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.

Attractions & Things to Do in Heraklion

Port of Heraklion

The new commercial & tourist port that hosts large cruise ships, & offers routes to Piraeus & other islands.

km 0
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.

← W
< 1km

Venetian Fortress «Rocca a Mare»


A well-preserved and impressive medieval castle located at the entrance of Heraklion port.

← W
< 1km

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

Housing the biggest artifact collection of the Minoan Civilization, it sheds light on the history of Crete and attracts thousands of visitors.

↙ SW
< 1km

Lions Square & Morosini Fountain

«El. Venizelos»

Meeting point and famous for the Venetian fountain, a monument of the 17th century.

← W
≈ 1.4km
A part of the fortification of the Venetian Walls of Heraklion in Crete.
photo: C messier

Venetian Walls of Heraklion

Notoriously strong fortification which construction lasted for more than a century and wouldn't have fallen without treachery.

↙ SW
≈ 1.8km

Natural History Museum of Crete

Operating since 1980, it is an awarded museum that helps towards raising the public awareness on environmental and ecosystem protection.

← W
≈ 2.1km

Heraklion International Airport

«Nikos Kazantzakis»

Named after the Greek writer and philosopher, it's the second busiest airport in Greece with many domestic but mainly international destinations.

→ E
≈ 4km

Minoan Palace of Knossos

Epicenter of a great civilization that thrived on Crete during the Stone Age and brought to light with the excavations of Sir Arthur John Evans.

↓ S
≈ 7.2km

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.

→ E
≈ 17.7km

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum, Myrtia

A two-story building at the central square of the village where the great author was born, hosts exhibits that reveal his work and his thought.

↘ SE
≈ 18.7km


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.

→ E
≈ 31.4km

Anogia Town, Rethymno

Well-known village with strong ties to Cretan tradition and music which hosts the family house of the famous singer Nikos Xilouris.

← W
≈ 34.3km

Lychnostatis - Cretan Open Air Museum

A series of facilities that reveal the folklore background and the traditional life on the island.

→ E
≈ 34.4km

Sfendoni Cave in Zoniana

Located 43 km from Heraklion and 52 km from Rethymno is a visitable cave included in UNESCO geoparks famous for is stalactites and stalagmites.

← W
≈ 39.3km


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.

→ E
≈ 41.2km

Archaeological Site «Malia Minoan Palace»

The third-largest Minoan Palace founded in 1900, and similarly to the others destroyed in 1450 BC.

→ E
≈ 44.9km

Windmills of Selí Ambélou

24 out of the 27 initially existing windmills compose a complex that was characterized as a piece of art from the Greek Government in 1986.

↘ SE
≈ 45km

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".