The Heraklion region is the largest and most densely populated on the island of Crete. Located between the Idi (Psiloritis) mountains to the east and Dikti (Lasithiótika) to the east, it has important archaeological treasures, a series of picturesque villages, extensive valleys with olive trees and vineyards and one of the most organized tourist infrastructures in Crete.
A unique combination of urban landscape and natural wealth makes the region of Heraklion an attractive destination all year round.
In the city of Heraklion are clearly reflected the different cultures that flourished during the centuries: Byzantine buildings next to the Venetian buildings and Ottoman structures. The emblem of the city is the fortress Koules of the sixteenth century that dominates the Venetian port.
Among the most important monuments of Heraklion are the walls, the tomb of the Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis, the Chanioporta with the lion of San Marco of the year 1570 and the Fortress Koule in the old Venetian port.
The first fortifications were built by the Arabs in the fifteenth century and were reinforced by the Venetians. Of the seven bastions, the bastion “Martinengo” survives, where is the grave of the famous writer Nikos Kazantzakis, while of the four entrance doors to the city survive, the Chanioporta, with the characteristic lion next to San Marcos and the New Door On the south side.
In the heart of the city you can see monuments of the Middle Ages, the square and the temple of San Tito and the Loggia Veneciania.
Another characteristic of Heraklion are the Venetian and Turkish sources that are dispersed by all the city. The best known is the Venetian Fountain Morozini or Fountain of the Lions (1628), which is the landmark for residents and visitors. Of the Turkish sources it is of particular interest the Source of Charity “Filanthropiki Krini” (1776), next to the source Bembo, which is currently used as a cafeteria.
The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is one of the most important in Greece, its purpose is to preserve, study, exhibit and promote the cultural heritage of Crete from prehistory to Roman times. The museum houses almost all the treasures of the Minoan Civilization found in Knossos, Festos, Malia and other parts of the island.