Located between the Rethymno and Lassithi prefectures, Heraklion, the capital of Crete, is the island’s most popular region. Many believe that the birthplace of individuals like Nikos Kazantzakis and El Greco is not a conventionally pretty city, but wandering its hidden streets, alleys and squares should be enough to enchant any visitor.
The city itself hosts a range of sights and historical buildings, including the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of History, with the spectacular archaeological site of Knossos being just a 10 minute bus ride from the city. As significant a site, is the ancient ruins of Phaestos, in the Heraklion prefecture, which along with Knossos are the two major Ancient Minoan sites. Heraklion is also full of medieval and Byzantine walls, buildings and churches.
The city of Heraklion is home to a sophisticated, bustling restaurant, café and nightlife scene. In the wider area of the Heraklion prefecture you will find many amazing beaches and waterfront towns that are buzzing with nightlife and a globally renowned party scene, such as Malia, Hersonissos, Ammoudara and Aghia Pelagia. The south part of the region offers a selection of more quiet and serene towns and beaches, ideal for a family vacation.