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About Heraklion

Crete's largest city, Heraklion is a modern, densely populated place with a lively city centre and a nightlife, and evening-life, which buzzes. The best places to stay in Heraklion are ideal for exploring many of the island's highlights and have easy access to a good selection of beaches.

What not to Miss

  • Knossos is such a draw that Crete's main museums, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum of Crete and the Natural History Museum, are also located in Heraklion.
  • Heraklion isn't as beautiful as Chania or Rethymno - it's more of a modern city - but it still has some gorgeous sights, including the Venetian Fortress and 17th Century Loggia, once a Venetian style gentlemen's club, and now the town hall building.
  • The city walls and the church of Saint Titus are also worth a stroll around. The waterfront area is a more modern development, but the constant procession of ferries makes this a wonderful place to watch the world go by.

For many people the best places to stay in Heraklion are those with the easiest access to Knossos. These Minoan Palace ruins are supposedly the sight of the Labyrinth where the Minotaur lived.

The region around Heraklion town is covered in rows of vines and olive groves, so it's picturesque countryside, and excellent for foodies too!

Heraklion, the region, spreads over some of Crete's most developed resorts, Malia and Hersonissos, known for their 24-hour beach party culture; and Anissaras, which isn't a town or a village, but a stretch of hilly coastline inhabited only by a few upmarket resorts and a few hotels and tourist apartments - Anissaras is one of the best places to stay in Heraklion - or surrounds - if you're looking for a quiet, sunny spot.

Use our guide to the best places to stay in Heraklion and start to plan your trip.

The Best Places to Stay in Heraklion

Island City Break

  • Lato Hotel is a modern option, with exceptionally lovely views of the sea and the Venetian fortress. As well as having clean, simple modern lines, this hotel also has three decent restaurants and a gym and spa. And it's reasonably priced!
  • The Galaxy Hotel has recently undergone a full refurb and now comes highly recommended with a huge swimming pool and superb service.

For Something Special

  • Out of the Blue Capsis Elite is actually a collection of five hotels, all perched together on one private peninsula. Each hotel has very different style and decor, from traditional to uber modern to quirky. This is a good choice if you're looking for privacy, plus there are seven restaurants and facilities galore.

Rural Peace

  • The Mourtanakis Residence is a peaceful, eight room mansion in Achlada, just along the coast from Heraklion. The rooms all have balconies or terraces and there’s an outdoor pool with ocean views. Great for families.

For a self-catering Apartment or private Villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport is about five kilometres outside Heraklion, and is the main airport on Crete.
  • Alternatively you can arrive by ferry from one of the other islands or the mainland.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we strongly advise if you’re staying in Heraklion and want to see more of Crete - we recommend you visit our online partner, Holiday Autos.
  • The peak season for visiting Heraklion is between April and October, but the best times are probably late spring/ early summer or early autumn - it’ll be a bit quieter then and the weather won’t be as scorching as it can be mid-summer!

Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Heraklion for you?

Best Hotels in Heraklion

  • Mourtzanakis Residence 8 rooms from $102


    Perched on a hill in the quiet and peaceful village of Achlada. Features balconies in rooms, sit out terraces and an outdoor pool to soak in the ocean views. Contemporary interiors, fireplaces and a small kitchenette. Popular with young couples, families and group seminars.

    Back to Nature  -  Set in a village surrounded by beautiful scenery and close by to 4 different beaches. An ideal place to enjoy nature.
    Families  -  Villas with 2 bedrooms, a living room, bathrooms and fireplace.
    Great walks  -  Walks into the neighbouring historical villages, to monuments and medieval convents
    Diving  -  Great for experienced divers
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Galaxy Hotel 127 rooms from $96

    Heraklion, Crete

    Great value and fabulously friendly, this recently refurbished hotel in an upmarket part of town has a huge freshwater pool and smooth-as-silk service.

    Architectural  -  Avant garde architecture contrasting with ancient Heraklion
    Sights nearby  -  The ancient city centre is a short walk away
    Swimming Pool  -  Huge freshwater swimming pool - the largest in Heraklion
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
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  • Lato Hotel 79 rooms from $97


    One of the town's more modern designer hotels. Contemporary lines and trendy minimalist living areas. Spacious rooms and suites with balconies and sea views. Three good restaurants, gym, spa and meeting rooms. A modern choice.

    Views  -  Wonderful views over the Venetian fortress and Cretan Sea
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the heart of Heraklion Old Town
    Spa  -  Within the wellness centre.
    Diving  -  Outsource locally.
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  • Out of the Blue Capsis Elite 490 rooms from $226

    Heraklion, Crete

    Opulent resort of five hotels in one on a private peninsula. Highly discreet, with striking designs, each hotel different. Plenty of suites and private villas with pools. Seven restaurants. The resort is popular with wealthy Russians and others.

    Families  -  With Capsis Minoan Amusement Park, playground and supervised pool the kids stay happy and everybody gets a holiday!
    Beach Life  -  Set on its private peninsula in Agia Pelagia, with access to three beaches and a huge array of watersports.
    Elegant  -  in design, style and pace and service.
    Fishing  -  Fly fishing equipment and lessons are avialble.
    Recommended by  -  Kiwi Collection
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