Hersonissos holidays break the Cretan mould. It swaps out the usual historic sites and traditional villages for action-packed beaches and lively nightlife – and that's why people love it.

Modern Crete

Crete files itself firmly in Greece’s culture-vulture bracket, thanks to its Minoan palaces and long inventory of preserved ruins. Hersonissos, though, is a different beast altogether. Instead of promising you ancient archaeological sites and countryside where you could hear a pin drop, this place shapes up as one of the island’s liveliest customers. The bold and brash waterfront’s where most of the action happens, with bars and cafés clinging limpet-like to the promenade.

Sun-seeker’s dream

Slithers of sand stop and start along the shoreline, and they’re all busy with parasols, loungers and watersports providers. For those that like a dip, it’s one of Crete’s calmer pockets of water. Little and large boats bob in the shallows of the harbour, where sightseeing and pirate ship tours are in the offing. Adrenaline junkies, meanwhile, flutter towards Star Beach. This land-and-sea-based waterpark tosses up banana boat rides, bungee jumps and scuba diving sessions.

Big on bars

Seafood joints keep visitors topped up with platters of mussels, squid and fried fish during the day. If that’s not a bit of you, plump for Greece’s trademark gyros instead – these rolled flatbreads are packed out with rotisserie-style lamb or pork. Once the sun’s clocked off for the day, the seafront substitutes its natural glow for a neon replacement. The main clutch of bars and clubs are anchored just inland from the beaches, and keep the drinks deals coming thick and fast until the wee hours.

At a Glance

  • Chow down on fish fresh from the grill
  • Sample the up-tempo nightlife
  • Kick back on the sandy seafront

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