Heraklion City

Heraklion is the largest city of Crete and one of Greece’s major urban centres. The city flourished under a multicultural influence throughout the centuries; that’s why there is a plethora of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman structures to look out for.

Heraklion is located on the eastern side of the island, between Rethymno and Lassithi. It distinguishes for its impressive fortress, the Venetian port and the fish taverns along the waterfront.

The city’s landmark is the 16th c. Koules fortress in the westernmost side of the old Venetian port, which along with the fortification walls are among the most significant and imposing sights.

Exploring Heraklion

Start your visit at the old Venetian port where you can see the vaulted tarsanades (shipyard) where ships used to be built during the Middle ages. On its west you can’t miss the 16th c. Koule Fortress whose first walls were built by the Arabs and were later reinforced by the Venetians in the 15th century.

The Martinengo bastion, the only one out of seven that is preserved today, is where the renowned writer N. Kazantzakis’ tomb is located and overlooks the city. Τhe are only 2 out of 4 entrances to the city that still stand and you can see, Chanioporta (1570) Gate with its marble relief winged Lion of Saint Marc and the New Gate (1587) on the south side of the fortress.

Nightlife in Heraklion

The city offers many opportunities to spend an evening: You can have a drink at sunset, dine in one of the taverns selling traditional Cretan cuisine and then head to one of the many more crowded nightclubs. There is an interesting variety of bars and clubs around urban area.

In the centre of Heraklion found Early Street, a pedestrian street full of cafes with Greek and foreign music throughout the year. The street attracts mostly young people. In the taverns of the city, you can enjoy Greek traditional and modern folk music while drinking Greek ouzo.