Heraklion Town

Information about Town

Heraklion Town Crete: Heraklion is the capital and largest town of Crete. It is the administrative, commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of the island with a population of 130.000 inhabitants most of whom are engaged in tourism, trade and agriculture.

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The town lies close to Knossos Palace, one of the most interesting sightseeings and around the busy port. Over the last decades and after World war II Heraklion has experienced a spectacular development that has caused many problems like lack of parking, chaotic constructions and traffic jams.

The busy town has nothing in common with the beautiful and picturesque towns of Chania, Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos although there are still several well-preserved buildings and ancient remains that witess the town

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    4 Reviews
    • olli.lampinen 14 Sep 2012
      Interesting place with much history
      I visited the Minoan Palace Of Knossos with my wife in April 2012. We went by bus from Rethymno to Knossos.The Minoan Palace was very large over 20,000 square meters. The archaeological site of Knossos is 5 km southeast of Heraklion, in the valley of the river Kairatos. We had a local guide who was very familiar with the history of the Palace. The guide gave us a fantastic presentation of the Palace.

      If you go to Crete you must visit the Palace. It is the most important monument at Crete. It was intresting to see how advanced the Minoan civilication was at these times 4000 years ago. They even had a water system. It was fine to see the ruins and the very detailed wall fresco paintings. Sir Arthur Evans made a hard work when he was leader of the excavations. After his death in 1941, responsibility for the excavations was assumed to present day by the British School Of Archaeology. Some parts of the Palace has been built up in recent years, using concrete, was not so good. Our visit there was very impressive. If you like history, I suggest that you visit The Palace In Knossos.
    • ny145 23 May 2010
      Interesting monuments but busy centre
      I found the town of Heraklion a bit crowded, but not surprisingly, for this is the main city in Crete. The city is built on the side of a hill overlooking the port and with my fully loaded backpack, the climb to the center of town took quite an effort. Our hotel was in the centre of the island. We stayed in the town for one night and next day took the bus to Chania.

      If you are looking for a quiet and tranquil getaway, Heraklion is definitely not the choice. Buses, cars, trucks, blaring horns, busy streets bustling with shops, cafes and restaurants, is pretty much what the city is about. If you happen to take a trip to the central market in the heart of the city, you will be in for a few surprises.

      I wandered through the small alleys close to the pedestrian area of the square and came across little shops selling interesting things. Thankfully, the back streets are closed to traffic because they belong to the Old Town. One of the most striking features of Heraklion is its huge harbor crowded with ferries and cruise ships. There is a huge Venetian fortress in the harbor that protected the town from invaders.

      The most interesting trip was the Minoan palace of Knossos. I was surprised that such an ancient site is so much well preserved today and in such a good state. This town was very rich once but the tsunami waves of the volcanic eruption of Santorini destroyed it, that is why the archaeologists found it almost intact covered by volcanic ashes.
    • 34gyt 14 Mar 2009
      Busy with traffic jam
      The town of Heraklion is not very beautiful, compared to the other big towns in Crete, such as Chania and Agios Nikolaos. The best thing about the town is the port and the strong Fortress on its side. It will take you more than an hour to walk all over the fortress, take pictures and see the view. Such castles are found in other towns of Crete, too, and in many Greek places. It is impressive that they have survived so many centuries, isn't it? Apart from the fortress and the archaeological museum, Heraklion town is a busy centre with a lot of traffic jam and full cafeterias in all spots. I remember we were walking for about half an hour up and down the waterfront to find a table to seat and drink a proper coffee.
    • despstil4 02 Aug 2008
      Like all the modern towns
      The actual town of Heraklion is busier than the other towns of Crete. Too many stores and too much traffic was the dominant sight all around. The cars would make much noise and didn't let you enjoy a coffee at the waterfront. Personally, I prefered the quiet villages of south Crete more than its busy towns. I think a good reason to go to Heraklion is to see the Castle and eat cheap and fresh seafood at the beach. Otherwise, it is like all the normal modern towns.