The bustling Greek resort of Hersonissos has been home to local fishermen and traders since ancient times, but today it offers a world of luxury relaxation and entertainment for sophisticated travellers looking for somewhere special to unwind.
Set on the northern coast of Crete, the resort plays host to a number of exclusive hotels with world-class facilities, nestled beside the stunning beaches and secluded coves of this stretch of coastline. While it can get exceedingly busy here during the hot summer season, if you visit Hersonissos off-peak you will be able to enjoy all these wonderful facilities without the crowds, making it an ideal destination for an off-season getaway.
Here are my suggestions for a luxury, off-peak break to the sunny Aegean resort.
Where to Stay
The season here is long, starting in April and running all the way through until the end of October. Avoid the busy July/August period and you’ll have your choice of the five-star accommodation offered in the resort. Choose a hotel with a beautiful beach location, pool, restaurant and maybe even a spa for that ultimate pampering option, then relax and soak up the warm Greek sunshine.
Adult-Only Elegance at the Elysium Boutique Hotel and Spa
Set on a beautiful stretch of Analipsi beach, the five-star Elysium Boutique Hotel & Spa mixes ultra modern design with nods to the resort’s classical past. Think sleek, white sun loungers, contemporary fittings and five-star luxury. Whether you are relaxing by the pool on the stylishly sun-bleached wooden terrace, shading yourself on the beach under one of the hotel’s palm-leaf parasols or unwinding in your room’s own private terrace area, you’ll notice the refined touches that make this hotel so special.
There are plenty of places to enjoy company in a sophisticated setting at the Elysium Boutique, including two bars and the delightful Euphoria Restaurant, serving Greek, Cretan and international dishes in a nightly buffet. The beachside Bliss Bar also serves food on the terrace, so that you can drink in the view while enjoying a light meal with your evening cocktail or a glass of wine from the impressive wine list. Bliss Bar also serves food and drink to guests relaxing on the beach.
In the spa guests can indulge in the ultimate luxury of wellbeing and beauty treatments including complete face, body and massage treatments based on traditional Greek methods and drawing inspiration from the Aegean Sea.
Traditional Splendour at the Mitsis Laguna Resort & Spa
Stylish traditional decor meets elegant contemporary design in the Mitsis Laguna Resort & Spa. This five-star hotel mixes shabby chic with refined Grecian architecture to create a unique luxury experience.
Towering over the golden sand of Anissaras Beach, the classically styled hotel features three outdoor pools to choose from: each has its own terrace surrounded by elegant wooden sun loungers with white cushions. If the beach is more your style then relax in your own beach cabana or on one of the hotel’s private beds.
In terms of accommodation you have a choice between your own elegantly furnished bungalow with five-star service or a range of rooms and suites (all of which are air conditioned). When it comes to eating you will be spoilt for choice at the hotel’s six restaurants, including one fine-dining á la carte option and five themed restaurants serving everything from Cretan cuisine to sushi. When you want to socialise with a special someone or a group of friends, choose from five bars on the site, including a champagne bar and others serving an excellent selection of cocktails for you to sample.
If you really want to unwind, then visit the hotel spa with its range of wellbeing and beauty treatments. The spa has its own pool and relaxation area, as well as a hammam, Jacuzzi and fitness centre.
Golf and Seclusion at the Village Heights Golf Resort
If you value your privacy and want a little seclusion then you might want to consider an apartment at the Village Heights Golf Resort. Choose between light, airy rooms or apartments with their own kitchen so that you and your companion can hide away if you choose. Venture outside, however, and you will discover a beautiful private terrace, an inviting swimming pool, tennis courts, and plenty of communal space perfect for socialising. The hotel restaurant serves local cuisine and international food, or if you prefer something light during the day you can buy poolside snacks from the outside bar.
The spa here offers a range of treatments to help you relax into the holiday spirit. There’s a sauna and Jacuzzi, as well as treatment rooms for a variety of massages and beauty treatments. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy a bit of fun on the hotel’s mini golf course or can get serious on the local 18-hole course – just three kilometres away.
Things to Do in Hersonissos
If you can drag yourself away from the luxury of your five-star accommodation then there are some great golf courses to try out in the area and some beautiful beaches to explore.
Enjoy a Round of Golf at the Crete Golf Club
Fully upgraded in 2014, the 18-hole golf course at the Crete Golf Club is just a few minutes from Hersonissos. With its own driving range, teaching pros and chipping area, you could impress your golfing buddies back home by improving your game while you’re away.
Explore the Sarandaris Coves
The Sarandaris Coves are a string of coves which stretch from Cape Sarandaris all the way to Hersonissos. Protected from the northwest winds by the cape, the coves are wonderful, calm places to swim and relax. If you are looking for something special, travel along the coast to the beach at Sarandaris Cape; the limestone steps down may be tricky but you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful secluded cove of soft gold sand and shallow, calm water.
How to Get to Hersonissos
Get to Heronissos by flying into Heraklion (HER) Airport, a 3 hour 40 min flight from the UK. Flights to Heraklion are available from a good range of UK airports and are offered by airlines including easyJet, British Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines. The airport is 19.5km from Hersonissos by car so the easiest – and most relaxing – way to reach your five-star accommodation is to pre-book a private transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off. You’ll be met at the airport by a Shuttle Direct driver and taken in style and comfort directly to your accommodation in Hersonissos.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is one of Europe’s leading airport transfer providers, offering luxury and executive private car transfers with smartly dressed drivers and discreet, unmarked premium vehicles to take you to your chosen destination.