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Heraklion City
Heraklion is the largest city and capital of Crete and is located approximately in the middle of the northern coast of the island. It has a population of approximately 130,000 residents and ranks in 4th place in the larger cities. It has the largest port and the largest airport in Crete, the International Airport "Nikos Kazantzakis ", and the third in arrivals in the country. The port of Heraklion awarded as the second best in the world, with many destinations daily and many cruise ships.
The hotels of Heraklion hold half the beds Crete, most of the beaches on the north side is organized and crowded unlike that southern side, the Libyan Sea, characterized for their tranquility.
At approximately 3,000 years old, the Heraklion also has a checkered history. A wondrous civilization flourished here in antiquity, the Minoan civilization, with its capital at Knossos. The first settlement called Heraklion was founded in the 9th century BC.
It has survived earthquakes and disasters but during the Byzantine period and flourished again. It has met Arab conquerors and crusaders, Venetians and Turks oppressors but resisted strongly and after many struggles and sacrifices freed to blossom again and bring great men of letters such as Nikos Kazantzakis and the Vicenza Kornaros, art and culture, politics and trade.
The signs of all these eras and influences reflected in the sights that can each visitor to admire, in squares, streets and museums, the most important of which are:
• The Koules Venetian fortress at the harbor entrance, the symbol of the city of Heraklion
• The old Venetian port and the new port in Heraklion
• Eleftheria's Square The main square of Heraklion with the Gate of St. George, the District and the Archaeological Museum
• Lions Square or Eleftherios Venizelos Square, where the Morosini Fountain, the famous fountain with lions
• The Bembo fountain, a wonderful Venetian fountain next to a Turkish monument in Square Cornaro
• Cornaro's Square, with statues of Erotokritos and virtue of the same name by the great Cretan poet Vincenzo Cornaro.
• The tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis at Martinengo Bastion
• The Venetian Loggia, the current City Hall
• The Basilica of St. Mark
• Agios Minas Cathedral and the patron saint of Heraklion
• The church Peter and Paul Dominican
• The Basilica of San Marco, the city of Heraklion Gallery
• The Venetian Loggia, the most elegant Venetian monument in Crete
• The church of St. Titus
• The street on August 25, the "Street Illusion", the most beautiful pedestrian street in Heraklion with many preserved neoclassical buildings
• Market Street 1866
• The Daedalus Street pedestrian shopping street in the heart of Heraklion
• The Korai street (pedestrian) cafés of Heraklion, the coastal avenue with intense nightlife, Bentenaki, the mall Talos, the Cretan Olympic Stadium
• Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
• Historical Museum of Crete
• Museum of Natural History
• Museum of the Battle of Crete and National Resistance
• Heraklion Museum of Visual Arts
• Museum of St. Catherine

Malls, Banks, parks, hospitals, universities, cultural centers, theaters and cinemas, complement the character of an urban metropolis that serves every requirement and full of life and grace.
Crete is a special and unique place. It is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and Cyprus. It is just 300 km from Africa and the total length of coastline reaches 1046 km to the north coast of the Cretan Sea, south of the Libyan Sea, on the east by the Carpathian and west Myrtoo. The main cities are Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra and Sitia. Due to its geographical position, Crete has always been the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the African influences emerge in scattered archaeological sites and the culture of its inhabitants.
What makes the island stand out is the unique combination of natural beauty, history, culture and tradition. From the imposing palaces at Knossos and Phaistos to the steep ravines and wild beauty of the gorge of Samaria and the quiet and deserted beaches of the Libyan Sea to the noisy and crowded beaches on the north coast of the island, Crete causes the visitor to exploration. The contrasts are the norm in this island, both the environment and its people. Proud, but incompatible warm, friendly and very hospitable. The Cretan hospitality is renowned all over the world and only by close one can experience this feeling.
In Crete there are more than 3,000 caves and several of them can be visited. Also, there is great beauty with canyons Samaria feature prominently because it is the longest gorge in Europe.
Monasteries of Crete are inextricably linked with the history of the island as they play an important role in critical moments of the nation.
The island has the most modern tourist facilities, thousands of accommodations of all kinds, restaurants, bar, etc. the hundreds of thousands of tourists who come to live the dream.
Public transportations on the island are many and tactics.
Access from the sea served by regular ferry services is organized and marinas for private yachts and cruise ports serving.
Two modern airports on the island, Heraklion and Chania, serve regular routes and charter flights.
Island fun holds a leading role, with top destinations worldwide known for its vibrant nightlife, nightclubs, bar, club, pub and disco

The gastronomy is another major attraction on the island. Local products such as olive oil, olives, wine, raki, pies, vegetables and fruits have a field day in taverns while countless culinary options offered in restaurants serving Mediterranean and international cuisine.
Theatrical performances, movies, concerts, festivals and traditional festivals attract thousands of people, summers. The island's tourist offices organize daily excursions around the island.
For sports fans, the site offers a variety of infrastructure, plant and equipment for all kinds of sports, individually or in groups (water sports, horseback riding, surfing, diving, etc.).
Very close to Heraklion, lies the ancient Knossos. The Minoan palace is the main site of Knossos, an important city in ancient times, continuously from the Neolithic period to the 5th century. According to tradition, it was the seat of the wise king Minos. Exciting myths, the Labyrinth with the Minotaur and Daedalus and Icarus, connected with the palace of Knossos.
Inhabited since the Neolithic period (7000-3000 BC) In 1700 BC about earthquake destroyed the first royal palace, which was rebuilt but completely destroyed about 1350 BC by fire. After excavations brought to light and can be visited today, with pieces to be in perfect condition. It was a multi-storey building covering an area of 20,000 sq.m. Linear B tablets, unknown until now, impressive frescoes with bold colors and original designs in corridors and rooms, painted plaster, original architectural and structural (skylights, with many doors, complex drainage and water supply network), make this palace a global miracle.
Courtyards, sacred wings, vaults, pillared crypts, alabaster throne, palaces, stairways, raised galleries, cobblestone streets, theater and cemeteries spread out under the hot sun of Crete for thousands of years causing the modern visitors surprise and awe achievements of our ancestors.
Phaistos dominates at the fertile valley of Kato Messara, surrounded by majestic mountains such as Ida. To the south lies the Libyan Sea. The mild and warm climate of the region influenced the development of Festos, which was the second most important center of the Minoan civilization after Knossos and certainly the most rich and powerful city in southern Crete . According to mythology, Festos dynasty reigned Rhadamanthys, son of Zeus and brother of Minos. It flourished from the mid- third millennium BC came to control the rich plain of Messara and the exit to the sea and ports of Africa. He became rich, powerful, and independent populous city and the kings founded palaces. The first was built in 1900 BC almost destroyed by an earthquake and in its place built a new , more imposing , they belong to and the many remains today. Both the ruins of the ancient city and some rooms of the palace are open to visitors.
Beaches of Heraklion
• Ammoudara 5 km west of Heraklion is a well organized beach with umbrellas, sun beds and water sports. Perfect for fans of windsurfing has many accommodations, restaurants and taverns.
• The Peninsula 27 km east of Heraklion. This is one of the most popular tourist resorts in youth with modern tourist infrastructure, major hotels and rich nightlife. It is worth noting that the natural harbor area was the port of the ancient city Littos. In the Peninsula you can find beaches for a relaxing bath and crowded beach with lots of people, music and water games!
• The Harbors. Small, beautiful sandy beaches near Hersonissos pebble and rocky bottom, ideal for snorkeling. There is a nudist beach.
• Stalis is a sandy beach with shallow waters, and good tourist infrastructure. When strong winds created giant waves.
• Matala in southern Crete, 70 km from Heraklion. It is a small fishing village with a famous, beautiful sandy beaches, clear blue waters and small caves carved into the rocks, unique landscape. With remarkable tourist infrastructure attracts many people because of the landscape and its history as a center of ' hippies ' favorite beach and famous rock singers of the '70s, such as Bob Dylan, the Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens.
• Agia Pelagia, 24 km from Heraklion is one of the most popular summer destinations thanks to its clean sea, the sheltered beach, and modern infrastructure.
• The beach of Malia is located 37 km east of Heraklion and is one of the most famous and popular beaches of Heraklion. Sandy, clean and well organized. Here you will have the opportunity to do water sports and enjoy accommodation, food and fun.
• Fodele, birthplace of El Greco, beautiful village 30 km west of Heraklion, with trees, river and green features beach full of contrasts. There are large hotels, traditional taverns, cafes, small Byzantine churches.
• Lenta beach with crystal clear waters, fine pebbles and plenty of shade.
• Tsoutsoura beach in the south of the county with ancient ruins, sand, clear water, trees, traditional taverns and cafes.
• The lovely beach at Three Churches is one of the cleanest beaches in the south, destination for lovers of tranquility.
• The Good ports to the south are a small, traditional village with one of the most beautiful beaches of Crete sheltered pebble beach and clear blue waters.
• The Kommos Beach near Matala was once the port of Phaistos (2000 BC) is a sandy beach with special gray sand. It is one of the longest and cleanest beaches in Crete and there will come and nest in protected turtle species Caretta - Caretta. Here 's nudist beach behind the trees and dunes
On the south coast there are still numerous splendid beaches with unsurpassed natural beauty, next to canyons or palm, with white or black pebbles which you can explore, away from the bustling crowd: Vathy, Koudoumas, Stalis, Agios Nikitas Maridaki, Black beach, white Beach, the Vouidomati, the West or tablet Tripiti the Trafoulas, the Robber, the Keratokambos, Kalamaki etc.