Photo of Hersonissos

About Hersonissos

A vibrant and popular seaside resort in Crete, Hersonissos is the ideal place for a beach holiday. Perfectly suited to young people looking for a wild nightlife, it teems with shops, bars and gourmet restaurants, not to mention some of the best clubs on the island. While not boasting many historic sites itself, it stands in close proximity to many ancient Minoan palaces and settlements and is a great stepping stone for exploring much of the region. There is a wide range of accommodation options here but the best places to stay in Hersonissos tend to be right on the beach.

Once a humble fishing village, it would be an understatement to say that Hersonissos has changed over the years. Due to its natural harbour, it has been inhabited since the Minoans and traces of their settlements have been found nearby, particularly in Kastro and Anissaras, and a temple over Kastri Hill was excavated in recent years. In the Greco-Roman era, it was known as the port city of Lyttos. History buffs should consider making a day trip to Knossos, roughly a 30 minute journey by bus or car, and see the great Minoan palatial complex, not to mention the mysterious subterranean architectural design that inspired the myth of the labyrinth.

Sadly, most visitors do not go to Crete to witness for themselves the ingenuity and cultural depth of the Minoan civilisation - a civilisation 2000 years before Christ that had sewage systems, apartment blocks, breathtaking art and intriguing religious systems where women held esteem and authority - most come to Hersonissos for sunshine, fine beaches and good times. With two waterparks, an aquarium, lots of shops, cafes and bars, not to mention the extraordinary nightlife. The beaches are thronged with tourists so be sure to check out the more secluded coves 1km west of the harbour, on the Cape of Sarandaris.

What not to miss

  • Enjoy sunbathing at one of the many beaches.
  • Have a fun day out at one of the waterparks or aquarium.
  • Relax with a spot of golf at Crete's only golf course.
  • Go for a gentle stroll over the Hill of Kastri, visiting the ruined old basilica and, heading east, the chapel of Agia Paraskevi, cut into the rock.
  • Explore the fascinating Minoan palatial complex of Knossos, a 30 minute drive away.
  • Head over to Malia and visit the third-largest Minoan palace in Crete.

A bustling touristy seaside resort jam-packed with fun things-to-do. Browse through out collection of the best places to stay in Hersonissos to start planning your trip.

The best places to stay in Hersonissos

Romantic getaway

  • Villa Ippocampi: an adults-only hideaway offering stylish and quirky suites with private balconies, a poolside cafe and a beautiful garden. The ideal place to unwind, offering seclusion and intimacy. Perfect for couples.
  • Casa Bianca Boutique Hotel: a four-star luxury hotel set just outside Hersonissos within the traditional village of Koutouloufari. The hotel's Cycladic facade masks modern interior design. Boasting a fabulous pool and easy access to the beach.

Luxury resort

  • Nana Princess: a spoiling 5* seaside resort offering luxurious rooms, suites and villas - most of them boasting their own private heated pools - and 3 fine-dining restaurants, a pampering spa and its own private beach. An oasis of pleasure, a real treat.
  • Abaton Island Resort: an indulgent coastal hotel featuring effortlessly stylish rooms, 5 international restaurants serving everything from sushi to Greek cuisine and a top-of-the-range spa. Romantic, teeming with luxury.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Heraklion International Airport, 28km away, and get a bus or taxi to Hersonissos.
  • If you want to rent a car we recommend contacting our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to go is during the summer when there is no rain and the temperature ranges between 19 and 28 degrees; if you want to miss the summer crowds, go in the autumn, when the temperature sits between 16 and 26 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Hersonissos

  • Casa Bianca Boutique Hotel Hersonissos 20 rooms from £55

    Hideaway  -  Nestled in a traditional village, with a private pool and poolside bar, hideout here on your holidays
    Beach Life  -  Located a stone's throw from pretty local beaches, this makes a great base for a seaside holiday
    Romantic Break  -  The quiet, romantic setting and adults-only policy makes this a popular hotel for couples
    Great walks  -  Walk from Hersonissos to other local villages and sample local meze in small local cafés

    This four-star luxury hotel is set within the traditional village of Koutouloufari. The hotel's Cycladic facade masks modern interior design; rooms boast sleek soft furnishings in a neutral palette and the best have private terraces with sea views. Relax by the pool at this serene seaside getaway. See More

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  • Villa Ippocampi Hersonissos (Koutouloufari) 13 rooms from £87

    Eco break  -  The hotel relies on solar power for hot water, an eco friendly pool cleaning system and sewage management
    Local exploring  -  Centrally located, perfect to explore lesser known beaches nearby, and visit restaurants and local shops
    Diving  -  Dive and explore the crystal clear waters of this island
    Local markets  -  Friendly small taverns and cafes within walking distance
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Adults only - grown up hideaway. Thirteen stylish suites nestled in a hilltop location within walking distance to restaurants and shopping. A poolside cafe serves breakfast and light snacks. Rooms offer a balcony with either garden or sea views. Small and cozy and created with love! See More

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  • Abaton Island Resort Hersonissos 152 rooms from £201

    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in utter tranquility and indulge yourself in the fabulous spa.
    Great walks  -  Take long coastal walks starting straight from the property.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pools
    Views  -  Great views from hotel

    A glamorous coastal property offering the upmost in luxury on Crete's picturesque coast. Accommodation is spacious and secluded, the best options have heated seawater pools, but all are utterly indulgent. The five restaurants serve a range of food from sushi to Greek and there's a fabulous spa too. See More

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  • Nana Princess Hersonissos 112 rooms from £398

    Spa  -  There is a modern spa & wellness centre offering indoor pool, holistic therapies and beauty treatments.
    Swimming Pool  -  Two large outdoor pools, plus almost every suite has its own private heated pool
    Diving  -  Scubakreta Diving Centre
    Views  -  Stunning seaviews

    A stunning contemporary five star resort that will leave you wanting for nothing! Luxurious rooms, suites and villas - most with private heated pools - boast stunning views and top notch amenities. Three fine dining restaurants, state of the art spa, private sandy beach. A spoiling beach treat! See More

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