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Heraklion Holidays | Cheap Holidays to Heraklion

Heraklion

Find and Book cheap holiday to Heraklion on Crete Island in Greece

 

Heraklion is the main city on the island of Crete and usually the starting point for holiday visitors wishing to explore the island. The city, built on a fairly steep hillside, has a huge harbour to accommodate ferries and cruise liners, and an international airport.

Heraklion is busy, bustling and full of hotels, fast food outlets, shops and traffic. The main square of Plateia Venizelou is a pedestrian mall sporting cafés and restaurants, with some fascinating shops in the surrounding streets. Like many Greek cities Heraklion's architecture was influenced by Venetian occupation, and a Venetian fortress dominates the harbour.

The pride and joy of the resort city, though, is its archaeological museum, which contains the world's most comprehensive collection of artefacts from the Minoan civilisation, which flourished on Crete around 1600 BC. Heraklion is also close to the major archaeological site associated with the Minoans at Knossos.

Heraklion is the commercial centre of the island of Crete, and therefore has a heavy concentration of shops. Top designer labels are to be had at reasonable prices on Daedalou Street. Greece is famous for its original jewellery designs and competitive prices, and Heraklion is well supplied with jewellery stores. Other good holiday buys include antiques, leather goods, folk art, olive oil (Crete's is rated as the best in the world) and interesting cheeses like xynotyro, kefalotyri and graviera. Visitors will enjoy browsing the market on 1866 Street, which is a good place to pick up souvenirs.

Shops are usually closed Sundays, and close early on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Tourist shops, however, tend to open until 10pm seven days a week, although hours may be reduced in the winter months. Credit cards are not always welcomed in shops but there are numerous ATMs available that accept Visa and MasterCard, and prices are often lower if paying in cash.

Eating out is a national pastime in Greece and whether your choice is a local taverna or elegant restaurant, meals are enjoyed as a pleasurable leisure pursuit. Cretan cuisine is traditional Greek, with meze mixes (consisting of hors d'oeuvres like stuffed vine leaves, meatballs and tzatziki dip) as popular as dishes like moussaka and souvlaki. Tavernas, cafés and ouzeri (bars specialising in ouzo, the aniseed flavoured liqueur) abound in Heraklion, including the popular Ippokambos Ouzeri, right on the waterfront. The city is also well supplied with fast food outlets and restaurants offering international favourites like pizza, pasta, Mexican and Indian specialities, particularly in the main tourist areas like nearby Malia.

A favourite local evening pastime in Heraklion is people-watching from a sidewalk café, sipping coffee or an alcoholic drink, particularly in Liberty or Fountain Square, or at the old harbour beneath the illuminated Venetian fort. The city is well-supplied with clubs and bars and the music is most commonly either rock-and-roll or Greek pop music. Most of the better hotels offer a Cretan night with traditional performers.

Heraklion offers a vast array of historic and archaeological holiday attractions, including its world-famous museum and the nearby site of Knossos, heart of the ancient Minoan civilisation. However, the coastline in and near the city also provides numerous beaches and warm clear water, ideal for swimming and enjoying a variety of watersports. The most beautiful beaches are to be found east of the city, stretching between Kartero and Malia, 21 miles (34km) from the city.

There are opportunities for rock climbing and horseback riding, and kids will enjoy the CretAquarium Thalassocosmos, just a few miles outside the town and the biggest aquarium in the eastern Mediterranean. There is also a technopolis in the city with cinemas and an open-air theatre. It is also possible to hire a car or take a tour to explore the various archaeological sites on the rest of the island, including cathedrals and churches like St Minas, St Catherine of the Sinaites, and the Dominican Church of St Peter.

Crete Attractions

Steeped in legends and a fascinating history and arguably boasting more attractions than any other Greek Island, sightseeing on Crete takes travellers through the ages and into the rich mythology of ancient Greece.

With so many places of historical interest it can be hard to decide what to see and do on Crete: highlights include the impressive Palace of Knossos; the Cave of Zeus - located on the slopes of Mount Ida, where legend decrees Rhea hid baby Zeus from Cronos; the Monastery of Arkadi just south of Rethymno; the remains of Gortyna, 28 miles (45km) from Heraklion; and the Palace complex of Phaistos in the south, which was destroyed by an earthquake in the late Bronze Age and later rebuilt. The Archaeological Museum and Historical Museum of Crete in Heraklion are also worth a visit.

The sun-drenched, sandy beaches on Crete aren't too shabby either and the surrounding scenery is breathtaking with beautiful mountains and gorges in the Samaria Gorge National Park in Chania that any hiker will simply adore. On the east of the island, the tiny town of Sitia is worth a peek for its picturesque port, making a great place to stop for a lunch.

Australia Hotel Unrated
The hotel offers reception 24h, swimming pool, snack bar, children's playground, Internet access, parking and safety box at the reception (extra cost). All rooms have air conditioning (extra charge), TV, balcony, refridgerator, bathroom with shower, hairdryer..
The Everest Apartments are situated in the resort of Stalis close to the resort restaurants, bars and shops. Complex facilities include swimming pool, children's pool, bar, gardens, luggage room, children's playground, pool and table tennis tables. Apartment..
Medusa 9 Unrated
Ano Hersonissos 2 km from Hersonissos: Very large apartment block "Medusa 9", built in 1987 in 2013. 13 apartments in the property. In a quiet position, 2.5 km from the beach. For shared use: property (fenced) with flowers and trees, beautiful..
Located in the centre of Stalida, a live holiday resort, 3 km from Chersonisos and 35 km from Heraklion town and airport, directly on the sandy beach. Shops and tavernas are located round the hotel. The hotel facilities and services include front desk,..
Services and facilities include: Reception, bar, outdoor pool, garden and Wi-Fi Internet access available in the lobby and pool area. Private parking available on site. The rooms are equipped with: Bathroom, TV, A/C (extra charge), fridge, safe (extra..
Simple accommodation 800 m from the center of Malia Facilities and services include reception, swimming pool with terrace, TV-room, breakfast room, snack bar, sun beds and umbrellas (extra charge) All rooms are equipped with bathroom, TV, air condition..
The Babis Hotel is situated 9 km to Arkadi Monastery, 12 km to Maroulas village and 17 km to Margarites. Services and facilities include: Reception (open 06:00-24:00) , cafeteria & breakfast buffet, garden, laundry service (extra charge) and Wi-Fi..
Despina Apartments is a family run hotel located in Gouves. The resort is just 7 km to the west Hersonissos resort, known for its night life, 15 km from "Nikos Kazantzakis" airport and 20 km from the historical centre of Heraclion and Knossos..
Facilities and services include snack bar, swimming pool, TV area, wireless Internet access, terrace and garden. Apartments feature air conditioning, kitchenette, safe (extra charge), wireless Internet access, dining table, mini fridge, bathroom and balcony/terrace...
Eva Marina is situated 0,5 km from the beach. Hotel facilities include breakfast area, reception and safe box (x-tra charge). Guest rooms are equipped with bathroom, air condition (x-tra charge) and telephone. Address: 70200 Matala, Crete, Greece
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