Our Editorial team's advice
Since the establishment of the motorway in 1972, the north-east coast has become very attractive for tourists. Within a few years, Hersonissos and Malia (some twenty miles east of Heraklion) have grown into two major seaside resorts, among the most popular and most prominent on the whole island. Shops, bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels alternate offering non-stop entertainment opportunities to foreign tourists and young Cretans who flock to the streets and the beaches. However, you should not forget that these two towns used to be adorable little villages. The port of ancient Lyttos and Hersonissos used to be inhabited by the Romans.
The great water sports centre, Star Water Park, and the Lychnostasis Open Air Museum offer an introduction to life on the island, its flora, its rocks and stones and aromatic herbs. At the foot of the mountains, you can go strolling on the old Hersonissos, which has preserved beautiful houses from the Venetian era. To the west of the resort, several coastal villages are also open to tourists. Located less than 1 mile inland, Malia should not be overlooked by tourists, particularly for the ruins of its famous Minoan palace. The city is divided into two parts. While the new city lies to the north, the old city in the south is more relaxed with a handful of pleasant little streets. A little further to the east, the small port of Sissi is still fairly quiet and retains a certain charm, though tourism is really beginning to develop here. The inland still has a few sites to discover such as the charming villages of Potamies, Avdou and Mohos, that are dotted along a road with beautiful scenery, or the small monastery of Moni Kardiotissa perched on the mountain slopes. You can also go on hikes on the Lassithi plateau starting from Krasi, a village famous for its beautiful centenary trees.
From the visit to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, to the Minoan ruins of Festos and the palace of Malia, history lovers will find plenty to do. You can also visit the famous Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which embraces the entirety of the Minoan civilization, or discover Fodele, the village where it is said that the painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos was born, better known by the name El Greco (1541-1614).
Excursions offered by tour operators allow you to visit most of the main attractions in Crete. Peoples' favourite excursion remains the visit to the ruins of Knossos, the first Minoan palace to be discovered and also the only one to be reconstructed. Residence of King Minos, it is said to have housed the labyrinth in which the Minotaur was locked. The visit continues with the discovery of the prestigious archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Among the natural sites to discover, you should pay a visit to the Samaria and Imbros gorges, to the Lassithi plateau (with the visit of Agios Nikolaos and the fortress of Spinalonga), to the plain of Messara (typical villages and palaces of Festos) and to the eastern and wild Crete. All tour operators will offer you the opportunity to spend part of the day in a village along with the Cretans, and in the evening have a party and a traditional meal. More sporty excursions are also organized such as 4x4 safaris in central Crete, scuba diving, hiking and kayaking. Finally, as far as long excursions are concerned, you will have the opportunity to visit Santorini, the most famous of the Greek Cyclades islands.
- + The beaches are less crowded than in the north.
- + One of the most beautiful regions in Crete.
- + The numerous opportunities for excursions.
- - The distance from the airport
- - The distance from major cultural sites
- - The beach of Sitia is small
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To think about
If you arrive in the middle of summer, do not overload your luggage, and make sure to bring along light cotton clothes.
Avoid making a call to the UK from your hotel room, otherwise the bill will be quite hefty. Opt for phone cards as there are telephone booths everywhere!
Restaurants are in abundance here. Here you will find typical Cretan dishes such as gyros, Greek salad, slouvakia and moussaka.
To bring back
On the markets, you can find food, herbs, olive oil and Cretan cheese. In the shops, CDs of local music are sold. The raki is cherished as an institution, taste it and bring a bottle back for your friends.
These indicators are used as a set of criteria to predict overall weather conditions in Hersonissos . The different indicators are there to help you prepare for your trip to Hersonissos so you can make plans based on the weather forecast, whether it be a trip to the beach, walking, visiting attractions and museums or winter sports... Here you'll find a precise, overall weather score for each week in Hersonissos , which takes into account temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds.
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Hot / Optimal
The maximum temperature is <24°, temperature felt between 30°C and 33°C.
Bad weather indicators
Dry / Optimal
Little or no rain (less than 1.5mm per day).
Sunny / Optimal
Sunny (over 80% sunshine).
High air temperature (>24°C), pleasant to high sea temperature (between 22°C and 24°C), moderate to strong winds (between 12 mph and 18 mph).
Near optimal comfort: strong to moderate winds (between 12 mph and 18 mph) in a warm atmosphere (>24°C).
Slight feeling of discomfort due air humidity registering higher than 65%.
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