Heraklion Prefecture
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Map of Heraklion  (Iraklio), Crete Island, Greece  
 Heraklion  (Iraklio), Crete Island, Greece
 Heraklion  (Iraklio), Crete Island, Greece
 
   
   
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Heraklion, Crete: a magnificent, multifaceted Greek Island holiday destination!

The Prefecture of Heraklion, Crete is the most frequented area in Crete, mainly due to its splendid archaeological sites that enchant every visitor and display the magnificence of the Minoan civilization. But apart from the famous historical monuments, Heraklion (or Iraklio as it is called by the locals) has an abundance of other wonderful characteristics that make the prefecture an excellent holiday destination for all types of visitors. Stunning beaches, lush hillsides, charming traditional villages and stimulating nightlife, fused together to create the irresistible Heraklion Prefecture.

Thousands of holiday-makers from all walks of life select Heraklion as their vacation spot every year; celebrities and VIPs, simple travellers, backpackers, all gathered in this marvelous location. On Heraklion beaches, visitors can lie on pristine sands and swim in clear, cool waters. After a day at the beach, a delicious meal of Cretan delicacies at one of the many traditional Heraklion tavernas and restaurants really hits the spot. In the evening, everyone gathers at the popular seaside Heraklion resorts to go dancing at the clubs and bars.

In the Prefecture of Heraklion, Crete there are an infinite number of Heraklion hotels, guaranteeing that every visitor will find the type of accommodation of their choice. The region offers a wide selection of luxury hotels in Heraklion, hotel resorts, budget hotels, villas, apartments, rooms for rent and studios in Heraklion within all price ranges. Owing to its excellent infrastructure and splendid setting, Heraklion is also a popular location for business conferences, scientific conventions and social events, providing fully-equipped Heraklion conference hotels.

Heraklion Hotels

If you have selected Heraklion, Crete as your holiday destination, you are assured a countless array of Heraklion hotels. Accommodations in Heraklion are greatly varied, ranging from luxury hotel resorts, posh boutique Heraklion hotels, VIP suites and elegant villas to spacious studios, rooms to let and fully-equipped apartments throughout the Heraklion Prefecture, Crete, satisfying all tastes and budgets.

Hotels in Heraklion cater to all types of visitors. There are fabulous Heraklion hotels that offer family  apartments, studios and villas for larger groups of people, as well as cosy studios and suites for couples.

For those who prefer to stay by the seaside, Heraklion is the ideal place, as there are superb Heraklion hotels and apartments in Agia Pelagia, Stalida (Stalis), Koutouloufari, Ammoudara and Hersonissos, Crete. You can also find wonderful hotels in Matala and spacious apartments in Malia, located on the southern and northern coasts respectively. The hillside villages of Heraklion, Crete are absolutely beautiful and provide guests with peaceful settings, spectacular views, and access to the beach and the seaside resorts, since Crete has excellent roads. Hotels in the Heraklion hillside, in villages such as Avdou and Archanes, are perfect for visitors who prefer alternative holidays in Crete.

For more information about hotel accommodation in Heraklion, Crete, such as luxury Heraklion hotels, budget hotels in Heraklion, apartments, studios, rooms to rent, suites, hotel resorts and villas in Heraklion Town, Agia Pelagia, Archanes, Koutouloufari, Stalida (Stalis), Hersonissos and Ammoudara. click for Hotels in Heraklion

Heraklion Beaches

The long coast of Heraklion, Crete makes it the ideal holiday spot if you are the type of tourist who loves lying on the beach, soaking up the sun's rays, and bathing in crystal-clear waters. There are many Heraklion beaches to choose from, some of which are always packed with people and some more quiet and secluded.

If you prefer cosmopolitan beaches with lots of people, we suggest going to the popular Heraklion beaches, such as Malia, Hersonissos, Stalida (Stalis), Gouves, Ammoudara, Agia Pelagia, Mononaftis and Matala. If you are fond of beaches where you can relax in peace and quiet, we recommend swimming at Dermatos, Loutra Lendas, Katlyki, Kalamaki, Kommos, Paleokastro and Fodele. Most Heraklion beaches offer at least the basic facilities: tavernas, cafes, umbrellas and chaise longues.

Heraklion Nightlife - Heraklion Events

The Prefecture of Heraklion is the nightlife capital of Crete. Heraklion Town and other holiday resorts like Hersonissos, Agia Pelagia, Stalida and Koutouloufari, are packed with traditional tavernas, posh restaurants and snack stands that offer meals for both high and low budgets cost. In mountainous Heraklion villages, visitors are treated to a genuine Cretan atmosphere while enjoying their meal. Crete is very well-known for its healthy cuisine and proprietors of Heraklion restaurants and tavernas serve a wide selection of local delicacies, including all the popular dishes, such as dakos (vinegar & water-soaked barley rusk with chopped tomato and feta cheese), dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves), traditionally-cooked escargot, potatoes "oftes" (fried with the peel), staka cheese, rabbit stew, fresh seafood, kaltsounia (sweet cheese pastries) and "raki", the very strong alcoholic drink, served in a shot glass, but certainly not to be drunk as a shot!

Heraklion Town also has hundreds of bars and clubs which are packed at night with young people who dance and party till close to sunup. Hersonissos nightlife venues consist of an abundance of bars and clubs by the seaside, which are also very popular with the younger crowd. Most visitors who enjoy stimulating nightlife alternate between Heraklion Town and Hersonissos, Crete.

If you want to experience the traditional side of Heraklion, you can take part in the Cretan festivals and fairs. Heraklion events are many in number and are held throughout the year, although the most popular are held in the summer. In Heraklion Town, you can attend the town's festival at the Koules Castle and the Kazantzakis Garden Theater, with art exhibitions, concerts, theatrical plays and dance performances, and the Agios Titos Fair on August 25. Archanes, Crete hosts the Wine Festival between August 10-15, as well as a variety of cultural events throughout the summer months. Arkalochori, Malia and Moires hold large Mardi-Gras Festivals, while Mochos hosts the popular Fair of Our Lady on August 15. The Celebration of the Expatriate takes place in Kasteli from 4-6 of August and includes a wide array of traditional Cretan celebratory events.

Heraklion Sights & Attractions

The Prefecture of Heraklion, Crete is world-famous for its exquisite archaeological and historical sights. It was the center of the great Minoan civilization, which was very advance for its time, having developed multi-level buildings, intricate sewage and plumbing systems, and ventilation networks.

The finest Minoan site is the Knossos Palace, built between 1700 and 1300 BC. The Palace of Knossos contains approximately 1300 rooms, including a main court, a throne room, royal quarters, the queen's manor, a sanctuary, storerooms, a theater and the famous bathtub of Knossos, where the queen took her baths. Other impressive features of the Knossos Palace are the splendid, colorful frescos.

Apart from the Royal Palace of Knossos, there are the magnificent Minoan Palaces of Malia and Phaistos (Phaestos), where the spectacular clay Phaistos Disk was found. Other wonderful Minoan sites include the settlements of Amnissos, Tylissos, Gortyna, Lyttos and Levina, as well as the ancient town, sanctuary, graveyard and summer palace in Archanes.

There are also a number of impressive religious sights that are worth a visit, such as the Church of Agios Titos, the patron saint of the island, the Church of Agios Markos and the Cathedral of Agios Minas in Heraklion Town. The Sabbatian Monastery in Agia Pelagia is located in a lovely natural setting, while the Agaranthou Monastery in Peza is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete.

The island of Crete has a distinct Venetian aura, and the Prefecture of Heraklion is no exception. Throughout the region there are many Venetian castles and fortresses. The most well-known are the Venetian Town Walls, the Venetia Port and the Morozini Fountain in Heraklion Town. If you are a museum buff, we recommend visiting the Archaeological, Ecclesiastical and Historical Museums in Heraklion Town, the Lychnostatis Museum in Hersonissos, the Archaeological Museum in Archanes and the museum of Dominikos Theotokopoulos - otherwise known as El Greco- in Fodele, the painter's home town.

Lastly, nature aficionados will have a superb time in the Heraklion prefecture, trekking on Mt. Youchtas, hiking through the Viannos-Amira Gorge and walking along the idyllic path from Agia Kyriaki Church to the Kali Limenes Beach.

Heraklion Weather - Heraklion Climate

The climate in Heraklion is perfect for holidays all year round. Heraklion weather is temperate and mild, characteristic of Greek island weather: summers are hot and dry, while winters are relatively mild, except for the inland mountainous areas, where the temperatures can get fairly low. From early spring to late fall the weather is very enjoyable, while rain can be expected from late fall to late spring. This predictability makes weather forcasts for Heraklion, Crete quite reliable.

From January to March, temperatures in Heraklion, Crete range from 10C to 15C. The April and May temperatures are between 15C and 18C. During June, July, August and September, Heraklion temperatures rise and range from low 20s to low 30s. In October, the weather is still mild at approximately 18C to 24C, although in November and December the weather in Herkalion worsens and temperatures range from 11C to the mid teens.

Ferries & Flights to Heraklion - Heraklion Car Rentals

Transportation to Heraklion is frequent all year round, as Crete is a major commercial center in Greece. There are direct flights to Heraklion from the Athens Airport, Thessaloniki Airport and from other airports throughout Europe, including flights from London to Heraklion Airport "N. Kazantzakis". Prices vary depending on the airline company and the season, so your can find both expensive and cheap flights to Heraklion. Air travel to Heraklion caters to all types and all budgets, as travellers are offered high-class and cheap air fares to Heraklion Airport "N. Kazantzakis". Charter flights to Heraklion are also available.

Ferries to Heraklion Port depart from Athens ( Piraeus Port), Thessaloniki, as well as some Cyclades Islands and the island of Rhodes. Ferry transport to Crete is very frequent, particularly in the summer, during the high tourist season. Boat fares to Heraklion Port depend on the season you are sailing to Crete.

Once you have reached Heraklion Airport or Heraklion Port, you will need a dependable rental car to take you to your hotel that will also transport you comfortably and safely around Heraklion, Crete. For more information about Heraklion rent a car services, click here to be directed to our Heraklion Rent a Car Agencies' page.