Heraklion (Iraklion), Crete, Greece

Heraklion is the largest city in Crete and is the capital of Creteas well. Heraklion is also called Iraklio, and for centuries was known as Candia. The most popular visitation spot in Heraklion are the ruins of Knossos, which was the biggest center of population on Crete during Minoan times. This was the palace of King Minos, and is believed to be the starting point for the mythological Minotaur’s labyrinth. There are speculations that a port has existed in Knossos since 2000 BC, although no archeological evidence has been found to support the speculation. The current city of Heraklion was founded by the Saracens in 824 AD. Arhanes is also a beautiful town and is a wonderful excursion from Heraklion, with just a 30 minute or less drive. Arhaneshas been sited as one of Crete’s most valuable archaeological sites.

Climate on Heraklion is typically Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers in the lowlands, and cooler, more rainy days in the mountains. Frost and snow are very rare in the lowlands. The Heraklion International Airport was named after Nikos Kazantzakis, who was a Greek writer and philosopher. This is the second busiest airport in Greece, and is located just 5km east of Heraklion.