Why choose a cruise to Heraklion?

Heraklion is Crete’s capital city, and its vibrant atmosphere instantly excites any visitor. Its history, beautiful architecture, delicious food and dazzling waters ensure there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As you wander around the streets taking in the antique architecture, lively taverns and rustic artisan shops, you can enjoy limitless views over the sparkling sea.

Heraklion Crete

A guide to Heraklion’s hotspots

Heraklion has plenty on offer, from local wineries to ancient palaces. Heraklion cruises give you the opportunity to explore this meandering city and its labyrinth of alleyways and hidden gems.

Be sure to visit Heraklion’s legendary wineries where you can sample the wide range of local drinks and see how the wine is made. From authentic taverns to exquisite seafood restaurants, you can wander around Heraklion and find something new to eat for every meal. Head to Arolithos, a traditional village on the outskirts of the capital, to try Crete’s national dishes, as well as experiencing traditional architecture and artisan goods.

No trip to Heraklion is complete without a visit to the city’s stunning surrounding beaches. A trip to swim beneath the fabled caves of Listis is recommended – as is soaking up the sun on the beautiful bay of Amoudara. Diving and watersports are also available on nearly every beach, so you can explore below the water, too.

beach at Amoudara Crete

Heraklion is most famous for the Palace of Knossos. The well-restored Minoan palace is steeped in history, and is the setting for many myths, including the Labyrinth of the Minotaur, where a great beast was kept hidden in the palace’s cellars. The city merges its Venetian, Turkish and Byzantine cultures and the result is gorgeous buildings and unimaginable views. From the Koules Fortress to the church of Agios Titos, Heraklion’s history comes alive before you.

Ruins at Knossos

Cruise lines that sail to the port of Heraklion

Marella Cruises

P&O Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line

The best time to visit Heraklion

From late May to early October, Heraklion has gorgeous warm weather, perfect for swimming in the azure-blue sea and relaxing on the beach. Temperatures range in the late 20s during these months, and rainfall is scarce.

However, if you want a Heraklion cruise visit that explores its culture, wine and food, rather than just its beaches, then March, April, May, October and November are perfect. It’s slightly cooler so you can roam around the historic city without getting too hot. And as Heraklion is a lively, buzzing city, everything stays open all year round, so you can visit outside of the traditional tourist season and still have the same experience, but with cooler temperatures and fewer people.

Did you know?

  • The Palace of Knossos is the birthplace of many ancient myths and tales, including the Labyrinth of the Minotaur
  • The Koules Fortress in the Venetian Harbour has an open-air theatre, and puts on regular plays
  • Heraklion is an Olympic city, and was home to some of the sporting events in the 2004 Summer Olympics