Kokkini Hani is located 15km west of Heraklion, west of Vathianos Kambos. It is a very well-developed resort, surrounded by many crops cultivated in the fertile plane of the area. The name of the site means “Kokkinis’s Inn” and is taken after an inn that operated here in the early 1900s, by someone called Kokkinis. This inn was popular with travelers, who stopped at this point to spend their night during their journey to Heraklion.
The area has many beaches, protected by small artificial piers. The beaches are sandy and have shallow turquoise water. Most beaches are formed in front of hotels, but access is open to everyone. The area is full of shops and restaurants and all beaches are well organized with umbrellas, lifeguards, water sports, and the basic tourist infrastructure. The nightlife in Kokkini Chani is not particularly intense, especially compared to that of Malia and Hersonissos.
On the east side of Kokkini, close to Vathianos Kambos and near the shore, you will meet the small archaeological site of Niros Villa. Niros was a mansion that was used as the residence of a senior Minoan priest who probably ruled the local Minoan harbor. The site, dating to the Late Minoan Times, is open to visitors and is a good chance to see how a Minoan religious building was built 4000 ago. The excavation in the villa revealed several large bronze axes, which were the symbols of the Minoans, jars, offering tables with raw clay on them, and many other smaller items.