You have arrived at
the home of the Mythical Minotaur beast and the glorious Palace of King Minos
with the famous Labyrinth! A place full of mystery and rich in history,
Heraklion is the oldest civilization on the whole European Continent.
On 1541, a miracle took place in this part of the world. This was the birth of El Greco, one of the greatest painters of all times.
Nowadays, Heraklion is a vibrant city where the old and the new is merged in a unique way.
Shop like a
Pick a Saturday and explore the “Laiki Agora”. Mingle with the locals and have a first-hand look at the foods that are considered to be part of some of the healthiest Cuisines in the world (Mediterranean diet). Also have the chance to buy some of the delicious local bakery delicacies that are available only here and nowhere else in Greece!
Now, if you are on the hunt for some souvenir, head to the alley of 1866 Street, known as the Central Market. Here you will find a plethora of small shops with a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts piled high till the ceilings!
Heraklion is home to some of the most important findings of the Minoan civilization, the oldest one in the Western world. For a journey into history, do not miss a visit to the famous Minoan Palace and the Heraklion archaeological site where you will get a glimpse of how the civilization used to be 5000 years ago!
A walk inside Heraklion town will also reveal a series of spots worth visiting. Places like the Cathedral of St. Mina dating from the late 19th-century, and the Loggia, present Heraklion's town hall considered by many to be Crete's best-preserved Venetian building. Last but not least, a must stop should be at the Morozini fountain which is considered to be the center of the action. Take a rest and enjoy a refreshment.
A place where many Empires left their mark, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans.
Sea always played an important role for Heraklion and the old town focuses on the harbor.
A harbor walk will reveal the impressive Venetian walls with its remarkable building techniques! Explore the harbor line from the Promenade to the Koules Fortress, dating back to the 16th century. Once you finish with your seaside exploration, take a turn into the Old Town. A maze of small alleys full of aristocratic buildings, churches and boutiques awaits! Take a break at the one of the squares and lay back in a small taverna for a raki drink and kaltsounia.
Take a step back in time by visiting Matala, a scenery with beachside caves that used to be synonymous with hippies. As a hippy bastion in the 60s and 70s, it was glorified in Joni Mitchell’s song ‘Carey’. Nowadays, Matala hosts an annual beach festival during the last days of June and is just the thing you need if you are looking for a laid-back experience under the Cretan Summer moon.
If you want to hit the beaches, Ammoudara golden sandy beach is a winner. For a pebbly option, Agia Pelahia is the one for you with its crystal blue waters. Now, for a more Exotic choice, Star Beach is the place to be, Pine Trees, beach plantation and mojito drinks! The list of beaches is long so if you are a beach lover, for sure you will discover your own personal paradise!
"Don’t look for a pill that can substitute for the Cretan diet. There is no such thing."
One of the most impressive and remarkable assets of Cretan people is their longevity. After many research, it was discovered that the key to their health was their nutrition! Olives and Olive oil is one of the main pillars of the locals’ diet and Heraklion region has a long tradition in producing some of the finest extra virgin oils in the world. A distinct habit of the locals is based on the family gathering around the dining table, talking about their daily news, and sharing the enjoyment of the food. This scene is a ritual in the daily life of the locals and a unique way of communication. The preparation of the food is an art, a careful process of selection of fresh ingredients from local farms and cooking with an authentic simplicity. A ritual that ages back in the Minoan Civilization. Take a seat in the taverna and prepare for a feast like no other! Start your order with BBQ lamb or goat with the Antikristo cooking style, savoury sweet pies like Kalitsounia, Meat pie with the various layers of meat & cheese, Apaki smoked lean pork, Sfioufichta (fresh pasta), kochlious bourbouristous (escargot stir fried in sault). After you finish, then it’s time for the main course! For sure you will return home with a full belly!