A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Heraklion vs. Hydra for Couples, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Heraklion or Hydra?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Heraklion and Hydra can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Heraklion

Heraklion is a accessible, bustling, and historic city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for beaches, shopping, and museums.

Hydra

Hydra is a accessible, quaint, and picturesque island. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Heraklion and Hydra: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Heraklion or Hydra?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Heraklion. Although Heraklion and Hydra are popular destinations, Heraklion has more sights and attractions for tourists. Heraklion is very popular for its food, nightlife, beaches, and big city activities, while Hydra attracts visitors for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, historical sights, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Heraklion is famous for its archeological sights, local Cretan restaurants, and its vibrant nightlife scene. It is also well known for The Palace of Knossos. Hydra is famous for its picturesque setting, car-free setting, and beautiful old town.

How is Heraklion different from Hydra?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hydra and Heraklion. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Heraklion or Hydra?

Heraklion
Hydra

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Heraklion and Hydra.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Heraklion. The city is filled with historical sights and archeological ruins. The impressive Palace of Knossos is a must-see, but also make sure you visit the Koules Fortress, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and the Natural History Museum of Crete.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Hydra. For such a small island, there are many local museums and sights. Highlights include the Historical Archives Museum, the Ecclesiastical Museum, the Monastery of Agia Efpraxia, and the Monastery of Prophet Elias.


Is the Food Better in Heraklion or Hydra? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Heraklion
Hydra

Heraklion is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Heraklion makes for a great culinary experience. The city is home to countless Cretan restaurants that range in style and budget. There are fine dining restaurants as well as local dives with casual street food. The restaurants reflect the island's multi-cultural past with many styles and flavors available.

Hydra has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. For such a small island, it really packs in some great restaurants. Head down the side streets to find the best souvlaki. There are also tavernas where you can sample local wine. Fresh caught seafood is a favorite on the island as well.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Nightlife?

Heraklion
Hydra

Heraklion is a great destination for nightlife. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for nightlife and partying.

The people in Heraklion know how to have a good time. The city has some of the best nightlife on the island of Crete. There are many all-night clubs as well as bars that stay open until 2 or 3 in the morning. In particular, there are many British tourists hanging out at the clubs and bars.

Hydra doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. It's a small island that is often visited as a day trip, so don't expect a huge party scene. There are about seven places in total that make up the island's nightlife scene. Each is centered around the harbor and many people start their evening at one bar and slowly hop around. They usually have DJs and full bars.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Resorts?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a island with good options for its luxury resorts. However, Heraklion is not a resort destination.

With a selection of resorts, Hydra makes a nice vacation spot. It's a popular day trip destination, but if you stay for a night or two, you'll find boutique hotels and charming pensions.

Heraklion is not a resort destination.


Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a island with good options for its diving and snorkeling. However, Heraklion is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Hydra. There are some snorkeling spots around the island - most notably Bisti Beach, which is pebbly and has some interesting sea life.

Heraklion is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Beaches?

Heraklion
Hydra

Heraklion is a great destination for its beaches. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beache.

Heraklion is considered a top beach destination. You'll find world-class beaches just outside of town, if you're willing to explore a little. Agia Pelagia Beach is about half an hour away and Limanakia Beach is also not a bad day trip. If you want to stay closer to town, head to nearby Amnissos Beach.

Many people head to Hydra to enjoy the beach. The beaches are usually pebbly with nice blue water. Many people visit the beaches as part of a boat tour, which leaves from the port and tours the island. Some of the most popular beaches are Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for its Old Town?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a very popular place for its old town. However, Heraklion does not have a historic old town.

Hydra is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. With no cars and plenty of charm, the island's old town feels as if you've stepped back in time. Donkey pulled carts and quaint streets give this town its atmosphere.

Heraklion does not have a historic old town.


Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Hiking?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Heraklion is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Hydra. The island is filled with walking paths and donkey trails that are fun to explore. Some walk along the sea and offer spectacular views while others take you inland through the hills.

Heraklion is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Heraklion or Hydra?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Hydra is well-known for its shopping. Charming shops fill the town and sell local items such as handmade jewelry and traditional embroideries.

Many visitors go to Heraklion to go shopping. There are a number of unique shops around town that sell everything from traditional pottery to homemade jewelry.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Families?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Hydra is very family-friendly. The island feels like it's frozen in time. There are no cars allowed here, so kids can run freely without the worry of traffic. They'll be as fascinated as you are by the carts pulled by donkeys. Most things you'll visit are also close together, making accessibility easy. In addition to some interesting museums, there are beaches and kid-friendly food. The whole island really is a playground.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Heraklion. In town you'll find many historical and educational sights such as the Palace of Knossos, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and the Koules Venetian fortress. Kids will also enjoy walking the Venetian Walls that are in town. If you're willing to head a bit outside of town, in about half an hour you can reach the Cretaquarium, Dinosauria Park, or Acqua Plus Water Park.


Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Couples?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a world-class destination for its romantic activities. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

Hydra is a great island for couples, as it has plenty to offer. This beautiful island makes a great honeymoon or couple's destination. Most visitors come as a day trip, but spending a night or two on the island is a unique experience. It has a laid back vibe and is filled with romance. The food is amazing, and the traditional atmosphere will make you feel as if you've traveled back in time.

Couples visit Heraklion frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Most couples head outside of town to other parts of the island, but those who linger in town for a while will enjoy world-class museums and fascinating archeological sights.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Heraklion
Hydra

Heraklion is a great destination for backpackers. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Heraklion. The city is filled with budget-friendly hostels that often have a social atmosphere and a fun vibe.

Hydra is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Most people visit the island as a day trip and it doesn't attract nearly as many backpackers as the larger Greek islands. If you visit during the lower season, you might find some affordable accommodation.

Is Heraklion or Hydra Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Heraklion
Hydra

Heraklion is a popular place for its public transit. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Heraklion, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. KTEL buses travel both within town and to nearby villages.

Public transit is mostly limited in Hydra. There are sea taxis and beach boats on the island.


Is Heraklion or Hydra a more walkable city?

Heraklion
Hydra

Hydra is a world-class destination for its high level of walkability. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its ease of walking around.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Hydra. The entire island is car-free and everything that you want to visit is close together and easy to explore on foot.

Heraklion is a very walkable destination. Many parts of the town are walkable and doing a walking tour is a great way to see many of the city's sights.

For even more information, also check out Is Heraklion Worth Visiting? and Is Hydra Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hydra or Heraklion?

How long in Heraklion or Hydra?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Heraklion or Hydra to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Heraklion than Hydra because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Heraklion, and 1-2 days is enough time in Hydra.

Families should spend more time in Hydra than Heraklion. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hydra, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hydra than Heraklion. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hydra that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Heraklion than Hydra if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Heraklion.


  • How many days in Heraklion or Hydra? Ideal Length of Stay
    Heraklion 1-3 
    Hydra 1-2

One day in Heraklion or Hydra?

In Heraklion, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this bustling destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Even though Hydra is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Visiting the old town is also a must. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Hydra has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Heraklion or Hydra?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Heraklion. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Hydra is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums and food. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Heraklion or Hydra?

Heraklion is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Heraklion. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Hydra is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Heraklion or Hydra?

You'll find food and shopping around the bustling destination of Heraklion. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Hydra is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Hydra or Heraklion?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Heraklion is €158, while the average daily cost in Hydra is €97. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Heraklion and Hydra in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Heraklion 81
    Hydra 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Heraklion 162
    Hydra 102
Compare Hotels in Heraklion and Hydra

Looking for a hotel in Heraklion or Hydra? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Heraklion


Hotels in Hydra


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Heraklion Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Heraklion 31
    Hydra 26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Heraklion

Also for Heraklion, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer: $32
  • Airports/ports Transfers from /to Rethymno (one way): $154
  • Crete Private Taxi Transfer from Heraklion Airport to Bali: $96
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Heraklion Airport to Malia: $82
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Heraklion Airport to Panormo: $104
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos: $123
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Heraklion to Elounda: $125
  • Crete Private Transfer from Heraklion to Hersonissos: $52
  • From Airport to Elounda Private Transfer: $108
  • From Private Helicopter Transfer to Greek Islands: $4,075
  • Heraklion Airport (HER): Private Transfer to Heraklion Port: $106
  • Heraklion Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Heraklion city: $139

Is it cheaper to fly into Heraklion or Hydra?

Prices for flights to both Hydra and Heraklion change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Heraklion 52
    Hydra 30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Heraklion

For Heraklion, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Troy Dinner-Show: $33
  • Spectacular Dinner-Show: $44
  • From Village Cretan Night, Live Dancers & dinner: $49
  • Cretan Night with Dinner & Live Show: $50
  • Crete: Olive Oil Festival, Farm Dinner, Live Show & Pickup: $60
  • Olive Oil Festival in Cretan Farm with Traditional Dinner: $61
  • Cretan Farm with scenic view: Olive Mill Festival & dinner: $65
  • Amazing Sunset Safari Route with Dinner: $85
  • Cook with Locals | Cretan cooking Class at Archanes (transfer - lunch included): $87
  • Crete: Land Rover Safari with Sunset Viewing, Dinner, & Wine: $91
  • Full-Day Jeep Safari Tour with Cooking Lesson: $98
  • Food tour tasting walking tour: $100

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Heraklion 38
    Hydra 11

Tours and Activities in Heraklion

For Heraklion, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Heraklion Area: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket: $8.67
  • CRETAquarium Entrance Ticket in Crete: $8.82
  • Mobile Self-Guided Audio Sightseeing Tour: $11
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Crete: Palace of Knossos E-Ticket and Optional Audio Guide: $11
  • Herakleion: City Self-Guided Game & Tour: $12
  • Knossos: Archaeological Site Admission Ticket: $13
  • Entry E-Ticket to Heraklion Archaeological Museum with Audio: $15
  • Heraklion City Tour - Aquarium: $18
  • Minoan Day Experience: $20
  • Knossos Palace: E-ticket with Audio and Heraklion City Tour: $21
  • Heraklion Market & CretAquarium *Skip the line: $21

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Heraklion 26
    Hydra 11

Sample the Local Flavors in Heraklion

Also in Heraklion, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Ecobike Tour with Wine Tasting: $95
  • Wine Tasting E-Bike Tour: $96
  • Jeep Safari Wine Tour and South sea swimming: $98
  • Ecobike Wine Tasting Tour in Heraklion: $104
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Experience in Haralabakis Winery: $120
  • Wine Tasting-Olive Oil Factory-Traditional Villages- Small Group : $132
  • Half Day Semi Private Wine Tour with Tastings: $135
  • Full Day-Ecobike Old Villages Tour & Wine Tasting: $144
  • Full Day - Ecobike - Discover old villages & Wine tasting: $159
  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $165
  • Semi Private Heraklion Valley Wine Tour with Lunch: $172
  • Private SUV Wine Tour with Lunch: $175


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Heraklion and Hydra, we can see that Heraklion is more expensive. And not only is Hydra much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Hydra would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Hydra and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Heraklion would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Heraklion than you might in Hydra.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Heraklion Expensive? and Is Hydra Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Heraklion or Hydra?

Heraklion has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Hydra. When comparing the sizes of Heraklion and Hydra, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Heraklion or Hydra?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Heraklion or Hydra in the Summer?

Both Hydra and Heraklion during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Heraklion for the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Hydra in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Heraklion is generally around the same temperature as Hydra. Daily temperatures in Heraklion average around 25°C (78°F), and Hydra fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).

In Hydra, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Heraklion. In the summer, Heraklion often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Hydra. Heraklion gets 366 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hydra receives 357 hours of full sun.

Heraklion usually gets less rain in July than Hydra. Heraklion gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Hydra receives 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Heraklion 25°C (78°F) 
    Hydra 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Heraklion or Hydra in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Heraklion and Hydra. Many visitors come to Heraklion in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Furthermore, most visitors come to Hydra for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Heraklion is around the same temperature as Hydra in the autumn. The daily temperature in Heraklion averages around 20°C (68°F) in October, and Hydra fluctuates around 19°C (67°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Hydra this time of the year. Heraklion usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Hydra during autumn. Heraklion gets 199 hours of sunny skies, while Hydra receives 206 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Heraklion usually receives more rain than Hydra. Heraklion gets 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain, while Hydra receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Heraklion 20°C (68°F) 
    Hydra 19°C (67°F)

Should I visit Heraklion or Hydra in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Heraklion as well as Hydra. Most visitors come to Heraklion for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Additionally, the winter months attract visitors to Hydra because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Heraklion is a little warmer than Hydra. Typically, the winter temperatures in Heraklion in January average around 12°C (54°F), and Hydra averages at about 10°C (51°F).

In the winter, Heraklion often gets less sunshine than Hydra. Heraklion gets 121 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Hydra receives 143 hours of full sun.

Heraklion usually gets more rain in January than Hydra. Heraklion gets 92 mm (3.6 in) of rain, while Hydra receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Heraklion 12°C (54°F) 
    Hydra 10°C (51°F)

Should I visit Heraklion or Hydra in the Spring?

Both Hydra and Heraklion are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Heraklion because of the beaches and the activities around the city. Also, the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Hydra this time of year.

In April, Heraklion is generally around the same temperature as Hydra. Daily temperatures in Heraklion average around 16°C (61°F), and Hydra fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

It's quite sunny in Hydra. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Heraklion. Heraklion usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Hydra during spring. Heraklion gets 224 hours of sunny skies, while Hydra receives 226 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Heraklion usually receives more rain than Hydra. Heraklion gets 30 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Hydra receives 25 mm (1 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Heraklion 16°C (61°F) 
    Hydra 16°C (60°F)

Typical Weather for Hydra and Heraklion

Heraklion Hydra
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 12°C (54°F) 92 mm (3.6 in) 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 12°C (54°F) 77 mm (3 in) 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 14°C (56°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 16°C (61°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in)
May 19°C (67°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Jun 23°C (74°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Jul 25°C (78°F) 1 mm (0 in) 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Aug 25°C (77°F) 1 mm (0 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Sep 23°C (73°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Oct 20°C (68°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 17°C (63°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Dec 14°C (58°F) 77 mm (3 in) 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)