An island of mythology, history, local traditions, culture, unique landscapes and birthplace of the famous Cretan hospitality. Majestic mountains, golden beaches, sparkling sea water, wild nature, the island is blessed with sunshine during most of the year.
The town with the most intense nightlife in Crete, Heraklion offers many chances for a night out. The night entertainment consists of modern and traditional spots to choose from. There is an interesting variety of bars and clubs which are located in Heraklion Town, Malia, Hersonissos and other places. Malia, Stalis and Hersonissos are the busiest nightlife spots of Heraklion. In the other tourist places of Heraklion, you may find few all-night clubs but mostly you will find bars that stay open till 2-3 o’clock in the morning. These bars play lounge or loud music. For a more peaceful night out, you can have a dinner at the many taverns around the prefecture of Heraklion. These taverns have delicious local dishes, local wine and traditional raki.
Heraklion is the perfect holiday base, with soft golden beaches, miniscule coves, buzzing towns, archaeological treasures, majestic mountains and deep gorges all within easy reach. You can arrange many daily trips from Heraklion to Spinalonga, Balos, Knosos and Vai, places with incomparable beauty and historical value.
If you begin a walk around Heraklion, starting at the fishing harbour close to the Rocca al Mare, but is now known as Koules. It has a mixed history; for centuries it was used as protection against invaders, as were the great city walls and ditches. These are among the longest city walls in Europe.
St. Mark’s Basilica is now the Municipal Art Gallery and often host to art and crafts exhibitions, almost always open to visit. Built in 1239 in the Piazza delle Biade (Square of Blades), it was at one time the Cathedral of Crete. The Basilica belonged to the reigning Duke, eventually becoming his burial place.
This is the heart of Heraklion where tourists and locals share the small space around the fountain, exchanging glances and perhaps a few words. Business and pleasure combine here, and it is the place to meet for whatever purpose or no purpose. To give some background, it might also be called the Morosini Fountain or, Liondaria in Greek or, more properly, Plateia Eleftheriou Venizelou, after Venizelos, Crete’s greatest man of state.
Knosos: The archaeological site of Knossos is sited 5 km southeast of the city of Iraklion.
There is evidence that this location was inhabited during the neolithic times (6000 B.C.). On the ruins of the neolithic settlement was built the first Minoan palace (1900 B.C.) where the dynasty of Minos ruled. This was destroyed in 1700 B.C and a new palace built in its place. The palace covered an area of 22,000sq.m. Due to this fact the Palace is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur. The most important monuments of the site are The Great Palace, The Little Palace, The Royal Villa, The House of the High Priest, The Caravan Serai and The Royal Temble Tomb-Sanctuary.