A city in which legend and history co-exist
A busy harbour city where the lines between myth and history are blurred, Heraklion – also known as Iraklio – is one of Greece’s largest cities and the capital of Crete (the largest and most populous of the Greek islands). The city and its environs make for a wonderful base for a Crete villa holiday.
Heraklion is noted for its proximity to the famed Palace of Knossos, the island’s most important archaeological site. Once the seat of power for the Minoan thalassocracy (naval power), the extensive ruins were discovered by British archaeologist Arthur Evans in the early 1900s and he coined the term ‘Minoan’ after legendary King Minos (son of Zeus, and stepfather of the Minotaur).
Fast forward centuries and back in the bustling metropolis, villa holidaymakers will enjoy exploring the Archaeological Museum and museums of religious art and natural history, as well as the massive Venetian fortress, which sits at the entrance to the old port. While strolling around the Old Town, demarked by Venetian Walls, don’t miss out on seeing the 10th-century Agios Titos church and the Morosini Fountain.