Heraklion - Hub of the most important archaeological sites
Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, Matala is only some of the archaeological sites of Heraklion prefecture in Crete.
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, probably the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture.
It has been substantially and imaginatively "rebuilt", making the site accessible to the casual visitor in a way that a field of unmarked ruins is not.
Phaistos or Festos was one of the most important centres of the Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful city in southern Crete.
It was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the foundation and development of the Minoan palaces in the 15th century B.C.
Gortys or Gortyn is located 45 km from the Heraklion. It was a very important city during the age of the Minoan civilization.
Gortys, the Roman capital of Crete, was first inhabited around 3000 B.C., and was a flourishing Minoan town between 1600-1100 B.C.
Mallia or Malia is the name given now to an ancient city. The original name for the city is not known. Mallia was located on the north coast of the island in a fertile plain.
A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age;
Matala is a village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion. The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age.
Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period, following the destruction of Kommos, and the port of Gortys during the Roman period.