Holidays in Heraklion - Crete Greece
The county of Heraklion is located in the centre of Crete. Covering an area of over 2,600 square km and with a population of more than 250,000, Heraklion is home to the city with the same name, which is one of the largest in Greece.
Positioned between the Lasithiotika Mountains and Mount Psiloritis, the county is one of truly diverse landscapes, perfectly combining the mountains and sea.
The majority of international visitors to Crete will arrive by air at the Heraklion International airport. There are other airports on Crete, but the one in Heraklion is the busiest. The port of Heraklion is also very busy with arrivals by ferry boats.
Upon arrival in the city of Heraklion, one could be forgiven by being slightly disappointed with the appearance of such a large, noisy and busy city. Appearances however can be deceiving, and underneath the rough exterior is a very charming and unique city, and your gateway to the magical county of Heraklion, and all of the hidden charms and beauty that it holds.
The history of Heraklion is on that dates back thousands of years, and the region is home to the stunning Minoan palace of Knossos. This ancient site is one that all visitors to Crete should pay a visit to. The sheer size of the site and the remarkable history that accompanies it makes it a truly unique part of ancient Greek history, and a hugely popular attraction for holiday makers.
The modern city of Heraklion has been the capital of Crete since 1972. It is the heart of the economy of the island, and plays an important role in trade and industry.
The city is also home to the Old Town, located within the old city walls. Situated within a triangular area with the base at the sea, and the Martinengo Bastion as its vertex, the Old Town offers a fascinating insight into the years of old. The charming Venetian harbour, is a popular place to enjoy a stroll and admire the views from around the castle walls.
Situated a short distance from the Venetian harbor is the Historical Museum of Heraklion. Founded in 1952 by the Society for Cretan Historical Research, the museum has a wonderful array of exhibits, featuring many aspects of Cretan life dating back to the early Christian period.
Visitors to Heraklion can easily spend a day wondering around the old town, enjoying a walk along the streets, and visiting some of the hidden gems of the area such as the Eleftheriou Venizulou Square, which is the heart of the old town, and where you can find a choice of cafes, restaurants and various shops. In the centre of the square is the Morosini Fountain, also known as the lions, which was built in 1628 by Franceso Morosini, who was Governor of the island.
As well as the modern and old towns of Heraklion, there are many other beauty places that one can visit, From the north to the south of the county, Heraklion offers a wonderful array of quaint towns and villages, beautiful beaches and crystal blue waters, and a truly genuine and friendly local population.
One place worth stopping at is the famous Creta Aquarium. Situated along the coast between the city of Heraklion and the resort of Hersonissos, this wonderful aquarium is a great place to visit. Inside amongst the 2500 living organisms, you can see the huge variety of fish, sharks, shell fish, jelly fish and other magical sea life. The aquarium is open daily throughout the year and is a great day out for both adults and children.
From the hugely popular coastal town of Hersonissos that is located a short distance from the city of Heraklion, to the ancient sites of Archanes and Pirgos, the county of Heraklion is a very interesting and entertaining part of Crete, and one that many visitors to the island will pass through. Just how much you can see and enjoy depends on your holiday schedules, but if you can put aside a couple of days to spend in the county, you definitely won’t be disappointed.