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Book cheap holidays to Heraklion

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Flight and hotel Heraklion

Presentation of Heraklion

Located on the northern coast of Crete, the capital city of Heraklion (or Iraklio), is the largest in the sun-kissed country. The island has a population of over 140,000. It has a lot to offer, whether you're looking to wander the bustling streets of the island, soak up the sun on stunning beaches or simply explore world-class museums and historical landmarks. For a fun weekend in Heraklion, consider booking your Heraklion flight and hotel together.

What to know before visiting Heraklion

Flights to Heraklion typically arrive at Heraklion International Airport (HER). The airport, located about five kilometres from the city centre, is the second-busiest airport in Greece. If you're visiting from the UK, you can take a direct flight from London or from Manchester to Heraklion.

British citizens won’t need a visa to go to Heraklion. While the official language in Heraklion is Greek, you probably won't face a language barrier, as English is widely spoken on the island. The time difference between Heraklion and the United Kingdom is two hours, and the island's currency is the euro.

When is the best time to visit Heraklion?

Heraklion experiences a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. August brings the highest temperatures, averaging around 26°C – perfect for water activities. During winter (January and February), temperatures can dip to 12°C.

With package holidays in Heraklion during May and October, you can look forward to comfortable weather, perfect for beach activities and sightseeing. If you're planning city breaks in Heraklion during this time, you can also enjoy some of Heraklion's popular festivals, such as the Heraklion Summer Arts Festival, an annual event including concerts, ballet and plays; Feast of Agios Georgios, dedicated to Saint George; Houdetsi Festival, with concerts by artists from Greece and abroad; and Heraklion Carnival, which includes theatre, serenades and mask contests.

What to do in Heraklion

Every year, Heraklion attracts crowds of foreign visitors with its natural beauty, archaeological sites, and vibrant nightlife. The island's gorgeous beaches offer exciting activities to keep you engaged for your entire holiday. Thrillseekers will be impressed by the island's many opportunities to partake in water sports, hiking and cycling. Book your package holidays in Heraklion to explore the sites and attractions around the city.

  • For an exciting weekend in Heraklion, go windsurfing. The city is the perfect place to do it, as the sea is calm and gentle. For an adrenaline rush, take a boat ride or go paragliding.
  • Diving is also a popular activity on the island, particularly at resorts such as Hersonissos, Agia Pelagia, Malia and Gouves.
  • Hiking is another favourite, particularly in spring and autumn, when the climate is mild. Trails on the island cross impressive gorges, ancient sites, scenic villages and pristine beaches.
  • The kids will love Ammoudara beach, where they can build sandcastles to their heart’s content and take to the water on pedalos or banana boats.
  • Heraklion's main square is famous for its nightlife. Enjoy great drinks, snacks, live music, and bustling nightclubs where you can dance and party in style.

What places should you visit in Heraklion?

You can save money by planning your itinerary and booking your flight to and hotel in Heraklion in advance. Just five kilometres from the city centre, the Palace of Knossos is an absolute must-see in Heraklion. A symbol of Minoan culture, this iconic landmark will leave you speechless. During city breaks in Heraklion, visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to learn about Cretan history and see over 15,000 interesting artefacts.

The Koules Venetian Fortress (or Castello a Mare) is an impressive structure by the city’s harbour. The Agios Minas Cathedral, another popular attraction, is dedicated to the patron saint of Heraklion. Another fantastic place to visit with kids is CretAquarium, where you can discover over 200 marine species such as hunter sharks, lobsters and jellyfish.

What to eat in Heraklion

During a weekend in Heraklion, be sure to sample local delicacies, made with the finest ingredients and plenty of olive oil. Regional specialities include dakos salad (dried bread topped with cheese, tomato, olive oil and oregano), kaltsounia (a fried cheese dessert), fasolakia (fresh beans cooked with tomato and olive oil) and kolokythoanthoi (zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese).

What to bring home from Heraklion

Crete's famous herbal mountain tea will make a great souvenir back home. Alternatively, pick up some elegant ceramic items, which give a taste of Heraklion’s history. Other top souvenirs worth bringing back from the city include olive oil, Cretan wines, raki (a flavoured alcoholic drink), traditional clothes and Cretan knives.

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