A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Paros vs. Heraklion for Food, Beaches, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Paros or Heraklion?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Paros and Heraklion. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Paros

Paros is a stunning, breathtaking, and striking island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Heraklion

Heraklion is a vibrant, accessible, and bustling city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and shopping.

Paros and Heraklion: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Paros or Heraklion?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Paros than Heraklion, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Paros is better known for its food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Heraklion is more popular for its big city activities. Paros is well known for its world-class beaches, beautiful undersea world, and quaint coastal villages. Also, Paros is famous for The Byzantine Monastery of Ekatontapyliani. Heraklion is well known for its archeological sights, local Cretan restaurants, and its vibrant nightlife scene.

How is Paros different from Heraklion?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Paros
Heraklion

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

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Paros. There are many interesting archeological sights and museums around the island. Some interesting places to visit are the Venetian Castle in the old port of Naoussa, the Monastery of Panagia Ekatontapiliani near Parikia, and the beautiful church of Agios Ioannis (Saint John) Detis, which dates back to the 17th century. There's also the Archeological Museum of Paros, which is found in the capital of Parikia.

Heraklion offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.


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

Paros
Heraklion

Paros is a world-class destination for its restaurants. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Many restaurants in Paros have been singled out for their culinary prowess. Cheese and wine are mainstays on the island and restaurants in general pride themselves on using locally-sourced, high quality ingredients. Many of the traditional recipes can be found in restaurants, but they're also still prepared in the homes of the residents as well. Seafood, vegetables, and grains are all common ingredients.

Dining out in Heraklion is an experience not to be missed. 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.

Is Paros or Heraklion Better for Nightlife?

Paros
Heraklion

The very good nightlife scene is relatively similar in Paros and Heraklion.

Paros has a large number of nightlife venues. It doesn't have the hard core party scene that you find on some Greek islands, but it does have plenty of dance clubs, bars, and music venues. There's a wide diversity of options on the island, from quiet local bars to beach clubs that host wild parties, and everything in between.

Heraklion is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. 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.

Is Paros or Heraklion Better for Resorts?

Paros
Heraklion

Paros is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Heraklion is not a resort destination.

In Paros, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. The island is relatively large and you'll find everything from local hotels and guesthouses to large resorts and backpacker hostels. Many resorts have pools and great views.

Heraklion is not a resort destination.


Is Paros or Heraklion Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Paros
Heraklion

Paros is a very popular place for its diving and snorkeling. However, Heraklion is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Paros is an extremely popular place to visit for scuba diving and snorkeling. The island is filled with caves and interesting rock formations that make for excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. There are a number of tours available that take you to the island's best dive and snorkeling spots. There are also private and group courses available for those who are learning to scuba dive.

Heraklion is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Paros or Heraklion Better for Beaches?

Paros
Heraklion

Paros is a world-class destination for the beache. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for the beach.

Paros is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The beaches are clean, diverse, and relatively easy to access. There are a range of options, from quiet hidden gems to beaches with clubs and bars nearby. Favorite beaches on the island include Kolymbithres Beach, Chrissi Akti Beach, and Santa Maria Beach.

Many people visit Heraklion for it's beautiful beaches. 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.

Is Paros or Heraklion Better for Hiking?

Paros
Heraklion

Paros is a island with good options for its hiking trails. However, Heraklion is not a hiking destination.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Paros. The island has about 35 kilometers of hiking trails that pass by small cottages, stone farm homes, and around the beautiful landscapes. You'll find tucked away windmills and watermills as well as breathtaking views and hidden coves.

Heraklion is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Paros or Heraklion?

Paros
Heraklion

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

Paros is well-known for its shopping. You'll find some of the best shopping in Kastro, which is the old quarter of Parikia. There are shops selling clothing, jewelry, ceramics, and other unique souvenirs. Many shops stay open late into the night, so you'll have plenty of time to browse.

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 Paros or Heraklion Better for Families?

Paros
Heraklion

Paros 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, Paros is very family-friendly. Kids will appreciate the beautiful beaches, great swimming opportunities, abundance of water sport activities, and child-friendly food options. There's also a folklore museum and several great archeological museums.

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 Paros or Heraklion Better for Couples?

Paros
Heraklion

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

Paros is a great island for couples, as it has plenty to offer. The island makes a perfect honeymoon destination with its stunning beaches and picturesque villages. There are also many great local hotels and wonderful dining opportunities. If you're looking for an idyllic setting, then this is it.

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 Paros or Heraklion Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Paros
Heraklion

Paros and Heraklion are both very good destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Paros. You'll find some nice hostels and apartments on the island. There's also a decent nightlife scene and the island is more affordable than many Greek islands.

Heraklion is a very popular island for backpackers and budget travelers. The city is filled with budget-friendly hostels that often have a social atmosphere and a fun vibe.

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

Paros
Heraklion

Paros is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. Also, Heraklion is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Paros has some very good public transit options. There's a reliable bus system on the island that has some routes making a loop around the outside of the island and routes traveling inland to the smaller villages.

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.

Is Paros or Heraklion a more walkable city?

Paros
Heraklion

Heraklion is a very popular place for its high level of walkability. Also, Paros is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its ease of walking around.

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

Paros is a somewhat walkable island. There are many walking and hiking trails around the island, but it's a large island that requires some form of transportation to explore it in depth.


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

Should I spend more time in Heraklion or Paros?

How long in Paros or Heraklion?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Paros and Heraklion. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Paros than in Heraklion. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Paros, and 1-3 days is enough time in Heraklion.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Paros than Heraklion 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 Paros.


  • How many days in Paros or Heraklion? Ideal Length of Stay
    Paros 3-5 
    Heraklion 1-3

One day in Paros or Heraklion?

You'll find nightlife and food around the island of Paros. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Heraklion, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this vibrant 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.

A weekend in Paros or Heraklion?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the striking destination of Paros. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

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.

Five days in Paros or Heraklion?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the breathtaking island of Paros. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.

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.


A week in Paros or Heraklion?

Paros is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.

You'll find food and shopping around the historic 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.


Which place is cheaper, Heraklion or Paros?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Paros is €122, while the average daily cost in Heraklion is €158. 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 Paros and Heraklion in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paros 53
    Heraklion 81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paros 106
    Heraklion 162
Compare Hotels in Paros and Heraklion

Looking for a hotel in Paros or Heraklion? 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 Paros


Hotels in Heraklion


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: Paros Hotel Prices and Heraklion Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paros 37
    Heraklion 31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paros

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

  • Private Transfer From Naxos Port-Airport To All Destinations: $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Heraklion

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

  • Wine Tasting Experience @ Lyrarakis Winery (Transfer Included) : $88
  • Wine Tasting Experience @ Lyrarakis Winery (Transfer Included): $109
  • VIP Private Transfer: Heraklion - Analipsi Hotels & Villas: $62
  • Transfers in Crete from-to Airports/Ports/Hotels/Villas: $130
  • Transfer Services From Heraklion To Rethymno Hotels: $98
  • Transfer Service in Crete - Starts from Heraklion Prefecture: $33
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to SITIA area up to 7 customers: $284
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to SISSI area up to 7 customers: $97
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to RETHIMNO CITY area up to 7 : $159
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to Panormos area up to 7 customers: $132
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to PLAKA ELOUNTA area up to 7: $150
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to Makris Gialos area up to 7 : $231

Is it cheaper to fly into Paros or Heraklion?

Prices for flights to both Heraklion and Paros 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
    Paros 45
    Heraklion 52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paros

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

  • Two and half-hours Traditional Greek Cooking Class in Amorgos: $60
  • Naxos Town Food Tour : $93
  • Cretan Cooking Class and Dinner: Evening in a Rethymno Home : $97
  • Naxos Perivoli Farm Experience & Wood-fire Cooking Class: $105
  • Naxos:Half-day cooking class at Basiliko : $107
  • Greek Cooking Class with Full Meal: $115
  • Food Tasting and Cooking Class on Naxos with Local Market Visit: $116
  • Meze cooking class in an open-air kitchen: $116
  • Paros Cooking Class: $117
  • Naxos Old Town Private Food Tour with Dinner and Pickup: $154
  • Naxos Villages Food Tour : $163
  • Cooking Class with 6-Course Menu and Drinks: $649

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.
    Paros 22
    Heraklion 38

Tours and Activities in Paros

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

  • Essence of Naxos Tour: $33
  • Full One-Day Tour Naxos & Heraklia: $176
  • 2-Hour Private Beach Picnic Experience in Paros: $82
  • 5 Hours Private Guided Tour Around Santorini : $127
  • Aeolus motoryacht cruise in Paros: $198
  • All inclusive day sailing tour from Naxos to the small cyclades: $154
  • All-Inclusive Catamaran Day Cruise: $165
  • Amazing Beach Hike Tour in Paros with a Local: $153
  • Antiparos & Despotiko full day cruise from Paros: $99
  • Archery on Paros Private Experience: $164
  • Authentic foodie tasting experience of Paros! (Vegan Vegetarian Carnivore): $286
  • Beautiful Sunset Photo Walk Tour on Paros: $164

Tours and Activities in Heraklion

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

  • 4x4 Safari tour Southern Crete Tripitis Gorge: $109
  • Adventure Safari Tour Secrets of the southern Crete : $101
  • Ηeraklion Walking Tour with Archaeological Museum: $83
  • 3 Hour Fishing and Swimming Boat Experience in Schisma Eloundas: $132
  • 3-Hour Trekking Mount Karfi Adventure with pickup from Heraklion: $119
  • 4-Hour Giouchtas Trekking Hiking Experience from Heraklion: $91
  • 4x4 self drive adventure: $83
  • 6.5 Hours Crete Adventure for Cruiseships in Small Group: $221
  • 6.5 Western Crete Exploration Tour for Cruise Ships: $182
  • Adventure Jeep Safari Amazing sunset : $83
  • Agios Nikolaos-Spinalonga-Elounda Tour TR: $47
  • All Year Tour to Ancient Aptera Knossos And Heraklion: $636

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Paros 25
    Heraklion 26

Sample the Local Flavors in Paros

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

  • Wine Tasting and Tour in Saint Anna Winery in Naxos: $61
  • Citron Tasting and Distillery 1-Hour Guided Tour in Naxos: $66
  • 3 Hour Tour in Paros Wine Tasting: $165

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
  • Small Group Tour with Olive Oil and Raki Distillery Exploration: $109
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Experience in Haralabakis Winery: $120
  • 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 Wine Tour Olive Oil Tasting and Pottery from Heraklion: $190


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Paros and Heraklion, we can see that Heraklion is more expensive. And not only is Paros much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Paros would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Paros 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 Paros.

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


Which is Bigger, Paros or Heraklion?

Heraklion has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Paros. When comparing the sizes of Paros and Heraklion, 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.