TRAVEL GUIDE TO HERAKLION
Situated near the two major archeological sites of Crete, Knossos Palace and Phaistos Palace, Heraklion is the perfect base for your exploration! The region itself is lovely, with stunning beaches to discover and a lively town, full of hidden gems from the Venetian period.
You can reach Heraklion easily by plane from Athens airport & abroad, or by ferry from Athens.
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MORE ABOUT HERAKLION GREECE
Heraklion is the most popular region of Crete and is located on the eastern side of the island, between Rethymno and Lassithi. Its beautiful capital, Heraklion Town, is one of the busiest cities in Crete.
In the Heraklion region, you will find two of the most important Crete monuments: Knossos Palace & Phaistos Palace.
Being over 20,000 square meters big, the Minoan Palace of Knossos is the largest of all Minoan palatial structures. The remains of colorful murals, imposing red columns and the glorious throne room will make you feel transported into the Minoan Era.
The Minoan Palace of Phaistos is the second most important Minoan site, after Knossos. It is located on the east side of Kastri hill, boasting a beautiful natural setting and attracts history enthusiasts from all over the world!
Even though it has an often crowded city center, the main Town keeps its fairytale vibe. Strolling around the town, you will come across Koules fortress, at the Venetian port, Turkish and Venetian fountains, Venetian buildings, the Venetian Loggia and museums, such as the Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum and the Museum of Natural History.
If you are not a big fan of sightseeing, though, you should head to the beautiful beaches! The northern and southern coasts of the region are fringed with some amazing beaches, such as the former hippies paradise, Matala beach, Agia Pelagia and Malia.
For those who want to spend their holidays in Crete by the beach, there are many hotels close to these beaches!
PHOTOS OF HERAKLION / SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
HOTELS & ACCOMMODATIONS
Both luxurious and budget hotels are available for your accommodation in the region of Heraklion. In areas located near the sea, such as Analipsi, Agia Pelagia and Malia you will mostly discover big resorts with swimming pools that offer suites, bungalows, villas and other modern and stylish units. Smaller but also excellent hotels can be found in Heraklion Town and Hersonissos.
Some of the most popular hotels are Cretan Malia Park, Agapi Beach & High Beach.
HOW TO GET TO HERAKLION?
A popular way to reach Heraklion is by ferry from the port of Piraeus, in Athens. Heraklion can also be reached by plane (International airport).
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Discover the different ways to get to Heraklion:
HIGHLIGHTS: BEST OF HERAKLION
Discover the highlights of Heraklion! From sightseeing to activities and from tours to restaurants, we give you the best recommendations for the ultimate holiday experience! You can also view the best things to do.
The Minoan Palace of Knossos is the most famous sight in Crete. Located in close distance to Heraklion Town, this palace was found almost intact covered by volcanic ashes.
The Minoan Palace of Phaestos is located on the southern side of Heraklion, on the way to Matala. It is famous for the Disk of Phaestos, which has not been decoded till today.
Discover some tours organized around the area and to Santorini island.
The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion Town hosts exhibits from various excavations in Crete. The most interesting items date from the Minoan Times, such as the famous Disk of Phaestos.
Located in the southern side of Crete, the beach of Matala is a former hippies place. Over the last years, there is a large hippies festival there in summer.
Malia is the most popular beach resort of Heraklion and the most famous nightlife spot in Crete. It gets very popular and usually attracts people who go there for clubbing.
A wonderful beach at the end of a gorge, Agiofaraggo is a popular spot for free camping and nudism.