The cosmopolitan and luxurious coastal Hersonissos also offers alternative choices for the lovers of nature, culture and history. Visitors can discover another side of Hersonissos through alternative routes that will introduce them to the local history, culture, mythology, and the beautiful natural environment of the region. In the following unit you will find proposed routes in nature that will help you find your own Hersonissos.
There are several traditional settlements near the port of Hersonissos, such as "Piskopiano", "Koutouloufari", "Agriana" and "Analipsi". To the south, there are the traditional settlements of "Sfentyli", "Avdou", "Gonies" and "Kera". The whole region was continuously inhabited since the prehistoric years and has a long history and cultural heritage.
Furthermore, the region is characterized by a rich natural environment and unique biotopes. A large part of the municipality''s mountainous area, bordering with the plateau of Lasithi, is integrated in the ecological network NATURA 2000. There are two large caves in the region, as well as many smaller ones, and at least three gorges worth visiting.
Finally, there are two sites that have been registered by the Forest Administration of Heraklion as sites of unique natural wealth: the oak-tree forest of Aghia Foteini and the bearberry forest, as well as the wider region of Hersonissos. The forests of the region are shaped mainly by oak trees, "azilaka" (Quercusilex) and "asfentamos" (Acer sempervirens). It is important to note here that a rare endemic tree of Crete was first traced in this region. It is the deciduous tree "Ampelitsia" (Zelkova abelicea), which can reach 10m. maximum height.
The proposed routes that follow include some of the most beautiful sites of the Municipality of Hersonissos: peaceful villages, beautiful landscapes, gorges, caves and archeological areas. Through these routes we invite you to discover the "other side" of Hersonissos.