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Chersonissos

Chersonissos

There will not be many tourists who have never heard of Chersonissos. In recent years, it has become one of the favourite destinations in Greece. The town on Crete has gained an illustrious reputation. Hersonissos has the image that tourists come here mainly for sun, sea and booze. That image is not entirely unjustified, but Chersonissos has more to offer.

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Hotels Chersonissos

Location

Chersonissos Harbour, CreteChersonissos Harbour, CretePhoto: Jose Mario Pires CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Chersonissos is located in the north of the island of Crete, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. 25 kilometres to the west is Iraklion, with many historical sites and 40 kilometres to the east is the town of Agios Nikolaos with its idyllic little harbour. Originally, Chersonissos means peninsula in Greek, which is a strange name as it is not on a peninsula.

Weather

Chersonissos has a wonderful Mediterranean climate. This means hot, dry summers (with about 12 hours of sunshine a day!) and mild winters. Although winter tourism has not yet taken off here, it is lovely to stay in the winter months too. The temperature and the number of sun hours per day may drop, but there is no question of a cold winter. Even in December, the seawater is still 17 degrees and in March there are still about 7 hours of sunshine a day.

History

Chersonissos Roman FountainChersonissos Roman FountainPhoto: Jose Mario Pires CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Contrary to what many people expect, Chersonissos does have a rich history. When Crete became part of the Roman Empire in 67 BC, Chersonissos was a strategically important point and with its harbour economically occupied. When the Roman Empire was divided into an eastern and western empire in the year 337, the importance of Chersonissos quickly decreased. Until the 1960s, when the town became popular with tourists, it was a sleepy fishing village with few inhabitants. However, archaeological finds from the town's glory days can still be admired.

Sights

Chersonissos NightlifeChersonissos NightlifePhoto: Matthias Alde CC 2.0 Unported no changes made

What not many people know is that Chersonissos also has an old centre, called Pano Chersonissos. Here is the atmosphere more relaxed than on the boulevard and is still something of the authentic Greek village to see that it once was. However, the main activities here consist mainly of sunbathing on the beach and partying in the many clubs. Bungee jumping is also possible here.

Chersonissos BeachChersonissos BeachPhoto: Public Domain

If you go a bit further from the city, there are also numerous beaches where you can enjoy more peace and quiet. In that case, it is wise to book a hotel just outside the city centre. Chilling out on the beach is usually followed by a walk along the boulevard. You can do some good shopping here, but especially the nightlife can get its money's worth. Discos, clubs, pubs, snack bars and restaurants, you will find them all here.

Tips

Knossos CreteKnossos CretePhoto: Bernard Gagnon CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

A holiday to Chersonissos does not have to mean that you only indulge in drink and sun. As mentioned, you can visit the old Chersonissos, but also the rest of Crete has a lot to offer. Nature, ancient sights and that wonderful Greek culture can all be found here. A must is of course a visit to the ancient Knossos. After a week in Cherso, you could also choose to stay in another part of Crete or Greece.

Useful links Chersonissos

BBC Country Profiles
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Last updated May 2024
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