Where to Stay in Heraklio

GreeceCrete › Heraklio Hotels
Updated: January 23, 2024
By Santorini Dave

Our Favorite Hotels in Heraklio

• Luxury Hotel: GDM Megaron
• For Families: Aquila Atlantis
• For Couples: Legacy Gastro

Staying in Heraklion.

Many of the best hotels and places to stay in Heraklio (for first-time visitors) are located in the small walkable area between the ferry port, marina, and Archaeological Museum.

Best Places to Stay in Heraklio

  • Heraklio, Crete’s capital and largest city, is home to the main international airport and ferry port. While it lacks the instant charm of smaller coastal villages, this mid-sized city boasts a robust character, rich culture, and deep historical roots. It serves as an ideal base for exploring Crete’s archaeological sites, wine regions, and culinary traditions.
  • First-time visitors to Heraklio should consider staying in the Old Town, particularly if they’re without a car, to enjoy the city’s walkable layout. The compact center, less than 2km wide, is filled with numerous restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions. Aim to stay within the Venetian walls, forming a triangular area bordered by the sea, port, and fortress to the north, and reaching the grave of Nikos Kazantzakis, the famed author of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ, at the southern tip. A car isn’t needed for a stay in Heraklio’s Old Town.
  • The Old Town is ideal for exploring the city’s attractions, but for a relaxed beach holiday, consider the beaches west of the city. Ammoudara Beach, around 5 km from the port, is not the closest beach to the city center, but it is the best one nearby. It features a long stretch of soft sand, sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, and numerous dining and drinking options along the beachfront. The Enorme Teatro Beach Hotel is great.

The 8 Best Hotels in Heraklio

1. GDM Megaron Hotel

Best hotel in Heraklion.Hotel Phone: +30 28103 05300
Stately five-star hotel in a 1925 historic mansion, featuring a rooftop pool with harbor and Koules Fortress views. It houses a contemporary Cretan-Mediterranean restaurant on the top floor and a chic cafe serving complimentary breakfast. The wellness center includes a hammam, sauna, and jacuzzi. All rooms and suites boast balconies, king-size beds, and coffee/tea amenities, with premium suites offering sea views, espresso machines, and a complimentary bottle of ouzo. Conveniently located near the Venetian harbor and Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

2. Legacy Gastro Suites

5-star hotel in Heraklion, Crete.
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 21200
Food-cetric five-star boutique hotel in Old Town, close to the Archaeological Museum, Bembo Fountain, and St. George Gate. Each art-inspired suite offers indoor and outdoor dining areas with pantries filled with local treats like olive oils, tapenades, cold cuts, cheeses, honey, and Greek wines and spirits. The onsite restaurant, Papi, led by famous chef Ettore Botrini, specializes in Italian cuisine made with Cretan ingredients, complemented by Greek and Italian wines. Options for full-board and half-board stays are available.

3. Aquila Atlantis Hotel

Pool with view in Heraklion.
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 29103
Luxury hotel offering a holistic spa and two pools: a rooftop pool with harbor views and bar, and a semi-covered pool on the patio. It features a Cretan-Mediterranean restaurant for casual and fine dining, and a lounge bar for light meals and drinks. The rooms and suites have stylish decor, rain showers, and city or sea views, with most having balconies. The Grand Suite includes a living and dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows. Conveniently located in Old Town, close to the Venetian walls at Sampionara Gate, and within walking distance to the Archaeological Museum and port.

4. Veneziano Boutique Hotel

Best boutique hotel in Heraklion.
Hotel Phone: +30 28103 44758
Striking boutique hotel in a lovingly-restored, landmark building: the ground floor was built in the Venetian era (1510) and the upper floor added during the Ottoman reign (1730). Its four double rooms and two 2-story apartments feature walk-in showers, coffee and tea facilities, and comfortable, contemporary furnishings. Breakfast is served in a charming, interior courtyard, which operates as a wine bar later in the day. Excellent walkable location near Lion’s Square (Morosini Fountain), the Basilica of St. Mark (now an art gallery), and the Venetian Loggia.

5. Olive Green Hotel

Best 4-star hotel in Heraklion.
Hotel Phone: +30 28103 02900
Eco-friendly, tech-forward hotel in the city’s historic center, near the Archaeological Museum, Venetian Loggia, and Museum of Ancient Greek Technology. Rooms boast walk-in showers and digital Cretan landscape photos with QR codes revealing their locations, all reachable within an hour’s drive. Most rooms feature balconies, while top-floor OG Club Elite rooms have spacious terraces. Includes buffet breakfast with optional à la carte upgrade. The lively and casual 626 All Day Lounge & City Garden serves Cretan and international dishes, cocktails, and coffee.

6. Lato Boutique Hotel

Heraklion hotel near ferry port.
Hotel Phone: +30 28102 28103
Lato, the nearest hotel to Heraklio’s port, is located just behind the stone-arched Venetian Neoria dockyards. It offers rooms and suites with soundproof windows and views of either the city or the sea and fortress. Executive Suites feature king-sized beds, separate living rooms, and jacuzzi baths. The hotel hosts two seasonal Cretan restaurants: Herb’s Garden on the rooftop for summer and Brilliant on the ground floor for winter.

7. Pavo Art Hotel

Luxury hotel in Heraklion.
Hotel Phone: +30 69867 18545
Sunny, mural-filled boutique hotel right outside the Venetian Walls near Talos Plaza Mall. A 10-minute walk east into Heraklio leads to the Natural History Museum; a 15-minute walk west leads to the beach. Studio, one, and two-bedroom suites feature playful decor, fully equipped kitchens, and walk-in showers. Most have private balconies; some add sofa beds. The largest suite sleeps up to six guests. Excellent value for money, if you don’t mind a little walking.

8. Enorme Teatro Beach Hotel

Beach hotel near Heraklion.
Hotel Phone: +30 281 022 7000
The best beach hotel near Heraklio. Located on Amoudara Beach, 5 km to the west of the ferry port on a wonderful stretch of sand. Trendy beach club, great restaurant, and a nice pool area.

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Sign showing taxi rates from Rethymno port

Heraklio without a car: taxis are readily available at the port, with set prices to Knossos, the airport, and other Cretan town and villages.

People walk through a bus station, towing luggage

The Heraklio bus station is new and modern, serving routes across the island.

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