City in Crete

Heraklion is home to Knossos, the capital of the Minoans, built 4000 years ago. Visit the remarkable archeological museum and the Venetian fortress.

Heraklion Attractions

Minoan Palace of Knossos

The very center of the Minoan civilization that thrived on Crete during the Stone Age and was brought to light by John Evans' excavations.

Lions Square & Morosini Fountain

Meeting point and famous for its Venetian fountain, a monument of the 17th century. Officially called "Eleftherios Venizelos" square.

Venetian Fortress «Rocca a Mare»

A well-preserved and impressive medieval castle located at the entrance of Heraklion's port. Locally referred as «Koules».

The remains of the Archaeological Site of Malia under a protective overhanging ceiling.
distant ≈ 44.9km

«Malia Minoan Palace» Archaeological Site

These are the remnants of the third-largest Minoan Palace which was destroyed in 1450 BC together with the rest of Minoan civilization.

A photo showing the Windmills of Selí Ambélou with the surrounding mountains in the background.
distant ≈ 45km

Windmills of Selí Ambélou

With an amazing view and 24 windmills around, you can take lots of pictures here. There is also a restaurant and a gift shop.

A part of the fortification of the Venetian Walls of Heraklion in Crete.
photo: C messier

Venetian Walls of Heraklion

Notoriously strong fortification that wouldn't have fallen without treachery, its construction lasted for more than a century.

The Old Venetian Port of Heraklion.
photo: Moonik / CC BY-SA 3.0

Old Venetian Port of Heraklion

By the fortress of “Koules” is located the old Venetian port which serves as a marina that hosts numerous fishing and tourist ships.

Heraklion Things to Do

CRETAquarium Thalassókosmos

Visiting the biggest Greek aquarium and one of the largest in Europe is an ideal opportunity to gain knowledge about the marine environment.

The guiding path inside the Sfendoni Cave of Zoniana in Crete.
distant ≈ 39.3km

Sfendoni Cave, Zoniana

This UNESCO geopark cave with all its stalactites and stalagmites will take you for a moment in a magic underworld.

Heraklion Museums

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

Housing the biggest artifact collection of the Minoan Civilization, it enlightens its thousands of visitors about the history of Crete.

Natural History Museum of Crete

Among other things, here you can see the "Deinotherium", a gigantic animal that lived in Crete 9 million years ago, as well as other natural history wonders.

One of the buildings where the Lychnostatis - Cretan Open Air Museum is housed.
distant ≈ 34.4km

Lychnostatis - Cretan Open Air Museum

The Lychnostatis Open Air Museum offers a journey in Cretan life of the past few centuries. It is a remarkable exhibition of everyday objects.

The exterior of the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum in Myrtia square.
hidden gem

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum, Myrtia

This two-story building at the central square of the village, where the great author was born, hosts exhibits that celebrate his work.

Heraklion Day Trips


This place is known for its lively nightlife. Want to take a break from the beach? Pay a visit to the aquarium and the open-air folklore museum.


A small coastal town famous for its intense nightlife, primarily for young visitors. Aside from bar crawling, a stroll in the old city is a must.

The house of the famous Greek singer Nikos Ksilouris in the village of Anogia on the island of Crete.
distant ≈ 34.3km

Anogia Town, Rethymno

Anogia people are known across Greece for their uncompromising character and hospitality. The house of Cretan singer Xilouris is here.

Questions & Answers about Heraklion

Why Visit Heraklion?
  • Birthplace of the painter Doménikos Theotokópoulos widely known as El Greco.
  • Port of the legendary and the biggest palace of the Minoan civilization Knossos.
  • The second biggest in traffic airport in the country after this of Athens.
What is Heraklion, Greece?

Heraklion is the capital of Crete and the sixth-largest city of Greece. It spans a total area of 120 square kilometers (30,000 acres) and a population of over 150,000 residents.

What is the history of Heraklion?

According to researchers, the region of the city was nearly 3500 years ago the ancient port of Knossos. Today’s Heraklion was founded in 824 AD by the Syracusans. It was a thriving city of the Byzantine Empire but then fell to the Venetians and the Ottomans. For some time existed under the regime of autonomy until its union with Greece in 1913.

How is Heraklion today?

Today Heraklion is a modern port that serves the largest part of commercial broader economic activity of Crete. Tourism is rising sharply during the summer season and is a significant financial source for many locals. Someone can reach Heraklion by boat from Piraeus or alternatively fly by plane through the international airport of the city "Nikos Kazantzakis".