Heraklion is the capital and the biggest city in Crete. It might seem like a typical urban city on the first sight, however, Heraklion is reputed for its rich history, cheap and delicious food and, of course, friendly locals. The city gets pretty crowded in the summer months of June, July and August, when the streets are packed both with locals and visitors.
Heraklion locals stand out for their friendliness, preserving their hospitality's reputation. As the capital of Crete, the city has a more cosmopolitan culture than other Cretan cities, thus gay acceptance is overall higher. It's also the proud host of the Cretan gay pride, which takes place every 2nd quarter of June. The gay scene of Heraklion is discreet but it's there and it's waiting for you.
Where to Stay?
Staying in a centrally located hotel is essential when visiting Heraklion, this is why we picked Lato Boutique Hotel as the reference point of our weekend. The hotel is only 5 minutes walking from the city's main pedestrian street, and has breathtaking direct views over the Old Harbour. It's naturally a great option for gay couples, while the Executive Suite can host up to 3 people.
Let's discover how you can spend a gay weekend in Heraklion while staying at Lato Boutique Hotel, member of KARATARAKIS Hotels & Restaurants SA!
08:00 | Breakfast at Aroma Restaurant: Start your first day in Heraklion, with an energizing breakfast in the hotel. The breakfast is served in a buffet style and the menu includes delicious local recipes - Must Try -, as well as some Intercontinental options if you are not fond of Cretan cuisine. The high-quality of the breakfast ensures that you will start your day with enough energy to explore the city!
09:00 | The Palace of Knossos: After your breakfast, it's high time you started your city exploration. You cannot simply stay in Heraklion, and not visit the renowned Palace of Knossos. Knossos used to be the heart of the Minoan Civilization, and the birthplace of many thrilling stories like the Labyrinth with the Minotaur and the story of Daedalus and Icarus. You need at least 4 hours to discover this place!
11:00 | Ammoudara and Krateros Beaches in Heraklion: Ammoudara and Karteros might not be the best beaches in Crete, however, they present two marvelous alternatives if you stay in Heraklion and you don't have means of transpiration to make a 20 minutes to journey to reach a beach. Both of the beaches are organised with beach bars, while they can be easily accessed by car.
13:00 | Lunch at Brillant Restaurant/Herb's Garden Restaurant: You must be starving by now, so there is not a better place to enjoy your lunch, than in one of the hotel's luxurious and elegant restaurants, serving nouvelle Grecque cuisine. The hotel's summer restaurant, Herb's Garden, operates from May to October, offering a light and refreshing spring menu, while the hotel's winter restaurant, Brillant, operates from November to April, serving more winter-ish dishes. Both menus include local meat dishes, fresh green salads, hand-made pastra, fresh fish, and mouth-watering desserts. Of course, your meal can be paired with a bottle of local wine!
15:00 | Refreshing Spa: Now that your stomach is full, we recommend you to get back to your room and rest for a little. After your resting, visit the marvelous small steam bath or the jacuzzi (both can be found at the hotel's spa). They are the best way to relax and rest from your morning exploration. And if you are fond of massages, don't hesitate and ask for a special massage treatment, you could request for a special massage treatment from the hotel's exclusive spa menu that was inspired from the Aegean Islands!
17:00 | Heraklion Exploration: Heraklion's historical Venetian Harbor is just 1 minute away from the hotel, so don't hesitate and make it the starting of your city exploration. While on the port, don't miss to visit the historical fortress "Koules", with an entrance fee of only 2 euros (Open until 18:00 on Summer and 15:00 on winter). After that, we recommend you to take a walk at the pedestrian street "25is Avgoustou", which is packed with souvenir shops, and cafes, leading to Heraklion's main square. While walking, you will also encounter many sights on this road, including the Municipal Art Gallery, the Venetian Loggia, and the Church of St. Titus.
21:00 | Dining in the city: Heraklion's food culture will surely surprise you. The dining options in the city are literally endless, and the eateries range from small traditional taverns serving authentic Cretan Cuisine to gourmet restaurants introducing new flavors while also based on the traditional Cretan food tradition. The best way to explore the local food tradition is by visiting a tavern!
23:00 - 03:00 | A Night in the City!: Heraklion has a vivid nightlife, but it's not too intense. The locals prefer to gather in traditional bars drinking raki and local wine, however, the option to visit a more cozy and elegant cocktail bar is also available. For a more fancy cocktail, visit the city's only gay bar called La Brasserie, about 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel, called La Brasserie!
09:00 | Heraklion Museums: After your breakfast, don't waste any more time and start your museum exploration. Most of Heraklion's Museums open on 09:00, while the majority of them close until 16:00-18:00. The hours that they are open are different in summer and winter. Heraklion Archaeological Museum is only 5 minutes away from the hotel on foot, so we recommend you to make it the first stop of your museum excursion. If you are a true museum admirer, then you can also visit other museums like the Historical Museum of Crete, the Natural History Museum of Crete, Elissos Museum, and the Museum of Cretan Ethnology.
11:00 | Agia Pelagia Beach: This beach is quite far away from Heraklion, about 25 km and it can be accessed by car since there is not a bus service from Heraklion to Agia Pelagia. The beach is truly remarkable and it gets pretty crowded every summer. There are many beach bars and taverns on the beach, as well as sunbeds and umbrellas to chill.
13:00 | Lunch at the city: After your bath, you can grab something quick and filling to eat in one of the many eateries located in Heraklion's center. We highly recommend you to try the local Gyros, since the city is known as one of the best cities to try the Greek Souvlaki. If you are on a diet... make sure that it's your cheat day!
17:00 | Unofficial Gay Nudist Beach "Sarantari": The most popular gay beach in Crete is only 30 minutes driving from Heraklion, so you must visit it. It can be easily accessed on foot, but you have to pass through shallow waters in order to reach it. It's actually on the far left side of the main beach, right after the rocks. It's a nudist beach so the majority of the men are naked, however, being nude is not mandatory.
20:00 | Dinner at Herb's Garden Restaurant: The hotel's 2nd restaurant, operating in the roof garden from May to October, boasts of having the finest balcony in the city, offering panoramic views of the old city harbor and the Venetian fortress. The menu includes caught fish and seafood of the day, fresh vegetables ans season salads, local meats cooked to perfection, as well as local drinks like ouzo and raki that will further complement your Cretan meal. During winter (November - April) and the rainy summer evenings, you can enjoy your lunch at the indoors Brillant Restaurant, whose elegant and cozy atmosphere ensures a pleasant and luxurious dining experience as well!
22:00 | Cozy Cocktail in 626 All Day Lounge & City Garden: Located only 4 minutes away from Lato Boutique Hotel, 626 All Day Lounge & City Garden is the perfect way to conclude your night with a fabulous cocktail in a modern and stylish environment. The bar's menu includes classic cocktails like Daquiri and Mojito, as well as Signature Cocktails like White Sangria and Pink-Bang.
Now that you haven gotten a gasp of how a gay weekend in Heraklion will flow, do not hesitate any more time and Book now at Lato Boutique Hotel! Still not convinced? Take a look at the hotel's website!