The beaches located in the north side of the island are the most visited ones as there beats the heart of touristic industry of the whole island. The most known beaches are Amnisos, Gouves, Analipsi Chersonisou, Chersonisos, Malia, Linoperasma (the closest beach to Heraklion city), Aghia Pelagia and the nearby Ligaria beach. The south coasts are not that organized but are less crowded and have unique beauty. The most known beaches are Kommos, Matala and Lentas while remarkable are also Koloi Limenes and Aghia Galini beaches. In these beaches there is a variety of sports activities: Water ski, surfing, Jet Ski, sea parachuting and diving are just few of the activities you can try there. For people who are fonder of classical sports they can visit the modern facilities of the large hotel complexes.
In the area operate also four Water parks: Aqua splash located close to Chersonisos on the way to Lasithi plateau, which is also the oldest and most famous, Star golden beach located in Chersonisos where among others you can try bungee jumping from 30 m height, Bravo located in Ammoudara beach few kilometers outside Heraklion and Water Ski Park in Anopoli approximately fifteen kilometers east of Heraklion on the old road to Aghios Nikolaos.
You can also visit the Jockey Club located in Pitsidia village 4.5 km NE of Matala. Visitors can go around the nearby beaches areas on horses (Matala, Messara valley, Aghiofarago, Kommos beach and other). Lessons are also given to amateur riders as well as programs with ponies are offered for children.