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Heraklion is the sun kissed capital on the northern coast of Crete, the island's largest city and the fifth largest city in Greece. There is a wealth of attractions on offer, including important architecture and museums, great shopping and superb beaches. You can also find quiet secluded spots to relax and escape the hustle and bustle or head out after dark to some of the top rates nightlife on offer in Greece. With a wide choice of villas available in Heraklion it makes for an amazing Greek villa holiday destination for all ages.

Things to do from Heraklion

Crete’s capital and chief port, Heraklion, has plenty of history and attractions in and around the Old City. It has a beautiful waterfront area with seaside restaurants, bars and tavernas and several important museums. The Old Town of Heraklion has hundreds of shops, many of which are found in the extensive maze of pedestrian only streets. Located amongst the narrow streets and alleys, you'll find lovely restaurants, hidden patios, and retail shops selling pretty much everything and anything you can think of.
 

Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Heraklion Beach, Crete

History and Culture in Heraklion

In ancient times, Heraklion was the port of Knossos, where the Minoans, Europe's oldest known civilization, traded gold, ceramics, and saffron. A visit to the Minoan Palace of Knossos is one of the top things to do in Heraklion. A vast monumental palace, with four wings built around a spacious central courtyard, Knossos is believed to have been the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos. Remarkably sophisticated, it includes ceremonial spaces, living areas, storage rooms, elaborate decoration, and a complex drainage system.

After a busy day of exploring, relax by your villa with private pool and watch the beautiful sunset.

Family holidays in Heraklion

A visit to the Natural History Museum of Crete is popular with families on Heraklion villa holidays. Situated right on the waterfront close to the Historical Museum, it is an impressive modern museum that showcases the best of Crete. There are fun activities for the kids including an earthquake and tsunami simulator and there is also an entire floor devoted to stuffed animals that live around the Mediterranean Sea.

There is a huge modern aquarium, at a former American military base in Gournes just east of Heraklion, ideal for a family day out. Here you can see over 2,000 marine species from the underwater world of the Mediterranean. There are 32 vast glass tanks displaying everything from hunter sharks to minuscule seahorses, jellyfish, turtles, lobsters, and octopus. All housed in beautifully lit turquoise sea water against a backdrop of rocks, sand, and seaweed, fascinating for all to see.

Heraklion Aquarium, Crete
Beach holiday

Adventurous activities in Heraklion

Only five minutes from downtown Heraklion is Ammoudara Beach consisting of golden sand and clear blue waters, backed by tavernas. Small to medium sized waves, and a cool breeze make it perfect for bobbing about, or a spot of kiteboarding. A kite school offering lessons is located right on the beach so those looking for an adrenaline filled sport can always give it a go. There are plenty of hiking and cycling tours to keep you active, so whether you are interested in the ancient ruins or bustling beaches, Heraklion villa holidays provide a great base from which to explore. Many of our villas come with wonderful sea views allowing you to sample the wonderful sights from your doorstep.
 

Romance in Heraklion

Escape to the tiny island of Dia in the Heraklion Gulf to bask in the Greek sunshine in the peace and quiet. Take a swim in the warm blue waters of the bay which are perfect for a romantic getaway. Later watch the sun go down with a glass of wine in hand before heading out for a moonlit dinner. With such wonderful charms, Heraklion can offer you whatever you want on your couples villa holiday.
 

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