Cook's Club Hersonissos Crete
Fringed by some of Greece’s finest clear-water coves and dwarfed beneath a dazzling mountainscape, Crete is an island of transcendent beauty. On its south-eastern shores, Cook’s Club Hersonissos provides the perfect springboard to explore the islands thriving culinary scene, pulsating nightlife and many, many beautiful beaches.
With its sandy coves and azure blue seas, anyone with an insta-feed has dreamt of this place. And everything is in easy reach. But if adventure is more your thing, break up the beach days with a day trip or two across the island. Honey-hued villages, flowing gorges and blissful beach spots are no more than a short drive away.
The coastline of Hersonissos is dotted with crystal-clear coves and small beaches. Just a twenty-minute stroll from Cook’s Club, you’ll find Limanakia – a tiny, sandy beach away from the masses of sunburned tourists. Bring the essentials and spend a day in (relative) solitude, soaking up all that blissfully blue sea.
Perched beneath white limestone cliffs, Sarandaris is a beautiful sandy beach with shallow blue water and a small sea cave. Despite its beauty, its relatively quiet – there are a few umbrellas, sunbeds and a small canteen, but that’s about it. A little further down at the base of Sarandaris Cape, there is a stony naturist beach well protected by high cliffs and prying eyes.
This long sandy beach, located between Malia and Hersonissos, offers shallow, clear waters and a string of good restaurants, cafes and taverns dotted along the coast. It may not be secluded, but it’s ideal for those looking for an organised trip to the beach, with everything in easy reach.
Med Cafe (Hersonissos)
This blissful beachfront cafe serves a fresh, farm-to-table menu using locally sourced produce from farms across Crete and beyond. Sip on a cocktail to the soundtrack of laid-back lounge music. Sunsets are daily and free of charge.
Saradari Restaurant (Hersonissos)
Saradari serves up some of the most delicious seafood on the block. With its fresh Mediterranean menu and boho-chic décor, it’s the perfect place to stop for a bite after a long day at the beach. Get the grilled octopus and halloumi, and wash it down with one of their delicious signature cocktails.
Taverna Harakas (Old Town Hersonissos)
This understated Greek taverna in the heart of old Hersonissos is a Cretan classic. Yes, it’s in all the guidebooks, but for good reason. It’s full of charm and oozing Greek hospitality. Eat like a local with hearty, traditional dishes, handmade with love. Tip: head there on a Monday for Greek Night – there’s even dancing and live music.
The Alchemist (Koutouloufari)
Nestled among the narrow-paved streets of Koutouloufari, this small, family-run restaurant is an authentic Cretan jewel. The menu favours traditional Greek dishes such as shrimp saganaki, grilled octopus and moussaka, topped off with a complimentary raki and dessert. It’s often the busiest place in the village, so be sure to book ahead.
Balmy island days are synonymous with ice cream. And the homemade ice cream at Gelato Nocciola is a feast for both your eyes and your taste buds. Featuring a range of quirky and experimental flavours, as well as the classics, it’s a Hersonissos must-do.
Can’t cope without your skim latte with oat milk and extra sugar? Coffee Island has you sorted. With an impressive a selection of expertly made coffees to choose from, as well as a selection of snacks and treats, it’s a coffee lovers paradise.
If you’re up for a little adventure, hire a car and head about an hour and a half’s drive from Hersonissos to Sarakina Gorge - one of the most beautiful gorges in Crete. Located near the coastal village of Mirtos, the canyon is rich in flora, streams and small rock pools, making it the perfect place to stop for a dip. The hiking trail takes about 1.5 hours to finish and can get a little challenging at points, but it makes for a memorable day trip for the daring. Be sure to wear proper shoes.
The shallow crystal-clear waters at Chrissi island look like a scene straight out of the Caribbean. This small, uninhabited island – the most southern point of Europe - offers pristine beaches, a beautiful cedar forest and a myriad of shell fossils and corals. Explore the lush nature, the Minoan ruins, the little chapel or just laze, snorkel or swim your way through the day.
Palm Beach Club (Hersonissos)
Open from sunrise till long after it sets, Palm Beach Club is a cool kids’ paradise. The palm-filled setting features two swimming pools, three bars and a dancefloor, as well as an open-air lounge and shisha area. Every night has a different soundtrack and agenda, but the music is always pumping and the drinks are always ice cold.
Cameo is something of an institution in Hersonissos. The legendary club prides itself on an explosive mix of great music, beautiful people, handcrafted drinks and a stellar DJ line-up. Throw a few fire dancers and live percussionists into the mix and you’ve got yourself a great night out.