Lyttos beach, in the Hersonissos area of Crete, and about a half hour east of Kazantzakis International Airport in Heraklion, is a sprawling, 150-acre, pool-filled, family-focused 5-star hotel and resort and one of the most popular places to stay on the entire island.

The resort is named after the nearby ancient city of Lyttos, now in ruins, which during the Classical Greek period on into Byzantine Greece, was one of the more significant settlements in Crete.

Lyttos Beach
Lyttos Beach Resort

The hotel fronts 350 meters of sandy beach, 647 rooms, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, a disco, 8 swimming pools including an indoor heated pool, a sports center, a spa and gym, a water park with 9 large slides, a kids water park, a lazy river, kids and teen clubs, a whole raft of sports choices at its sports center, and animation team, lots of great food and drink…in short just about anything you could think of to provide all your needs for a great vacation experience.

Lyttos Beach Water Park

The layout is interesting, particularly the large horseshoe-shaped building, with the shoe open towards the beach, which takes up nearly half the resort’s property. It’s home to fifty-something rooms and suites, all with private pools, all facing a huge, shallow, round lagoon on the inside of the horseshoe. The lagoon has 5 islands housing beach bars, snack bars and the like. The lagoon fills the entire space on the inside of the horseshoe once you discount the private pools.

Lyttos Beach attracts many return visitors, always an important metric in determining a place to spend your holiday. Guests use superlatives such as “the best family hotel we’ve stayed at,” and “we can’t wait to visit again next year,” and “worth every penny.” The staff is described as “friendly and happy,” and the sports facilities receive high marks. Even the manager has a hand in helping guests feel at home. Other items coming in for praise was the fast Wi-Fi, the variety and taste of the food, the cleanliness of the rooms, the gym and spa, and the water parks.


Rooms are spacious, airy and comfortable, with lots of whites and pastel blue walls and ceiling, and pleasant natural wood elements in decorative shelf space dividers, headboards, and tables. Bathrooms have tubs and/or walk-in showers, and textured walls. Balconies often afford decent views of the resort and of the sea.

Amongst many other amenities are items such as a safe, central air and heating, beach and pool towels, hairdryer, magnifying mirror, satellite TV, mini fridge, and high speed Wi-Fi.

Double Garden View (23 m²)

Double Rooms

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Double Rooms have a king size bed and a single bed, separated by a nightstand. Both beds share a long, headboard with a curved top. There’s a long counter surmounted by a large mirror built into the wall opposite the king size bed, and a desk and book case at the foot of the single bed. Most rooms include a pleasant Greek-themed painting or two on the walls. Bathrooms are compact, with a shower hookup on the wall faucet, a free-standing bowl-style sink, and textured walls.

Double Rooms come in 3 categories- Garden View, Sea View, and Superior with Private Pool.

Garden View can overlook a pool or two, or some nice landscaping, or both.

Sea View includes a bit of the grounds as well, including the Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Superior with Private pool will get you one of those rooms in the horseshoe.

Junior Suite Sea Front 1st floor (23 m²)

Junior Suites Sea Front

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Junior Suites Sea Front are situated in the front rank of rooms, closest to the sea. There’s the room, and then a bit of the grounds, and then the beach and sea. The effect is to give you a mostly unobstructed view of the sea. The suite itself has some nice indirect lighting along wall panels near the ceiling, and a separate sitting area. Despite the smallish size of the suite, there’s plenty of room thanks to some intelligent furniture placement. In addition to the queen or king size bed, there’s a separate sitting area.

Junior Suites come in three categories: 1st floor, Private Pool, Sharing Pool.

1st floor gives you a nice little panorama of the grounds and sea thanks to its elevated location. Sleeps 3.

Private Pool has a shallow (1.42m) splash pool just outside the patio. Sleeps 3, 2 adults max.

Sharing pool’s title tells you what you need to know: you share a pool. Sleeps 2.

Family Room With Sliding Door Sea View (29 m²)

Family Rooms with Sliding Doors

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These rooms are larger than the Double Rooms and can accommodate more people (4 in total). The sliding doors in these rooms refers to a door with opaque glass panels which acts as a space divider, creating, when closed, two separate sleeping areas, which is perfect for families with up to two children. Each sleeping area has a 42” LED TV.

Family Rooms come in two categories: Garden View, Sea View. They sleep 4, with 3 adults max

Superior Family With Sliding Door Garden View Balcony (40 m2)

Superior Family Rooms with Sliding Doors

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These rooms are larger still than Family Rooms with Sliding Doors (40 sq. meters vs 29). Superior Family Rooms are freshly renovated and have two sleeping areas separated by a sliding wooden door with multi-coloured opaque circles cut into them. Main sleeping area has a double bed, with two singles in the second sleeping area. There are 2 TVs and a microwave amongst other amenities.

Two categories: Garden View Balcony (sleeps 4, 3 adults max), Garden View Ground Floor (sleeps 5, 3 adults max).

Family 2 Sleeping Areas Garden View (35m2)

Family 2 Sleeping Areas

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The two sleeping areas in these rooms are separated by a wall with a proper door between them. One area has a double bed, whilst the other has 3 singles. In addition, there are 2 bathrooms with showers, lots of closet space, and lots of ambient light.

These rooms come in two categories: Garden View, and Garden View with Private Pool. They sleep 5, max 3 adults.

Family Suite 3 Bedrooms (80-100 m²)

Family Suite 3 Bedrooms

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These suites are the size of an average flat or apartment and at between 80-100 square meters are the largest rooms available at Lyttos Beach. These very spacious suites are great for families or a group of friends, or a combination of both. The layout of the suites includes a welcome area and 3 sleeping areas- a master bedroom with a double bed, a second sleeping area with a double bed and a sofa, and a third with two singles. Each are is divided from the other by walls and doors, and each has its own LED TV. . There are 2 WCs, one of which has a bath tub and shower. The suite has a roomy walk-in closet, and a private outdoor furnished terrace.

Sleeps up to 6 guests, 4 adults max.

Suite Sea View sharing pool

Suites with Sharing Pool

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These suites are on the ground floor and include a nice shaded patio just steps away from a large pool you share with a few other guests in the resort. Beyond the pool the sea is in the distance, with a bit of the resort’s grounds and mature palm trees intervening. The suite has two separate sleeping areas divided from each other by a door. The main bedroom has a a double bed, whilst the other sleeping area has 3 singles. There are 2 bathrooms with shower and lots of storage.

The two categories of these suites are Sea View (sleeps up to 5 guests, 3 adults max), and Sea Front Open Plan (sleeps up to 4, 2 adults max.)

Lyttos Luxury Villa

Lyttos Luxury Villa

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This huge, beautifully appointed accommodation is a separate unit in Anissaras, a couple km to the east of the resort. Rooms are very large and roomy, and very tastefully furnished. I has a 38 square meter private pool surrounded by a marble-paved patio. Property is bordered by a native stone wall for privacy. Layout is all on the ground floor. Villa has a ton of amenities: an indoor area of 179m2 , open plan living room and kitchen of 38m2 , 4 bathrooms with shower, large parking area and outdoor area of over 700m2 total. The villa is of recent construction (2022).

Sleeps up to 8 total, no limit on adult guests.

Food and Drink

Lyttos Beach offers 6 venues for food, and 5 for drink (including 3 pool bars and a beach bar), all scattered about the extensive grounds.

Diktamos Main Restaurant
Diktamos Main Restaurant

The Diktamos Main Restaurant is everything you’d expect from the flagship eatery of a large resort. Specializing in Cretan cuisine, this buffet-style restaurant invites you to indulge in a rich, varied, healthy menu based on traditional Cretan dishes. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced, farm to table style. Live cooking stations allow you to see your food prepared in real time. There’s even a children’s buffet designed to delight the little ones. Watch expert bakers prepare fresh, preservative-free bread daily, or indulge on the evening traditional feast of lamb on a spit.

Tastes of Asia
Tastes of Asia

Taste of Asia features a wide variety of fare from the Orient, including creations from Japan, China, and Thailand. Enjoy the ambience of seaside dining whilst indulging in your favourite Asian fare.

Taverna Kalypso
Taverna Kalypso

The Kalypso Taverna beckons you just as its namesake beckoned Odysseus in the Odyssey. Kalypso (“the one who conceals) fell in love with Odysseus and kept him on her island for seven years during his journey from Troy to Ithaca. In the same way you’ll be reluctant to leave this tavern after feasting on the Greek fare, buffet-style, that this tavern by the sea offers you. The location is unparallel, next to the sea of Crete, with the resort’s heart-shaped pool off to one side.

Snack Bar Thalassa
Snack Bar Thalassa

Thalassa (“Sea”) snack bar is yet another seaside venue at Lyttos Beach, this time offering a live grill, a wok cooking station, indoor and outdoor seating, and a Thai-style buffet.

Fast-Food Spot
Fast-Food Spot

You can find the Fast Food Spot in the friendly confines of the Water Park. It’s a place where you can take a break from your play time in the water with a light lunch, some snacks, and a soft drink or two to re-hydrate and fortify yourself for more fun in the sun.

The Tennis Club Café can be found in the Tennis Academy and allows you to relax after an invigorating tennis lesson or a best out of three set match with a friend. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, snacks, beverages, and a series of wide screen TVs suspended from the ceiling offering all kinds of live sporting events.


The Asteri Lobby Bar is a hub of activity for the entire resort. Enjoy the sun on the patio is comfortable, upholstered wicker sofas and chairs, or observe the traffic coming into and out of the resort’s lobby as you sip your favourite beverage. Light snacks are on offer in addition.

Pool Bar Ble (“Blue”) is a poolside venue offering all kinds of beverages, both with alcohol and without, and a number of delicious snack items. Cocktails are mixed to perfection by the bars mixologists, the sun sparkles off the waters of the pool, you plunge in to cool off, and then you indulge in your favourite drink or snack.

The Laguna Pool Bar has a central gazebo from which are dispensed a wide variety of liquid refreshment, including freezer fresh slurries. Close to the beach, the Laguna offers a laid-back ambience and a chance to unwind during your perfect holiday.

Similarly the Sea and Sun Beach Bar is housed in a gazebo-like structure, with lots of seating overlooking the Sea of Crete. Take a break from your sun bathing and have a seat in the shade whilst you sip your favourite concoction on a perfect summer’s day.

Ocean Pool Bar is conveniently located next to the main swimming pool. You can drink and snack in its glass wall interior and not miss a thing, or relax in a sun bed just outside and close to the bar. The Ocean Pool Bar is also a great place to watch the sun set and spend the evening and on into the night.

Spa and Wellness

The Lyttos Beach Spa is the place to go for a relaxing massage and a whole host of therapeutic treatment regimens. The spa encompasses 1,500 square meters and is packed with options to pamper yourself and your significant other. Detox treatments affect the whole body and leave you feeling clean and whole. The Spa boasts state of the art facilities to cure and improve whatever ails you, including spa cabins, sauna, steam bath, and a Turkish-style hammam, all designed to cleanse and take years of stress of your body.

Spa and Wellness
Spa and Wellness

The Spa has a whole range of facial and body treatments on offer, such as Cretan Massage, massages to relieve stress, trace mineral detox treatments, ancient Greek Olympic Games massage, bronzing experience, and a whole host of other bespoke treatments administered by expertly trained therapists.

In addition the state of the art Fitness Center is expansively large, situated in a glass walled structure which allows you to enjoy the view of the resort’s beautiful grounds as you get your workout done. A huge range of free weights and exercise is available for you to give every muscle of your body a full workout. Machines are arrayed around a heated indoor pool where you can take a refreshing, relaxing dip after your session.


There’s fun for the whole family at Lyttos Beach, which, after all, is designed as a paradise for family holidays.

Lyttos Water Park

The Water Park is fantastic, with all kinds of elements to surprise and delight you and your young ones. There are 5 huge water slides, some of which have several enclosed tunnel loops. There’s a lazy river, a water playground, a mini water park for kids, and a whole array of sun beds from which parents can relax and keep an eye on their little ones. In addition, there’s the on-site Fast Food Spot for refreshments whenever you want a break from the fun.

Kids Activities
Lyttopia Playground

The Lyttopia Playground is a cleverly designed playground configured as a little village, complete with kid-sized houses, netted suspended walkways, slides, and interactive toy stations.

Kids Club is a place for all kinds of activities, such as tennis and archery lessons, treasure hunts, makeup days, water games, and arts and crafts. It’s a supervised place that will keep the young ones busy and happy for hours. In the evenings there’s a dance floor and a mini disco.

The Animation Team organizes themed activities for two age groups: 4-12 year olds, and 13-17 year olds.

Sports at Lyttos Beach

The Sports Academy offers all kinds of activities and instruction. There’s a tennis academy, a pickleball court, a swimming camp, table tennis, padel, football, basketball, and mountain bike rental.

In the Area

The Hersonissos region of Crete is one of the most popular, thanks to its central location, and the variety of places one can go for day trips. Beyond that, there are lots of places a hop, skip and jump away for day trips. For the sake of brevity, we’re going to concentrate on two areas of major interest close to Lyttos Beach, Heraklion, and Hersonissos.

Let’s start with one of Crete’s favourite destinations and only a half hour west of Lyttos Beach by bus, Heraklion. This ancient capital has tons of worthy things to do and places to go. There’s the scenic Venetian Harbour, guarded, at its entrance, by the massive, bevel-sided structure called by the Venetians the Rocca al Mare fortress (Sea Fortress). It's mostly known now by its Turkish name, Koules (Water Tower). It’s the emblem of Heraklion, just as the Parthenon is that of Athens. A huge, round bastion projects into the harbor from the southeast corner of the rectangular fort.

Heraklion has expanded greatly beyond its original city walls. Its old city is a much smaller, roughly circular area enclosed by the walls. Its diameter is just over a kilometer, which means its points of interest are all within walking distance.

The Basilica of St. Mark is one of the most important Venetian structures of Heraklion. It now houses the Municipal Art Gallery. It's open daily. This simple stone building with its arched front portico was built in 1239, early in the rule of Venice over Heraklion, to honor Venice's patron saint. The Venetian Loggia is a 2-story rectangular Italian structure demarcated by parallel rows of arches on both floors, with an arcade on the ground floor. It now hosts the Heraklion City Hall. Across from the Loggia is Theokotopoulo Park, the largest green space in the old city center. In the park there is a bust of Spanish Renaissance painter and Heraklion native, El Greco, whose name in Greek was Dominicos Theotokopoulos.

Heraklion has a number of good museums, among which is the Historical Museum of Crete. Closed on Sundays and holidays, the museum in housed in a 3-story mustard-colored neoclassical building built in 1903 and donated to the Society of Cretan Historical Studies as a museum space in 1952. Among the exhibits in its 22 rooms, there is an overview of Cretan history using small exhibits. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum’s exhibits cover 5,500 years of human history. It has the largest and most complete display of artifacts from the Minoan Civilization in the world, many of them master works. This was Europe's first developed civilization. Its displays include original fresco fragments from the palace of Knossos (2,000 BC), including the famous bull jumper. You’ll find lots of other things to do in Heraklion. This is just a taste.

About 5 km. south of Heraklion is Knossos, the principle population center of Minoan civilization, and the site of the largest Minoan Palace ever built (20,000 square meters, or 5 acres). Knossos was the largest Bronze Age settlement in Greece, and the oldest European city.

Closer to Lyttos Beach is Hersonissos, known as the playground for the young and the young at heart. Hersonissos is the name of a town, and a municipality, lining a stretch of the northern Cretan coastline which runs NW-SE for about 5 km. Star Beach is part of this area. Hersonissos is just west of the busy party town of Malia. Like Malia, Hersonissos is a place of intense partying and playing. Built for the under-30 crowd, Hersonissos nevertheless has some things to offer those of all ages.

Aquaworld Aquarium in Hersonissos was founded in 1995, is an aquarium and reptile rescue center. It features snakes, lizards, and tortoises which can be safely fed and handled by visitors and children. It is one of only 3 aquariums in Greece. It also displays a variety of local marine life in aquariums.

Hersonissos’ Lychnostatis Open Air Museum is a collection of Cretan folk tradition artifacts originally owned by an ophthalmologist named Yiorgos Markakis. The museum, located near the harbor, purposes to show elements of Cretan folk life, including in its exhibits such objects as wine and olive presses, a distillery, a herb and a cactus garden, fruit orchards, a folk art gallery, weaving and ceramic workshops, an auditorium used for staging performances, and an annual "Traditional September" celebration, featuring dancing performances and wine tasting.

The Black Rose Pirate Boat leaves mid-morning from the harbor daily. This mock up of a pirate ship, an homage to the privateers who used to plague the waters in the area, is an all-day excursion along the caves, inlets, and coast to the village and resort of Sissi, about 12 km east of Hersonissos, where there is a 1-hour stopover. Barbeque lunch is served, and the "pirate" crew and captain, wearing bandannas and striped baggy trousers, are very friendly, especially to kids. If you're lucky the captain will let you steer the boat.

No trip to Hersonissos would be complete without a day spent absorbing the traditional life of Upper Hersonissos. As in all Greek villages, there is the brick-paved town square, the cafes, the restaurants with their white table cloths and outdoor seating, and a chance to see the more normal daily life of the village. A visit to the local church to admire its Byzantine-style icons and other artwork and contemplate in its quiet interior is also a rewarding experience.

Hersonissos, Crete 700 14

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