Kokkini Hani Crete: Here you find more information about the area of Zorbas Island, activities and interesting sights.

From Zorbas Beach Island you walk directly onto the beach. Within 5 minutes walking you reach the centre of Kokkini Hani. Here you find various shops, supermarkets, a pharmacy, cash machines and a hairdresser. Most of the shops are open the all year round. In the centre of the village is a sweet little church. The sandy beaches of Kokkini Hani are nice and quiet. There is also a pier where you can go for fishing. When you have been sunbathing enough, then Kokkini offers enough choice for eating or drinking something.

At the beach next to Zorbas Island are many water sport facilities: jetski, banana boat, parasailing, etc. From the beach right in front of Zorbas Island it is ideal to go for snorkelling. You can always use our snorkelling equipment. From Kokkini Hani you are within 15 minutes by bus in Heraklion or Hersonissos. The bus stop is on the main street, only 5 minutes away from your accommodation. In the village you find everything you need during your holiday at Zorbas Beach Island: relaxation, but also everything you need at walking distance!

Kokkini Hani Crete – The area around Zorbas Island

Beach boulevard of Kokkini Hani: Left from Zorbas Island is a small beach boulevard. The little beaches there are nice and quiet. In a few minutes you reach the delicious fish tavern of Yiannis. Every day you can enjoy here fresh fish. And just a bit further up the road are more taverns and a bar, with a stunning view at the island Dia. Sundays it can be a busy on the beach, because a lot of Greek people from Heraklion come to relax on the beaches of Kokkini Hani. The taverns will then also be busy, but eat where the locals eat out, it is always a good sign! After the beach to the right of Zorbas Island you can walk to Gournes and Gouves.

Supermarkets in Kokkini Hani Crete: On the main street  you will find several supermarkets with cash machines. The Chalkiadakis is the biggest supermarket, but the local smaller supermarkets are often just a bit cheaper and with more personal service. Here they have great local products and fresh fruit. On the main street is also a delicious bakery. Every morning the baker bakes fresh white and brown bread for our breakfast. In the bakery you can buy nice Greek cookies, sandwiches and cakes. All the supermarkets are open from early morning till about 10 o’clock in the evening.

Kokkini Hani Crete – Where to go for a drink or food

Food & drinks: There is a variety of taverns with good food and drinks. At night the atmosphere is nice there with all the little lights, the sunset and people passing by.

Restaurants in Kokkini Hani Crete: There are different taverns where it is nice to sit down and have a cheap meal. Mostly they serve Greek plates, but they also have french frites and hamburgers. For fresh fish you should go to the fish tavern of Yiannis, right next to Zorbas Island.

Bar & terrace: In Kokkini Hani there are also some little bars. These are great to sit down for a drink and in the daytime also to enjoy the sun on the terrace.

Water sport in Kokkini Hani: On the right next to the beach at Zorbas Island you can find water sport facilities. Here you can always find something to do for all ages and have some fun with the whole family. What about jetski, catamaran, peddleboat for 4 persons, waterski, kayak 1 or 2 persons, banana ride behind a speedboat, wake board, tubing, surfing, fly-fish, etc.?  As you can see there are many things to do on and in the water. At this company the facilities you rent, are for limited time. Some need experience, others need help of a captain.

Kokkini Hani Crete – Explore the island by bus or car

Public transport on Crete: The public transport is a nice way to discover the island. A trip by bus is cheap and the busses are clean, modern and have air-conditioning. On the main street of Kokkini Hani there are busses going to Heraklion every half hour. You can also go every half hour by bus towards Hersonissos, Malia and Agios Nikolaos. From the bus station in Heraklion you can go with the local bus or a taxi to Knossos. And from Heraklion you can also go to Rethymnon, Ierapetra, Sitia and Chania.

Taxi: We are always happy to organize a taxi for you, wherever you want to go. Our regular taxi drivers are at your disposal day and night and also arrange your transfer from and to the airport. If you go by yourself with a taxi, always ask upfront about the price of the trip!

Petrol stations: At the end of the main street in Kokkini Hani are two petrol stations. If you drive here to put petrol, you can stay seated in the car. You only need to stop the car at the station and say to them how much petrol you wish to have. They put it in the car for you and you pay. In the shop at the petrol station you find everything you could need for your car like oil, wind screen wipers, cooling liquid, etc.

Kokkini Hani Crete – How to get around

Car rental: With pleasure we arrange a rented car for you during your holiday on Crete. The rental car will then be delivered and picked up at your accommodation or airport. We can guarantee you that you have the right insurances. In Kokkini are more car rental companies. Here you can also rent a car for one day or a longer period of time.

Kokkini Hani Crete – Some examples what there is to do when you stay at Zorbas Island

Walking from Kokkini Hani: The area of Kokkini Hani is ideal for walking. You can walk along the beaches as well as into the mountains behind Kokkini Hani. We know beautiful walks in the area which you can either do together with a guide or by yourself. We do have walking maps for you. For more information about walking and hiking, click on hiking menu.

Mountainbike: From Kokkini Hani it is great to go for mountain biking. There are many climbs and descents on paved and unpaved roads. In summertime it is often very dusty. Make sure you always wear a helmet, since there are many stones and rocks on and beside the roads.

Cycling in the area: Kokkini Hani is nice for cycling with its few hills. You can cycle along the coast to other Greek villages or else into the mountains. We do have bicycles you can rent. A cycling tour through Crete is one of many options. We have maps for you.

The Happy Train

Train: On the main street of Kokkini Hani you can go with the “The Happy Train”. This train drives along the sea and through the villages Kokkini Hani, Gournes, Gouves and the American Base. It drives a lot next to the sea and the whole tour takes about one hour. During the tour you can not get off and on at any time. Once you get off and later on again, you will have to buy a new ticket.

Snorkelling: At the beaches directly at Zorbas Island it is beautiful to go for snorkelling. The sea water is very clear and you will see many different animals like fishes, sea urchins, octopuses and seahorses. You can always use our snorkelling equipment and we like to give you a snorkelling lesson.

Fishing: At the boulevard and on the pier it is nice to go for fishing. Often you will find here Greek fishermen. Another option is to go fishing in the harbour of Gournes, where the water is always a bit calmer.

Kokkini Hani Crete – Sights to see in the direct area of the village

Nirou Hani, Crete: Is at 10 minutes walking distance at the end of Kokkini Hani and coming from Heraklion on your right hand side. Originally this is a Minoan villa, which dates back to 1.500 BC.

Dia Island, Crete: From the swimming pool of Zorbas Beach Island you can enjoy the amazing view to the island of Dia. Regularly we organise (speed) boat trips to Dia. The island is a nature reserve for the Kri Kri goats that were brought here. These goats come originally from the West of Crete, the Samaria gorge.  There are gorgeous deserted beaches and a little white church. During your visit to Dia you can go for swimming, snorkelling and walking. Walking around the island takes only about 2 hours. We prepare a barbeque on the beach of Dia Island. A boat trip to Dia is a full day excursion and definitely worth it. From Dia Island you have a good view over to Kokkini Hani.

Gournes, Crete: The village Gournes Pediados is about 17 kilometers East from Heraklion at the coast. It is a quiet, small village with a big church on the main street. Towards the mountains you see all sand paths going into the hilly landscape. These are the paths that lead to the olive fields and vineyards. There is a small and quiet beach with some taverns.

The Cretan Sea Aquarium

Sea aquarium on Crete: This modern sea aquarium is located on the former American base in Gournes. This is the biggest sea aquarium of Europe. You will get a wonderful overview of the underwater world around Crete. In the video rooms they have the whole day the most amazing computer animations about the underwater world. The aquarium in Gournes is open every day. You can visit the sea aquarium in Gournes also in the winter.

Former air force base in Gournes Crete: Directly next to Gournes is the old American military base. In 1996 the last Americans left the base. There is a small harbour where you can see little fishing boats come and go. If you like fishing, this is definitely a good spot for it.

Small villages in the area

Anopoli, Crete: A gorgeous small village 5 kilometres away from Zorbas Island.  In Anopoli are many beautiful churches en a wonderful monastery where, according Cretan legend, happen often miracles. The streets in the village are the typical Greek ones. Olive fields in a hilly valley surround the village. Just outside the village is a big water park: “Watercity”. The park consists of many swimming pools, slides and other fantastic attractions that guarantee lots of fun for the whole family. Watercity is open every day and only during the summer. In Anopoli they also organise a Greek traditional evening during the “Greek village – festival Anopoli”. If you are interested in this, we will help you on your way to see how people dance in Greece.

Kokkini Hani Crete – There are many nice villages to visit around Kokkini Hani

Kato Gouves, Crete: (“Gouves down”) is a larger resort on Crete with many hotels and apartments. The many restaurants and bars are all centred in a long street, which is not really giving you that Greek feel. At the coast in Kato Gouves is a nice little church. Also between Kokkini Hani, Gournes and Kato Gouves drives a small touristic train:  “The Happy Train”. You can make a tour with this train in the area. The centre of Kato Gouves is at about 5 kilometres away from your accommodation.

Pano Gouves, Crete: (“Gouves up”) the nice village above from Kato Gouves is called Pano Gouves. In its centre is a huge church with around it small Greek taverns that are open all year round. Pano Gouves is at about 5 kilometres distance from your accommodation. Here you will see the old-fashioned street scenes of the old Greece. It is worthwhile to pay a visit at Pano Gouves.

The cave and monastery of Skotino

Skotino, Crete: The village Skotino is not far away from Pano Gouves. Going to this nice village, you have to be careful not to just pass it! Beyond the village of Skotino is an impressive cave: the cave of Skotino. There are signs that lead you to it. From the cave there is also a walking route to Kokkini Hani. Down in the cave you have a stunning view into the deepness.

Cave of Agia Paraskevi: 6 kilometres from Kokkini Hani Crete: One of the most holy caves of Crete and used since the late Neolithic period. Each visitor can enjoy the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites in the chambers of the cave. At the entrance of the cave is the church of St. Paraskevi. Length of the route: more than 450 meters.

Monastery of the Virgin Maria Eleousa: This monastery is dedicated to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary and comes from the end of the 16th century. Today, it is coincided with the monastery of Agarathos.

The village of Galype

Galype: 5 kilometres from Kokkini Hani Crete: There are various churches to visit in this village: Church of St. Kostaninos, Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary, Church of St. George and Church of St. Nikolaos. The settlement, together with Kainourgio Chorio, is a traditional village and belongs to the Municipality of Hersonissos.

Church of St. George: In the first place this church used to be part of a small monastery, of which only a part of a water tank has been preserved, south of the church. It dates from around 1400.

Galype Crete, Church van St. Nikolas: Church dates back from the Venetian time, the 15th century.

Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary: Church dating from the Venetian period with later additions to the west. Inside the church, on the northern wall, is the Arcosolium (a Venetian grave), still in very good condition. It dates from the 2nd half of the 16th century and features a coat of arms.

Galyfa – Another small village

Galyfa (9 kilometres from Kokkini Hani): Old little village with nice small streets, a Kafenion and a Raki distillery. You can find the following churches in this village: the Church of St. Dimitrios and the Church of St. Paraskevi-St. Panteleimonas.

Church van St. Paraskevi-St. Panteleimona: The church used to be the metochion of a monastery. They built the church in several construction phases. The older southside is dedicated to St. Paraskevi and decorated with painting from the 13th century. In the 15th century they extended the church to the west with an additional transverse aisle decorated with paintings. Now the chapel is also here.

Aitania, Crete: The village is on a hill with on the east side down below the river and gorge of Karteros. The northern part of the village has beautiful views of the sea. Below the village you can see a valley. In the village is a kafenion, a Greek coffeehouse. The church of the Virgin Mary “Kardiotissa” dominates the landscape. There is also the Church of St. Paraskevi.

Kakia Rahi, Aitania: The stone bridge and the water mill at “Kakia Rahi” are both monuments protected by the Greek government. These are special sights of this village, also because of the memories the local people have about the construction of this arch bridge and watermill. Local craftsmen built the arch bridge using a special technique.

Episkopi – Village with many churches

Episkopi, Crete: this village is located in the hills, hidden in a beautiful setting and about 7 kilometres driving from your accommodation. The village is worth a visit because of the beautiful little narrow streets and the many old churches. Next to the authentic Cretan centre of the village is an ostrich farm. Also when you look down from Episkopi, you will see Dia Island. The views from here are amazing. The churches you can find here are: Church of Michail Archaggelos, 14th century, Church of St. Minas Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 19th century, Church of St. Antonios, 15th century, Church of Faneromeni, 14th century, Church of St. Paraskevi, 15th century, Church of Kera Tsompanena, 19th century, Church of St. John, 14th century.

Church of St. Minas – Assumption of the Virgin Mary: The main church of the village is St. Minas, which is the parish church of Episkopi and also the largest one. This church belongs to the type of two-aisled vaulted basilica and was built the end of the 19th century (1882-1884). Its south aisle is dedicated to Saint Minas, honoured as protector of the village. The north aisle is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in memory of the previous church of the Holy Virgin Mary that was on same spot.

Episkopi, Church of Faneromeni-All Saints: This church is the type of barrel-vaulted basilica and built in two phases. First only the south aisle existed, dedicated to Agioi Pantes (All Saints) and probably dates from the 14th century. In 1642 the church has been expanded with an additional northern aisle and a narthex (front hall). The aisles communicate with stone arched openings.

Different churches in Episkopi

Episkopi, Church of Keras Tsompanena built in 1832 and is a small single-aisled vaulted church. There are no more frescoes to be seen, but the openings have decorations with remarkable stone reliefs. It was one of the two parish churches in the village Episkopi, until they built the church of St. Minas in 1884.

St. Paraskevi is a small single-aisle and vaulted church in the centre of the village, dating from the 15th century. In front of the church is a small square and inside the church are frescoes. Important historical evidence is the illustrations of the Venetian soldiers, nobles and priests in several scenes of the frescoes.

St. Ioannis dates from the 14th century, which can be seen from the wall paintings inside and is dedicated to the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Under the church floor are graves probably to the owners of the church. A unique architectural element on the outer side of the northern wall is the arcosolium, which is an arch that covers another obviously very important tomb. They built the arcosolium after the church and therefore people believe this tomb belongs to the renovator.

Then there is also the small Church of St. Antonios with frescoes of the late 14th century and the Church of Michail Archaggelos also with wall paintings from the 14th century.

Other small villages in the area

Sgourokefali Crete: Church of the Holy Trinity: The church with 2 aisles in Sgourokefali dates from 1836.

Kainourgio Chorio: A nice village with many little streets to walk through. From Kokkini Hani it is about 4 kilometres to get here. Also in the this village are some important sights to see, like the Church of the Virgin Mary Diktiani, the Tower of Foskolos and the Patitiria. The settlement is a traditional village. According to the population census of Castrofilaca, under Venetian rule in 1583, the village is reported as Chenurio Chorio with 134 inhabitants.

Church of the Virgin Diktiani: They built this church in two phases. The early Venetian building with one aisle in the south and in the 19th century they added a northern aisle. On the south wall in the church are traces of an Arcosolium (a Venetian grave).

Tower of Foskolos: This tower belonged to the Foskolos family, to whom also Kainourio Chorio belonged. Today, only the ground floor of the house is still there.

Kainourgio Chorio, Patitiria: These winepresses (patitiria), known as Patitiria Foskolou belonged to Foskolos, the land lord of the village. Once the grapes felt down through the openings in the eastern wall, they pressed the grapes kept for some days in situ, protected by the roof of the wine press, waiting to get a deep red colour.

Cave church

Gorge of the Holy Anastasia: When you visit the gorge of St. Anastasia you will enjoy the geological formations and the vegetation with mainly oleander bushes with its flowers (Nerium oleander). The church of St. Anastasia is at the entrance of the gorge. Length of the route: around 12 km walking till Kokkini Hani, through several gorges.

Stamnoi, Crete: A beautiful little village with nice old small streets, surrounded by a green area. In these typical Greek streets you can see lots of doors in vibrant colours.The distance from here to Kokkini Hani is about 5 kilometres. The two most important churches that belong to this village are the church of St. Vlassios, 14th century and the church of theTransfiguration of the Saviour, 13th century.

Church van St. Vlassios: The Church of St. Vlassios has been built in two phases. It has in the northern aisle remains of paintings dated from the Venetian period and they added the southern aisle and west wing in the 19th century.

Stamnoi, Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour: This is an arched church with paintings. It dates from the end of the 13th century. In the 19th century they added the west entrance, the north wing and the wooden Templon.

Aposelemis Gorge – Chance to see vultures

Aposelemis: Community of Kalo Horio. The visitor can enjoy here the exceptional beautiful geological rock formations, the dense vegetation along the river and the rich flora and fauna. There is a path through the woods with signs that make it easier to find the way through. Length of the route: about 4 kilometres and up to a maximum of 10 kilometres if you continue until the beach of Analipsi.

Gorge of Aposelemis: A hike through a gorge, the distance from Kokkini Hani is 12 kilometres. Have also a look at: Hiking the Aposelemis.

Villages on the way to the Lassithi plateau

Avdou, Municipality Hersonissos : Avdou is at a distance of about 17 kilometres from Kokkini Hani. The churches you can find here are the ones of St. Antonios, 14th century, St. Paraskevi, 19th century. Church of Pantanassa, 17th century. Church of St. George, 14th century, Church of Annunciation and the Church of Aventis Christos, 17th century. Other places to visit are Xanthoudi’s house and the Gorge of Ambelos.

Krasi, Crete: A little village on the way up to the Lassithi Plateau. It is located at about 22 kilometres away from Kokkini Hani.

What to see in Krasi

Megali Vrysi, Krasi: The so called “Megali Vrysi” is an aqueduct dating from 1890, according to the inscription on the wall. It delivers water to the village and irrigates a large part of the Lassithi plateau. It basically is a water tank with three arched openings at the north side. Two of these openings were used to give water to the animal, which can be seen from the stone basins.

Monumental plane tree, Krasi: The tree is a nature monument and is protected by the Greek State. According to estimates the tree must be some centuries old and its circumference is 14,6m (at the height of the pavement of 1.30m). During past times many famous Greek writers like Kazantzakis, Varnalis and Alexiou relaxed and got inspiration at this tree. Nowadays there are local parties on the square that next to the tree.

More information

News and photo page: On Crete News you find the latest pictures, so you are always informed about our activities. You will also find an extensive collection of photo albums and photo books of our excursions, both in summer and winter. These pictures of the last years were taken by us and our guests of Zorbas Island and give you a great impression of staying on Crete.

Excursions on Crete: Here you find a lot of information about excursions during your holiday on Crete like: car and bike rental, car and accommodation, diving, cycling, hiking, hiking combinations on Crete, Greek cooking lesson, playing golf, boat trips, horseback riding, outdoor activities, sailing, jeep safari, fishing, group excursions, weekly excursion programs or fly-drive.

More information for a holiday on Crete

To give you an impression about your holiday at Zorbas Island on Crete, we created a short “Zorbas Island” Movie for you: If you got 5 minutes for holidays to Crete

Zorbas Island Crete

Holiday information Crete Zorbas IslandFor renting apartments and holiday homes, all your excursions and cheap flights to Crete. If you are looking for apartment rental and accommodation on Crete, you have come to the right place. We have a variety of apartments, suitable for families, singles, couples or more people travelling together. We can help you to organize your holiday on Crete Greece to your wishes. An active outdoor vacation, active holidays, a beach holiday, or a combination of both we can all realize for you.

In case you like more information, please send an email to zorbasisland@gmail.com

Kokkini Hani Crete