When in Herakleion… : the best experiences the city has to offer
Nestled picturesquely among two imposing mountain ranges, the vibrant city of Herakleion lies on the northern coast of the island that simply has it all: amazing beaches, impressive mountains, deep gorges, overwhelming rich history, legends and myths and, not to forget, the world-famous gastronomic culture.
A perfect way to start your day in Herakleion is to explore the old town close to the harbor which is dominated by Koules, an imposing 16th-century fortress built by the Venetians –
enjoy the gorgeous view from the ramparts and then continue your stroll inside the massive defensive walls of the old city. The pedestrian-only streets are lined by aristocratic buildings, churches, and boutiques, and open onto a leafy square with fountains and busy cafés where you can sip a Greek frappe and watch life.
Later on, you should definitely pass by the market of Heraklion, one of the richest in the Mediterranean. Don’t miss the traditional Cretan products such as the famous Cretan olive oil, raki, local wine, honey, herbs, etc. You could snack some fresh fruits before continuing with a visit to the Archaeological Museum, one of the leading museums in Greece, which contains almost all the unique treasures of the Minoan civilization unearthed at Knossos and other sites.
If you want to satisfy your appetite for more history, why not visit Knossos, which lies only 5km south of Herakleion?
It is one of the most important archeological sites in Europe, since it used to be the legendary centre of the Minoan civilization.
After such an exciting day, gain a complete insight into the city’s culture and tradition by tasting the famous Cretan cuisine, which is popular all over the world for its health and taste, in one of Heraklion’s excellent restaurants. Enjoy!