Just a few kilometres east of Heraklion is Hersonissos, famous as the site of Lyktos, one of the strongest seaports of ancient Crete, and drawing a lively young crowd of visitors. On the waterfront, you will find the 17th or 18th century church of Agios Nikolaos, and to north Limenas Hersonissos, where you reach Megalo Horio, a forest of 3,000 bear-berry, oak and carob trees, and the settlements of Koutouloufari and Piskopiano, where a former olive oil refinery houses an Agricultural Museum.
Choose your beach style
The beaches of Limenas Hersonissos, Malia and Stalis in between are all magnets for young tourists, with white sand and beautiful water to swim in. And be sure to visit the long sandy beach at Anissaras (a stone’s throw from Hersonissos), Limanakia, Creta Maris, Sarantaris, and Analipsi.
Malia boasts the third-largest Minoan palace in Crete. At 7,500 sq metres, it was built in 1900 BC and, after a turbulent history, permanently destroyed by a fire in 1450 BC.
Lychnostatis Open Air Museum
You’ll learn about Crete’s folk traditions and culture at the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum in Limani Hersonissos. Traditional Cretan farmers’ houses, a distillery, windmill, church, wine and olive presses, weaving workshops, a garden with medicinal plants and a folk art gallery – everything you need to get to know the real Crete.
Luxurious hotels, sprawling resorts and rooms-to-let: Hersonissos and Malia have accommodation for every style and budget, whether on the beach, right in the middle of the lively town, or quiet and secluded.
- Choose your beach style
- Malia Palace