Recent Searches
Clear
When are you traveling?
Select Dates
Price
$0
$500+
Duration
Time of Day
RatingClear
Specials

How to Spend 1 Day in Heraklion

How to Spend 1 Day in Heraklion

The capital of Crete, Heraklion (also known as Iraklio) offers ancient Minoan ruins, a historic harbor, and a vibrant food, wine, and nightlife scene—all in a package that feels more authentic than many of the island’s resort towns. Here’s how to check out the highlights in just one day.

Morning: Minoan Magic

Even if you’re not normally one for ruins, make an exception for the Palace of Knossos, the 4,000-year-old palace complex that gave us the legend of the Minotaur and his labyrinth. Especially in high season, a skip-the-line ticket or a tour with skip-the-line access is well worth the extra money. Next, head back into Heraklion and learn about the Minoan civilization that built Knossos—and palaces across Crete—at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, one of the nation’s top museums. Finally, take in the city’s essential sights, perhaps from an open-top bus. Don’t miss the 16th-century Koules Fortress and the mighty Venetian Walls.

Afternoon: Food Frenzy

Every part of Greece offers its own unique and delicious cuisine, and Crete is no exception. Soak up the atmosphere at one of Heraklion’s vibrant markets, including the island’s largest fish market. Sample local delights such as bougatsa, a breakfast treat made with flaky phyllo pastry, cheese, rusks, olives, and olive oil. Don’t miss the chance to savor a glass or two of local wine, from the wineries around the city: vilana white and Romeiko red are two of the island’s signatures. Or, try a cooking class, perhaps with a professional chef or a local family.

Night: Dinner Dancing

With just one day in Heraklion, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in Cretan culture at a folklore show. Soak up the ancient rhythms of traditional instruments such as the lyre and the lute. Feast on dishes from local lamb to spring greens or spinach pie as you listen to heartfelt folk songs. Then let yourself be swept away as costumed performers break into dances as lively as anything you'd see at a Greek wedding. Get into the spirit with local wines and tsipouro, Crete’s answer to Italy’s grappa brandy.

Read More
Filter
Select Dates
Today
Tomorrow
Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

2 Tours and Activities | All Heraklion Tours

Sort by: Featured
Crete private tour: Knossos Palace, Archaeological museum, and Heraklion Town

Crete private tour: Knossos Palace, Archaeological museum, and Heraklion Town

star-4
3
Uncover the mysteries of the ancient Minoan civilization on this private, half-day tour of Heraklion highlights. Explore the magnificent Knossos Palace, home to King Minos and legends of the Minotaur, and visit a world-class archaeological museum featuring artifacts dating back to 5000 BC. See the contrast of ancient and modern Crete with some free time in the port town of Heraklion, and enjoy personalized attention from your guide along the way. Entrance fees to Knossos Palace and Archaeological Museum at your expense.
More
  • 5 hours
From
$466.79
Price varies by group size
From
$466.79
Price varies by group size

Labyrinth of Knossos Skip-the-Line Ticket with Tour Guide

Labyrinth of Knossos Skip-the-Line Ticket with Tour Guide

star-4.5
11
If you want to make the most of your limited time on Crete, get a skip-the-line ticket for the Palace of Knossos.  With over 1500 rooms to explore, you’ll want to maximize your visit to the well-preserved labyrinth. Avoid the long line of tourists and exposure to the elements. Instead, collect your ticket upon arrival from a conveniently located operator.
More
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.63
From
$78.63
Taking safety measures