Hersonissos: Crete’s Premier Seaside Destination

beach hersonissos

Hersonissos is the most famous seaside resort in the prefecture of Heraklion. It is located 24 km from Heraklion airport and 26 km from Heraklion port.

You can reach Heraklion by plane or by boat and then follow the highway that will take you to Hersonissos.

Hersonissos is the ideal place to be in summer if you love beautiful beaches and wild nightlife. It is one of the busiest and liveliest towns in Crete and offers a wide range of accommodation from guesthouses and self catering to five star luxury hotels and all inclusive options.

Hersonissos is the top destination in Crete for Scandinavian, Dutch, German and British youngsters, although you can also find families with young children, especially in the all inclusive luxury resort hotels in the area.

History of Hersonissos

old church in hersonissos

In ancient times, Hersonissos was a very important and thriving city and a busy port of the ancient Lyttos, with its own coins and festivals. It had an imposing temple dedicated to Brytomartis, a deity worshipped in the area.

Later the deity was identified with the goddess Artemis (Diana). The name of the town dates back to antiquity, as evidenced by archaeological finds.

During the Roman period, Hersonissos was still an important port due to its strategic location. Near the seafront there is a Roman fountain with scenes of fishing. There are also findings from the early and late Byzantine period, as there is a Christian basilica from the 5th century AD.

The port of Hersonissos was the base for the fighters of the Greek Revolution against the Turks and later became a very important trading port in the Mediterranean, but today it is best known as a tourist resort.

Things to see and do in Hersonissos

horseback riding in hersonissos

Although Hersonissos is known as a nightlife paradise, there are many attractions in and around the town.

Hersonissos is close to Heraklion, making it easy to visit the capital of Crete and its museums or archaeological sites such as Knossos and Phaistos.

There is an open air museum to the east of the town. Lychnostatis is a replica of a traditional Cretan village with old houses and lush gardens and orchards, as well as a kafeneio (traditional cafe) where tourists can sample some of Crete’s famous products, raki and teas or drinks.

The most active visitors can take advantage of the various outdoor activities in the area; almost seven kilometres outside Hersonissos there is a full 18-hole golf course and nearby Aqua Splash Water Park, a water playground for adults and children. The natural environment of Crete is ideal for trekking and hiking, and there are many companies in the region that deal with outdoor activity tourism.

Hersonissos is ideally located on the way to many picturesque villages in the area, which can be explored with a rental car: Piskopiano, Koutouloufari and Old Hersonissos are the most famous, although the area also boasts a number of small and very tranquil villages, including Avdou and Kera.

Nightlife in Hersonissos

nightlife in hersonissos

In Hersonissos everything is summed up in this word; the cornerstone of the tourist activity in the area, the reason why so many young people come to this place. Hersonissos has a large number of bars and clubs that play music and serve cheap drinks all night long.

Clubs with bright neon lights promise wild nights and endless fun, playing all kinds of music from Cretan music in urban remixes to popular songs from other parts of the world.

High spirits, good vibes, a few drinks and dancing are the order of the day. Young people have fun and end up in the hotels early in the morning, so it is not surprising that Hersonissos is relatively empty in the morning hours.

Hersonissos is the place that offers you whatever you want.

Hersonissos Road Distances

The road distances from Hersonissos to other nearby towns are:

  • Ano Hersonissos 1km
  • Gouves 7km
  • Koutouloufari 1,5km
  • Malia 7km
  • Milatos 18km
  • Stalis – Stalida 3km
  • Sissi 13km

The road distances from Hersonissos to the main towns, main archaeological sites and beaches in Crete are:

  • Agios Nikolaos 38km
  • Chania 166km
  • Chania airport 177km
  • Elafonissi 252km
  • Elounda 40km
  • Faistos 87km
  • Heraklion 27km
  • Heraklion Airport 22km
  • Ierapetra 74km
  • Knossos 22km
  • Lassithi Plateau 31km
  • Matala 97km
  • Rethymnon 186km
  • Sitia 120km
  • Vai 137km
  • Zakros 146km

Weather in Hersonissos

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