Where to go
Things to do in Heraklion
Historical and harmonious, Heraklion entices with its treasure trove of ancient landmarks, picture-perfect beaches and diverse shopping and dining scene. Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure, an immersive cultural experience or somewhere to unwind, Heraklion is the place to be.The city is scattered with Venetian and Ottoman style fountains, Middle Age monuments and historic churches, like the imposing Koules Fortress and Saint Minas Cathedral. The fascinating displays of Minoan artifacts excavated from sites like Knossos, Phaistos and Malia at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum are not to be missed.But it’s not all about the old. There are some decent beaches at a stone’s throw, like Ammoudara with a 4-kilometre stretch of white sand, and the fine pebble bay of Matala. For a more secluded experience, venture off the beaten path to the hidden gems of Agiofarago, Vathi and Koudouma.Heraklion’s buzzing food market is a foodie’s paradise. Witness first-hand the vibrant local culture as you try your way through a world of Cretan flavours and aromas, tasting products like olive oil, raki, wine, honey and more.Top three things to do in HeraklionDelve into history at Heraklion Archaeological MuseumOffering a fascinating journey into prehistoric times, this museum is a must-see. Explore the Minoan civilisation, marvel at the Palace of Knossos artifacts and learn all about the Archaic and Classical periods of ancient Greece. Check out the Byzantine and Venetian exhibits, too.Explore the charming Old TownTake a stroll through the historic Old Town of Heraklion, where Venetian and Ottoman influences are still visible today. Admire the impressive architecture, visit the Koules Fortress and discover one of Greece’s largest churches, St. Minas Cathedral.Indulge in local culinary delightsThere’s nowhere quite like Heraklion’s food market for a taste of local life. Treat your senses to an explosion of flavours by sampling herbs, spices, fresh fruit, cheese, olives and much more. In the evening, head to a taverna for dinner and tuck into traditional Cretan cuisine.