Bursting with Greek mythology
Crete’s capital should be architecturally pleasing, but sadly, it’s not. A lack of cohesive planning has put paid to that but nevertheless, scratch beneath its surface to Heraklion’s culture, chic boutiques, historically important sights and warm Greek hospitality. Heraklion’s biggest draw is the ancient port of Knossus, the most important city of the Minoan era and location of the palace of King Minos, believed to be the starting point for the mythological Minotaur’s labyrinth. There are numerous other important sights too, but if relaxing is top of the agenda, Heraklion, or Iraklio as it is also called, won’t disappoint. Eating is a way of life for the Greeks and spending hours savouring delicious mezes of stuffed vine leaves, dips and meatballs is delightful. Unwind by the quayside at the Old Harbour.
Greek mythology, historical sites and several museums enchant visitors to Heraklion every year. Taste mezes and sip on ouzo, enjoy sunny Mediterranean weather and head to the beaches further down the coast.
When to Go?
Heraklion has a warm Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The summer heat is often made more comfortable by sea breezes; this is the best time to visit the island. From November to March Crete is at its rainiest and there aren’t many direct flights during this period.
How to get there?
From April to October flights are plentiful and operate from most UK International airports. Winter flights are far more limited, with some from Manchester and London. Heraklion Airport (HER) is located 5 km east of the city and is officially known as “Nikos Kazantzakis” Heraklion International Airport. Flights take around 4 hours from London.
Knossus archaeological site and palaces have to be on your must-see list. Visit the Archaeological Museum with its plethora of Minoan artefacts. For a day on the beach, try Amoudara, and for nightlife, the bars and clubs on Koraï Street are stylish and great for meeting people. If travelling with children, head to The Aquaworld Aquarium for an afternoon of fun.