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Heraklion is the capital and largest city in Crete, a much busier destination that the majority of the island’s resorts with a distinctly urban feel. If you want to be right in the centre of the action, Heraklion is the place to be! The huge choice of activities and historic sights combined with the great nightlife and proximity to nearby beaches and resorts make it perfect for a varied holiday.

Things to Do

Heraklion is steeped in history, with museums and ancient ruins to be found all over the city. One of the main landmarks is the Koules Fortress, an old Venetian stronghold where visitors can take in views from the top of the walls. Another popular sight is the ruins of the ancient Palace of Knossos, and you can discover Crete’s past at the Archaeological Museum or Historical Museum.

Family Fun

There are plenty of activities for kids to enjoy in Heraklion. For an educational day out, take them to Cretaquarium or to the Natural History Museum that features a dinosaur exhibition, various games and an earthquake simulator. The Watercity aqua park lies on the edge of Heraklion with 36 slides, pool and games, and for a relaxed day out you can hit the beach at Ammoudara, Karteros or Agia Pelagia.


The Heraklion area is one of the best choices for young groups looking for a party holiday. Heraklion itself has plenty of bars in the city centre, with the clubs mainly found around the outskirts or close by in neighbouring resorts. Nearby Hersonissos also has a fantastic nightlife, and just 30 minutes’ taxi ride from the city is the clubbing resort of Malia, famous for its foam parties and booze cruises.

Location of Heraklion

Key Facts

  • Language: Greek
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Difference from UK: 2
  • Flight time: 3 hours
  • When to go: April-October

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