Crete - Do & See
The Old Port Heraklion
It is to be found on the left side of the modern port. During the Venetian period, it was an important commercial and military centre. The perfect spot for a nice romantic walk, especially during the night.
The Koules Fortress
The fortress is really impressive and one of the special sights of Heraklion. It was built at the entrance of the Venetian port in order to protect from raids. Fragments of the carved lions of Saint Mark can be seen on its sides. On the top, an outdoor theatre has been built and they use it during the summer festivals. The name Koules is a Turkish name, but the Venetians called it Rocca al Mare. The castle is open to the public.
The Minoan Palace of Knossos
The archaeological site of Knossos is at a distance of 5 kilometres southeast of Heraklion, near the small village of the same name. It is the largest and most known centre of the Minoan civilization.
Hersonissos is the night-life paradise of Crete. There are hundreds of bars, big hotels and nice restaurants. There are also nice beaches, especially “limanakia,” a number of very small bays. Ideal for sea, sun and fun lovers. One hour distance from the centre of Heraklion and you can go there by bus. The buses leave from the station near the port—Kountourioti str, Limenos area.
Malia has plenty to do—day and night. Plenty of taverns, pubs and discos and a lovely beach. A great party place! It is ninety minutes away from Heraklion. Get the bus from the same place as for Hersonissos.
West of Heraklion is the closet summer resort. Restaurants, tavernas, cafés, music bars, gift and jewellery shops are available along the road, with some beach-side taverns. You can go there taking the bus from Eleftherias square (Liberty square) or by taxi.
Chania – Rethymnon
If you are planning to stay more than a week in Crete and specifically at Heraklion, take the chance to visit two more great cities of the island with great natural beauties, gorges and very traditional villages: Rethymnon is 1,5 hours away from Heraklion (by bus), and Chania is 3 hours from Heraklion. For both destinations, you can get the bus from the central bus station near the port.
The Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum holds finds from Knossos, Archanes, Phaestos, Zakros and many other archaeological sites in Crete. It’s a must see place for the visitors who want to have an overall view of the island’s archaeological treasures. Popular highlights include the Phaestos disc, classic Hellenic and Roman sculptures, frescoes, jewellery, wall paintings and pottery.
Explore the wonderful life of the Mediterranean sea. Here you can see hundreds of different fish and other marine species and let your self be fascinated by their shapes and colours.
City of Gournia
Gournia was excavated by Harriet Boyd, the first woman in the world excavating an ancient city, in the early 20th century. It is dated to late Minoan and is one of few Minoan towns to have been fully excavated. In 2010 they started digging again.
The Natural History Museum of Crete
A museum in Heraklion centre where you can find a lot of interesting things for all ages. There are a discovery centre for children, an earthquake simulator, small aquariums and terrariums housing living animals from this region, a large collection of fossils, and a replica of the largest mammal ever lived on Crete, 9 million years ago.
This picturesque town is located on the east part of Crete, 70 km from Heraklion. It is built around a small lake so choose between taking a break on one of the cafés by the lakeside or close to the harbour by the sea watching all the yachts lying there. With all its restaurants, bars and designer shops here is a cosmopolitan feeling.
Between the cities of Chania and Heraklion you find Lake Kournas, the only freshwater lake in Crete. It lies in a beautiful valley and this is a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. If there are any orts the ducks waddling around are most likely interested.
Water City Water Park
Promoting itself as the best amusement park on the island. Enjoy all the possible water attractions like slides and wave pools, relax in the parks or have a bite of food and something to drink in one of the restaurants or bars. Water City's aim is to make your day as pleasurable as possible!
Elounda & Spinalonga Island
Feeling for a celebrity hunt? Elounda is the part of Crete where all the rich and famous people come for a vacation. Here you can gaze at all the luxurious villas and hotels but also enjoy the charming old fishing village. From Elounda you can take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island known for its Venetian fortress and being one of Europe´s last leper colony.