Hersonissos



Hersonissos Now
Hersonissos Now Prior to 1975 Hersonissos was a tiny village populated by a handful of fishermen and farmers. Today Hersonissos and the nearby villages of Koutouloufari, Piskopiano and Old Hersonissos are the most sought after vacation destinations of the island of Crete.
Hersonissos (Greek for Peninsula) is also called Limani or Limin Hersonissou to distinguish it from the village of Old (or Upper) Hersonissos, which is just a couple of miles away. Limani (or Limin) means harbor, and the name refers to the small harbor that used to shelter local fishing boats and boats that were used to transport local produce to other cities. During the off-season, Hersonissos has a population of approximately 3000; however, the population increases greatly during the tourist season, when seasonal workers come to work at hotels and other local businesses.
Because of its location in the middle of the Island, about 25 kilometers east of Heraklion and about the same distance west of Aghios Nikolaos, Hersonissos is the ideal place to use as a base to explore the island.
--> How to get to Hersonissos If you take the Ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion you can reach Hersonissos by bus. The bus station is about a 5 minute walk from the pier, and there is a bus every 15 minutes during the summer. In the wintertime the busses run less frequently. You can buy your ticket at the bus station or on the bus. The ride is about 30 to 45 minutes long depending on the rout and the stops. Alternately you can hire a cab or rent a car. The majority of the taxi drivers are honest, hard working people but ask the driver what the fare is going to be so you know what you are going to be paying beforehand. Another option is to rent a car. Inside the bus terminal there is a tourist information center where you can get information on car rentals. If you arrive in Heraklion by plane, there is a bus stop just outside the airport. You don’t need to worry about buying a ticket beforehand, as you can buy one on the bus. Again, you can also take a cab or rent a car from one of the booths at the airport. It's easy to find your way to Hersonissos, and the rent-a-car office will provide you with a map and directions.
Accommodations
It is always good to make reservations ahead of time, however, unless you go to Hersonissos in the high season, which is July-August, you will not have difficulty to find a room.
You can choose from 5 star resorts, an apartment or just a room. They are spread all over the town and also the three villages south at the foot of the mountain, Old Hersonissos, Piskopiano and Koutouloufari.
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What to do in Hersonissos
Plenty and most of all go to the beach. There are many long sandy or rocky beaches with crystal clear water. Don't forget to bring or buy locally a mask and swimming fins to enjoy the beauty of the bottom of the sea.
There is also a nudist beach, about half a mile north of Creta Maris, before Saint George Church.
Enjoy all  kinds of water sports, including water ski, scuba diving etc.
If you like shopping there are numerous souvenir shops and many luxurious stores selling gold, clothes and fairs and anything made in China!
Enjoy the food, Greek and international cuisine, but follow the  Greeks for authentic Greek cooking, In some taverns, where Greeks go, you will be served with several  small dishes with local delicacies, accompanied with retsina (local whine that you love or hate), wine or ouzo.
Take a stroll up the hill, or take the train for a tour at the villages of Old Hersonissos, Piskopiano and Koutouloufari and enjoy a cup of coffee in the villages square.
When you are done baking in the sun, it is time to move on and visit some other areas of the Island.  You can take one of the organized tours, rent a car or you can take the bus on your own.
I will mention a few places that you should  see when you visit Crete but by no means this is not all. 
 
Enjoy the Mediterranean sea world at he Aquarium or “Thalassokosmo” located about 10  kilometers west of Hersonissos. You will be fascinated.
Visit the "Cave of Milatos" just a few miles east of Hersonissos.

Lasithi
The plateau of Lasithi is in  an altitude of 800 meters and you can visit Dikteon Andron, the cave where Zeus was born.
Lasithi was known for it's thousands of wind mills. Unfortunately they all were replaced by electric motors.
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About 25 kl east of Hersonissos there is the Cosmopolitan town of Saint Nicolas with its picturesque lake and the luxurious hotels. That's my favorite. I can spend hours sipping coffee by the lake looking at the blue ocean.
Follow the road by the sea, climb up the mountain and when you reach the top you have a panoramic view of both Saint Nicolas and Elouda. It is breath taking. Take a few minutes to enjoy it.
Spinaloga 
Elouda is an other fishing village that exploded with tourism the last 30 40 years and can claim the most luxurious hotels of the island where many head of states and other dignities vacation.
When in Elouda visit Spinaloga a small island in the bay of Elouda that was used as a leper colony, from 1903 to 1957. There are many small boats that make the trip often, it takes about 10 minutes. You pay a small fee to get in but it really is worth it.
There is a wonderful book about it called “The Island” by an English Author whose name I can't remember right now.
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Vai
Farther at the most eastern side of the Island and about 120 kilometers from Hersonissos is Vai, famous for its palm forest, right by a beautiful beach. You can easily spend a day here or a weak to enjoy the sun, the food, the ocean.
Do you have plenty of time? There are more places.. There is the south part of the Island with beautiful beaches, like Aghia Galini, Ledas, Aghios Paulos and west on the north side of the island Rethymnon, with it's picturesque harbor restaurants right by the water with the freshest sea food. Hania and if you like hiking the famous Gorge of Samaria 16 km long, starting at an altitude of 1250m and taking you all the way down to the shores of the Libyan sea in Agia Roumeli.
If you need a warm up, hike the Imbros Gorge first. It is a 11 km long canyon starting at the village of Imbros and ending at Hora Sfakion. It is a easy enjoyable hike.
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