled sand stretching for miles and no shortage of water sports available.
Vai Beach -With a gently curving golden sand beach Vai Beach is famous for the largest natural palm grove which forms the backdrop.
Weather and climate information
In the north of Crete the climate is typically Mediterranean; in the south it's almost subtropical. Spring comes early with average temperatures of 15C/61F in March and 20C/68F in April. Summers are baking hot and dry but with strong sea breezes. July and August are the hottest (and windiest) months - temperatures average 25.9C/85F and can reach 40C/104F.
From November to March the weather is cooler and damper, although even in January the average temperature is 12C. During this period, many attractions close, and it can be very cold indeed in the mountains, where snow falls regularly.
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