Official language: Greek
Time zone: UTC+3 (summer), UTC+2 (winter)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Heraklion, as for the ancient city, is full of narrow, curvy streets. To avoid standing in traffic jams and troubles in finding parking space, rent a scooter and move around like real Cretan.
There is no better way to feel the vibe of Heraklion than throwing out the map and entering labyrinth of streets in the old town. Don’t be afraid to get lost in the city, thanks to that you will discover new, interesting places.
A few companies in Heraklion are specialized in organizing trips for special order. You will see things that interested you the most – historical sites, nature or local traditions and culture.
The ancient city on Crete, erected in the shadow of the palace in Knossos in 824 by Saracens, who were allowing pirates attacking ships coming from Byzantium to use a port. In revenge, 150 years later Byzantines conquered the city, ravaged it and took over the power. The history of Heraklion hasn’t been less complicated since then. Venetians had used to rule there, as well as Turks, finally Greek reign arrived. The city’s history is perfectly reflected in its architecture.
The beach inside borders of the city is practically non-existent, along the seaside there is a street with boardwalk. But to the east, just behind the stadium Pankritio, there is stretched the long, sandy beach, where you can’t only sunbathe, but also do various water sports – windsurfing, kitesurfing, water skiing or riding on motorboat. Whereas perfect conditions for diving and rental of water equipment you can find at Agia Pelagia, 25 kilometres east form Heraklion.
What souvenirs to brought from Heraklion? The most precious ones are local products – olives or olives oil from groves have no match with any others. Ouzo is sold in bottles of different size. There is no way to resist local sweets. All of this you can get on trading streets – Odos Dedalou and Odos 1866.
Greece is famous for exquisite cuisine and exceptional culture of eating. Hosts treat it very seriously to receive visitors in a proper way. It has to be tasty, meaning just like at mum’s. In restaurants, bars or taverns portions are huge, and alcohol is poured without measuring. For delicious, local dinner, go to Peskesi at Kapetan Haralampi Street or to Amalias Kitchen, located by Arkoleontos. There we especially recommend seafood and grilled dishes.
You don’t want to waste the night for sleeping? Rightly, as the old town is vibrant after dark. Fantastic drinks you will get in DrinkEasy at Sapoutie Street, next to the Archeological Museum. Do you fancy a concert by some local band? Visit bar Jailhouse at 19a Agiostefaniton. And if you prefer to hold some conversations, choose a table at Guernica by Andreou Crete.