Enjoy the beautiful city of Heraklion
Heraklion was established in 824 AD and is situated close to the remains of Knossos Palace dating back to Minoan times. The Saracens who founded Heraklion would allow pirates to stay at the port, a fact the Byzantines were very unhappy with. The city was violently invaded by the Byzantines in 961 who murdered the inhabitants, pillaged and left the city to burn. The city was, however, rebuilt. Heraklion was bought by the Venetians in 1204 who then raised great fortifications still visible today. The great wall was constructed up to 40 m thick. Following Venetian Rule the city came under jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire after a 22 year long war. In 1898 the city gained independence and in 1908 formed part of the Cretan state. By 1913 it was assimilated into the Kingdom of Greece. During its independence the city was named Heraklion which means City of Heracles.
Today, Heraklion is well-known as one of the Mediterranean's best looking capitals. Tourists will enjoy the abundance of cultural experiences and shopping opportunities as the city has become the social and business hub of Crete. Amble through the heart of Heraklion and you will find clothing, jewellery, curios and food as well as Crete's renowned oil, honey, wine and herbs.
Many remnants of Heraklion's history exist throughout the city providing you with a deep look into its past. Consider Koules, a impressive Venetian fortress of the 1500s that greets you as you enter the harbor. Nearby you will discover the Morosini fountain decorated with lions dating back to the 1300s. Also in Venizélos Square you can visit St. Mark's Church of 1303 which has been turned into a museum containing Byzantine paintings. An absolutely essential attraction is the Archaeological Museum wherein are housed fascinating discoveries from sites around the island including Knossos, Ayía Triáda and Phaistós. Here you can delve into the island's ancient culture dating back to the 5th millennium BCE.
All through the summer months the municipality in Heraklion holds a festival where cultural and art events are held at the open-air theaters. Various other celebrations are held in the year for special Holy Days and also in commemoration of the Battle of Crete.
There are numerous 5- and 4-star hotels in Heraklion all offering a truly remarkable holiday experience. However, whatever your budget you are certain to find a suitable hotel in Heraklion that will offer comfort and fine service. Chat to your travel agent about a flight to Heraklion Kazantzakis airport. You can also find cheap flights to Heraklion online. Consider car hire in Heraklion to get to the other villages on the island. You can also find out about car hire in Heraklion online.
A visit to Heraklion will truly be an exciting experience. With an eclectic mix of ancient history and a contemporary vibe with all the necessary modern facilities, it will be a holiday to remember.