Heraklion City

Heraklion (Ηράκλειο): the largest city and capital of the Crete island is a modern-industrial city of around 225.000 residents. A city which is always loud and alive, day and night making it one of the popular destinations in Europe. As archaeological highlight Knossos, the modern city is densely populated and traffic choked, at first overwhelming the visitor. However, in recent years, things have begun to change and efforts are being made to bring out the beauty of the city’s rich cultural history.

Strolling along the coastline, the city wall, or down a park can reveal various historical remains of potentially immense interest to the watchful eye. The knowledgeable visitor will be able to trace the past under the urban sprawl of the present. The core of the city is still enclosed and defined by the Venetian wall, which includes seven out-jutting bastions. In the southernmost of these, the Martinengo Bastion, is the grave of Nikos Kazantzakis standing on a windswept hilltop with its moving inscription, “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”

Why travel to Heraklion?

Heraklion is not the most attractive city of Crete, as it was built haphazardly with little planning oversight. But behind this flaw you can discover a vibrant working small metropolis with a great number of attractive features which do much to temper initial impressions. Although there are a number of preserved old buildings and churches, the Old Town has largely disappeared. The harbour (a major cruise and ferry port) boasts Venetian walls and a Venetian fort. Heraklion city is full of students all over Greece, as it has two of the best and biggest universities of the country. This is the main reason that keeps the city full of life at winter time.