Heraklion City

Heraklion Crete - the lively capital of Crete

Heraklion, Crete, the capital of the island, is today a modern, particularly lively town, which offers every kind of experience and form of recreation both in summer and winter.

Map of Heraklion Crete

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Heraklion holidays can make a fine base for touring around Crete because is in the middle of the northern coast of the island. From here you can tour both sides of the Crete. Rethymnon and Chania from the west side or Agios Nikolaos and Elounda from the east side.


Video Heraklion City

Heraklion is the transport hub of Crete, from its harbour ferries leaving for countless destinations. At first sight, the city exudes little of the charm seen in Rethymnon and Chania.

Heraklion, Crete can be said to be off-putting, with its anarchic architecture and overpoweringly ugly facades, especially in the centre.

Nevertheless, bypassing the capital of Crete would be a serious omission.

The attraction of the city does not just lie in its magnificent archaeological museum – one of the finest in the country. Heraklion harbors significant testaments to its past history, as well as several spots of exceptional beauty. The famous Minoan Palace at Knossos is close by. Heraklion holidays visitors can spend part of their holidays strolling around a city with many fine Venetian buildings, squares, churches and fountains.

Archaeological MuseumOld FortLion SquareVenetian Loggia

The most eye-catching of these are the old fortification walls, living proof of the city’s need to protect itself from heavy artillery fire: broad walls, deep moats, large ramparts, additional fortifications on the outer fringes of the moat and large supports for batteries of cannons.

At the centre of Heraklion there is the square of Eleftherios Venizelos. A fine place for people watching from the round cafes. Bars and tavernas are found in some of the narrow pedestrian streets near the square, along with some of the best shopping on Crete.

Heraklion has an impressive variety of goods to offer shoppers, from top designer labels and exquisite jewellery to fine antiques and high quality leather goods.

Shops are open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 9 - 3 pm and on Tuesday and Thursday 9 - 8 pm.

Tourist shops are open 9 - 10 pm, 7 days a week.

FortAgios Minas Church BellTourist ShopAntiques Store

Greece is quite famous for its original jewellery design and competitive prices. Greeks have always been good at making jewellery, as proved by both ancient and modern history.

In the prefecture of Heraklion you can buy oil, wine, tsikoudia, olives, raisins, fruits, honey, herbs, all kinds of cheese and sausages.

You can also find traditional shops with leather products, belts, stivania and knives in the city of Heraklion, as well as weavings and rugs at Zaros and pop art products at Arolithos.