Heraklion is a modern town (the largest of the island, with a population of approximately 180,000 inhabitants), and is the administrative, commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of Crete. Is the capital of the region of Crete. The strange coexistence of the old and the new and the mixture of buildings from different civilizations, makes the city really interesting and attractive. The fact that you may walk by the Venetian port enjoying the view of an ancient period and in two minutes distance you may find yourself having a coffee or a drink in a very modern and trendy café – bar, makes the visitor have a unique feeling.
Eleftherios Venizelos square (Platia Eleftheriou Venizelou), the Lion’s square as the locals call it, is the city’s traditional centre. This will be your first and your last destination during a day. Around this square you’ll find all the commercial streets of the town.
The eastern part of the Heraklion prefecture has some major archaeological sites like Malia, and many important Byzantine churches. Only 5 kilometres south from the centre of Heraklion you can visit Knossos, the largest and the most brilliant centre of Minoan civilization.
Great beaches, intensive night life, warm people, great cuisine and the strange “game” between the old and the new are promising unforgettable holidays in the island.
The Old Port
It is to be found on the left side of the modern port. During the Venetian period, it was an important commercial and military centre. The perfect spot for a nice romantic walk, especially during the night.
The Koules Fortress
It’s really impressive and one of the special sights of Heraklion. It was built at the entrance of the Venetian port in order to protect it from raids. On its sides can be seen fragments of the carved lions of Saint Mark which. The Castle is open to the public. On the top, an outdoor theatre has been built and they use it during the summer festivals that takes place in the town.
The Minoan Palace Of Knossos
The archaeological site of Knossos is at a distance of 5 kms. Southeast of Heraklion, near the small village of the same name, on a hill. It is the largest and most known centre of the Minoan civilization.
The Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum holds finds from Knossos, Archanes, Phaestos, Zakros and many other archaeological sites in Crete. It’s a must see place for the visitors who want to have an overall view of the island’s archaeological treasures. Popular highlights include the Phaestos disc, classic Hellenic and Roman sculptures, frescoes, jewellery, wall paintings and pottery.