Heraklion is a popular place to spend a few days in Crete, as you can easily take excursions to see the rest of the island. Here's the best Heraklion tours and day trips from Heraklion to choose from.
Heraklion Day Trips
Most people heading to the Greek island of Crete will spend some time in Heraklion. Whilst there, it is possible to take a number of different tours to see other parts of the island.
Whether you want to walk the Samaria Gorge, visit Spinalonga, or explore archaeological sites, these day trips from Heraklion will help you experience more of Crete.
In the list below, I've chosen 10 of the best day tours in Heraklion. If you are also interested in an Heraklion sightseeing itinerary, check out this guide on things to do in Heraklion later.
Day Trips from Heraklion
Here's 10 of the best day trips and excursions in Crete you can take from Heraklion.
Knossos Palace Skip-the-Queue Entry with Guided Walking Tour
No visit to Heraklion or Crete is complete without spending time at Knossos. This amazing archaeological site is thought to be the very centre of the ancient Minoan civilisation.
As you might expect, it is a popular place with tourists, and so this skip-the-queue tour along with guide makes perfect sense. Ideal for anyone with limited time in Heraklion or people who just don't like queuing (that's all of us really!), read on to find more about the Knossos day trip from Heraklion.
Day Tour of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka
This day trip from Heraklion offers unbeatable value for money. Unless you have your own transport, it's impossible to do this in one day yourself, and even then, you would need to know the timing of boats to Spinalonga. As a result, this excursion from Heraklion is a great way to see the island of Crete. Including pickup from your hotel, click through to find out more about this full day trip from Heraklion.
Crete: Land Rover Safari on Minoan Route
Take a ride on the wild side during this 4WD tour of Crete. Follow an old Minoan trail, visit traditional villages, and enjoy amazing views from the Lassithi Plateau. If you ever wanted to really get away from the tourist trail, this Land Rover Safari in Crete is the way to go!
Heraklion Boat Trips: Afternoon Sailing Trip to Dia Island
Sailing between Greek islands is a memorable experience, especially so on this half day tour from Heraklion. Enjoy the journey, snorkel, swim, and tuck in to a tasty meal. If you want to find out more about experiencing life on the ocean waves in Greece, click through to read more about this boat trip in Crete.
From Heraklion: Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour
If the previous boat tour whetted your appetite for more sailing Crete tours from Heraklion, this one will take it to the next level! Picture crystal clear waters, a beautiful lagoon, and the chance to see the natural wildlife of Crete up close and personal. It isn't expensive either, especially considering it's a 12 hour boat trip. Read on to find out more.
Excursion from Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour
This tour from Heraklion is ideal for people with limited time in Crete. During the day, you will get to see two other pretty towns which are Chania and Rethymno, as well as spending time at Lake Kournas. In addition to seeing some stunning landscapes, you will also have the chance to learn about the history of the area, take a ride in a pedalo and even go for a swim!
Santorini: Full-Day Tour from Crete
If Santorini is on your bucket list and you can't get there any other way, this Santorini boat trip from Crete is the way to go. You'll get the views of a boat journey, have the chance to admire the stunning Cycladic architecture, and spend time at the two main towns of Fira and Oia in Santorini. Be prepared though... it is a long day!
Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia
If you're after a little outdoor adventure during your vacation in Crete, this day trip to the Samaria Gorge from Heraklion should be top of your list. During the walk, you'll see a wild landscape as you walk through the majestic Gorge. I remember walking this as a kid with my parents, and loved it! Click through to find out more about this outdoor activity in Crete,
Crete: Day Tour to the Island of Chrissi from Heraklion
There's a lot of competition when it comes to which island near Crete is the most beautiful. Chrissi island is a top contender, and I've actually got a separate article about it here on the blog. If crystal clear waters, a touch of paradise and Instagram moments to die for are your thing, you need to find out more about this tour right now!
From Heraklion: Day Excursion to Elafonisi
Last, but certainly not least, is a day trip to Elafonisi from Heraklion. This is the most famous beach in Crete due to its incredible pinks sands. Whilst you can reach it on your own if you have your own vehicle, you might find it more convenient to take a day trip from Heraklion.
Frequently Asked Questions About Heraklion
These answers to commonly asked questions about Heraklion in Crete can help you plan your activities.
What are the best tours in Crete from Heraklion?
The 10 best tours of Crete from Heraklion are:
- Knossos Palace Skip-the-Queue Entry with Guided Walking Tour
- Day Tour of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos Elounda Plaka
- Crete: Land Rover Safari on Minoan Route
- Heraklion: Afternoon Sailing Trip to Dia Island
- From Heraklion: Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour
- From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour
- Santorini: Full-Day Tour from Crete
- Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia
- Crete: Day Tour to the Island of Chrissi from Heraklion
- From Heraklion: Day Excursion to Elafonisi
What are the best outdoor activities in Heraklion?
Popular sport activities in Heraklion include:
- Hiking / Trekking
- Jet Skiing
- Scuba Diving
- Helicopter tours
How many days do you need in Heraklion?
Three days in Heraklion (also known as Iraklio) is enough time to explore the city, appreciate its history, culture and cuisine, and also take a day trip to other parts of Crete such as the Samaria Gorge or Spinalonga.
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