Best Places for Kids Around Heraklion

When you stay at Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort you are close to the most exciting Cretan attractions for the little ones. Besides exciting attractions in Heraklion, like the Natural History Museum and the Historical Museum of Crete, you will find a lot outside of the capital of the island – all places easily accessible by car.

Ippikos Omilos Irakliou: Minoiki Avli

At the Riding Academy of Crete, Ippikos Omilos Irakliou, children can take private or group riding lessons, but they can also see Minoiki Avli, the “Minoan Yard,” which is a vibrant show with live music and dance, taking place in a beautiful stone amphitheater. The highlight of the show is the reenactment of the taurokathapsia, the Minoan bull-leaping, a non-violent bullfighting sport in which participants leaping over the back of a charging bull. In Minoan Crete, the bull was considered sacred and worshiped.

The Riding Academy of Crete is a 45 minute-drive from Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort in Karteros (Gouves) not far from the next attraction on this list.



The CretAquarium in Gournes is one of the most exciting attractions outside of Heraklion. It is managed by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research and offers all kinds of unique educational programs all revolving around the magic of life under the sea. The facility cares for over 2000 sea animals of 200 different species found in the Mediterranean Basin. Each tank of the CretAquarium bears labels identifying the names of the hosted animals, printed in nine languages: Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, and Czech. An audio tour in nine languages is offered too. The institution also organizes various activities to raise awareness on issues concerning the healthy future of the marine environment.

The CretAquarium is about 20 minutes away from the Riding Academy of Crete, and about one-hour drive from Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort.

Dinosauria Park


The Dinosauria Park is in Gournes too, not far from the CretAquarium – 1 minute by car, but you can also walk. It is an exciting adventure into the Jurassic world. It boasts about 50 life-size animatronic dinosaur models with descriptions in English and Greek, and a lovely garden, rich in vegetation – perfect for a leisurely walk. Little visitors can see how a dinosaur hatches from an egg or take part in hands-on activities in the General Hospital. The park also offers 5D and 7D cinematic experiences, plus a safe playground for the little ones.

The park is just one-hour drive from Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort.

Planet Crete

Planet Crete – a window to the mysterious world of the stars – is adjacent to Dinosauria Park and you can get a discount when you visit them both. This is the planetarium of Crete with an interactive science exhibition, where children and adults alike can observe the enchanted world of the stars, and play all kinds of science-based games, which are both fun and educational.

Planet Crete is just one-hour drive from Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort.

Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre

Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre in the port of Hersonissos is a small rescue and research facility, which displays local sea life and reptiles, as well as some exotic species. Hands-on activities are encouraged – for examples, visitors can pet the turtles and some of the snakes.

This venue is less than one hour and 15 minutes’ drive from Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort.

Lychnostatis Open Air Museum

Lychnostatis Open Air Museum is fascinating as it offers several experiences at the same location. You can walk through a beautiful garden full of fruit trees, aromatic herbs, cacti, shrubs and other plants specific of Crete. A small ethnographic collection reflects the lifestyle of rural Crete and there’s also a beautiful collection of folk art on the site. The museum hosts educational events and exhibitions.

From Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort, you will reach this popular attraction in Hersonissos in about one hour and thirty minutes by car.

Natural History Museum of Crete

The Natural History Museum of Crete is located on the beachfront of the city of Heraklion and it is a perfect family attraction that combines fun with science. The museum features various exhibitions and activities that appeal to children, among which the “Dinosaurs Extreme” exhibition which includes of course a full-size Tyrannosaurus rex.
The Discovery Center in the Natural History Museum of Crete is a specially designed area for children up to the age of 15. It is where cutting edge technology is combined with more traditional educational methods, in order to make the learning process more appealing to children. The “living museum” is another child-favorite area, featuring small scale aquariums and terrariums that house living animals of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Finally, the “seismic table”, an earthquake simulator, is another popular attraction that offers visitors the opportunity to experience, in a safe environment, real past earthquakes. The museum has a small garden and a courtyard where you can take a break and also a shop with educational toys and souvenirs.


Featured pictures (apart from the picture of the Natural History Museum of Crete) © Mihaela Lica Butler – used with permission .

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