A peaceful and enchanting village close to the magnificent coast of northern Crete, Piskopiano is the smallest of the three authentic villages located just south of the lively beaches of Hersonissos, about 25 km east of Heraklion. Perched high above the coast on the slopes of the Harakas Mountain, the village lies between Ano Hersonissos and Koutouloufari traditional villages.
Each of them offers superb views of the coast, with a more authentic atmosphere, but nevertheless offering a variety of tourist services, including accommodation. If you prefer a more secluded and tranquil place, far from the busy beaches and vibrant nightclubs of Hersonissos, but still close enough for easy access to the coast, than Piskopiano is a great choice.
Apart from the charming ambiance, you will find plenty of things to see and do in and around the village, including the marvelous beaches located just 10-15 minutes away or the variety of leisure opportunities located in the area. Below you can find the most important information about visiting Piskopiano from Heraklion.
Where is Piskopiano
Piskopiano is located on the slopes of the Mt. Harakas, just a few kilometers from the northern coast of Crete, 25 km east of the capital of Heraklion. It is one of the three villages just off the famous resort of Hersonissos, with impressive views of the coast.
The distance to the beaches of Hersonissos or Malia is just 2 km, while the beaches of Malia are 9 km away.
How to Get to Piskopiano
Getting to Piskopiano by Car
You can reach Piskopiano with a car rental from Heraklion or the international airport extremely fast and easy. You will just have to take the national road to Agios Nikolaos and after about 25 km, the village will be on the left side. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get to Piskopiano from Heraklion. Booking a rental car to visit Piskopiano is the best option, considering that you will need a car to explore the amazing beaches and other sights in the area. There are a few accommodation options and taverns in the village.
Getting to Piskopiano by Bus
There are two options to reach Piskopiano by bus, with the first being the direct bus to the capital, which runs two times a day, in the morning and afternoon. For more options, you will have to take one of the busses that goes from Heraklion to Hersonissos and then find a taxi for the two km trip up the mountain to Piskopiano.
Nevertheless, it might be a better option to rent a car and not worry about public transport.
Best Things to Do in Piskopiano
While being an extremely charming and atmospheric place, there are not many things to do in Piskopiano and the main attractions is simply the tranquility you will find in the village and the stunning views of the coast from the slopes of the mountain. Just about 2 km away from the frenzy of Hersonissos, it is a great escape from the crowds and the noise of the shoreline, yet very close to many attractions on this part of the Cretan coast.
You can certainly wander around the enchanting narrow streets and alleys of Piskopiano, with plenty of little white houses with authentic architecture. There is also a small, but interesting Agricultural Museum in Piskopiano, where you can discover a lot of exhibits related to agriculture and rural life in Crete, including a wine press, olive oil, carpentry, weaving and other occupations.
Another amazing experience is to take a short walking trip to the other two traditional villages located nearby, Old Hersonissos and Koutouloufari, each with its own attractions and charm.
Ano Hersonissos has beautiful traditional architecture and two old churches, while Koutouloufari features the St. Basil Church, dating from 1840 and with splendid frescoes. You can also easily walk to the beaches of Hersonissos in about half an hour, but the return will be uphill and will take much longer.
Visit the Nearby Beaches
From Piskopiano, you can easily visit any of the beaches along the gulf of Malia, as well as several others between Heraklion and Hersonissos. The nearest beach is in Hersonissos, very well organized but also pretty crowded during the summer season. The beaches of Malia, Potamos or Anissaras are also great choices, while there are other smaller and more secluded beaches along the rocky parts of the coast.
Discover the sights of Hersonissos
While it might be known as one of the main entertainment destinations in Crete, Hersonissos also features a few interesting attractions that are worth visiting. Hersonissos is an ancient place that existed during the Minoan era and there are several archaeological sites to admire, including the ancient Hersonissos ruins with its large theater, or the early Christian Basilica of Kastri.
There are also a few old churches, as well as the interesting Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Rescue Center. Close to Hersonissos, you could also visit the Open-Air Museum Lychnostatis, with traditional architecture and crafts exhibits from Crete or the Agricultural Museum of Piskopiano.
The coastal road of Hersonissos is packed with nightclubs that come alive after dark, when thousands of young people take it by storm. Even during the day, there are plenty of beach bars that play music all the time, while the beaches are very well organized.
Explore Other Nearby Attractions
Just a few km from Piskopiano, you can also discover the impressive archaeological site of Malia, with the third largest Minoan palace on the island. The ruins show to the importance and development of this site during the old Minoan civilization, with a small museum at the entrance.
Just west of the three villages, you can find the impressive gorges of Aposelemis, with a fascinating hiking trail that follows it up into the mountains. Along the way, you can admire dramatic geologic formations and unique vegetation. On the southern slopes of the Harakas Mountain, you can find the village of Potamies with the impressive monastery of Panagia Gouverniotissa.
Only the church is still active, being one of the oldest on the island and featuring amazing frescoes from the 14th century, while you can also admire old icons, the ruins of the monk’s cells and more.
A little west of Piskopiano, you can find two enchanting theme parks, one with an interesting labyrinth and the other with water attractions, while there is also a golf course nearby.
Visit the capital of Heraklion
Located just about 25 km from Piskopiano, the capital of Heraklion makes for a perfect day trip, with its fascinating cultural sights. Among the most interesting and enchanting attractions of Heraklion, you should definitely visit the magnificent Palace of Knossos, the insightful Archaeological Museum, the superb harbor with its imposing Venetian Castle or Koules Fortress, as well as many other historical sights and beautiful churches.
Where to Stay in Piskopiano, Crete
With its exceptional location that offers superb views of the coast and its peaceful atmosphere, Piskopiano is the perfect authentic accommodation experiences of Crete. The village offers several great accommodation options, with small private guesthouses, villas and hotels spread around.
You can usually find more affordable prices in Piskopiano and the nearby villages, compared to the accommodation choices along the coast.
Amazones Village Suites 4*
Located right in the heart of the village and offering superb views of the sea, these villas and apartments feature excellent amenities, kitchenette, garden space and swimming pool.
☏ +30 28970 30190
Korifi Suites Art Hotel 4*
Featuring amazing style and ambiance, with lush gardens and colorful flowers, as well as traditional Cretan architecture, this complex of suites and apartments offers superior rooms with all amenities, a small swimming pool and other excellent services.
☏ +30 693 665 5918
Driades Apartments 3*
Located in the middle of the charming village of Piskopiano, this excellent apartment complex features comfortable rooms, some offering beautiful sea views, a private swimming pool and a sun terrace.
☏ +30 28970 29422
Where to Eat in Piskopiano
Gevsi Traditional Taverna
Family run traditional tavern right in the heart of Piskopiano, with excellent reviews from its guests, offering Cretan and Greek specialties, including steaks, grills, seafood and salads.
☏ +30 28970 23386
Extremely well reviewed by its guests, this traditional restaurant offers delicious Cretan and Mediterranean food made from fresh local ingredients, as well as a pleasant atmosphere.
☏ +30 28970 23957
Located on the main street of Piskopiano, this amazing tavern serves delightful traditional Greek and Cretan food in a friendly ambiance.
☏ +30 28970 30088
Best Time to Visit Piskopiano
Being located on the northern coast of Crete, Piskopiano has pleasant weather for most of the year, although it can get quite hot during the summer months of July and August, while the winter months can be chilly at times.
To avoid the heat and the tourist crowds, it might be best to visit during the spring or autumn for the perfect experiences.