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Visiting Heraklion, a Thriving Cultural Hub in Greece

Heraklion, also known as Iraklio is the largest city of Crete, known for its sandy beaches, intense nightlife, and amazing cuisine. Like most other Greek cities, Heraklion also offers Venetian harbors, narrow cobblestone paths, classical architectural marvels, towering churches, and museums. Heaven for archaeology enthusiasts and curious minds alike, Heraklion has much to offer in terms of its remains and historicity.

The ruins of Knossos and the remains of the Koules fortress are the oldest historical sites in Heraklion. Knossos is Europe’s oldest city and is situated right outside Heraklion. Having been colonized multiple times, the city has many stories to tell and has emerged as an important cultural repository of Greece in modern times. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum houses several Minoan artifacts and ancient relics. Read on to know more about Heraklion day tours, Heraklion tour tickets, how to reach there, how to spend time in Heraklion, and other bits of information that will help you plan your visit. 

Why Visit Heraklion?

Heraklion tours
  • Ancient Remains: The Fort of Koules and Old Town are incredible remnants of the olden days that deserve your attention. Make sure to visit Knossos which houses archaeological remains from the Bronze Age. 
  • Keepers of Historical Artifacts: No Heraklion tour can be completed without visiting the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, the Natural History Museum of Crete, and the Historical Museum of Crete.
  • Doric Architecture: The Doric structure of the Cathedral of St. Minas and Agios Titos Church still evokes reverence from centuries past.
  • Gorgeous Beaches: Make sure to visit the Malia, Matala, Hersonissos, and Agia Pelagia beaches in Heraklion. Their gorgeous aquamarine shades will soothe your soul. 
  • Delectable Cretan Cuisine: A Heraklion tour will also feature incredible and homely Cretan cuisine. Think delectable seafood prepped with olive oil and garnished with tomatoes picked off the garden. 
  • Quiet Getaway: Heraklion is quite underrated as compared to the other islands, hence if you are looking for a quiet island to unwind, Heraklion is the place for you. 

Plan Your Visit to Heraklion

Visitor Tips
Heraklion tours
  • Guided Tours: Every historical site, like the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Knossos City, and Ruins of Koules has audio-guided tours to help you understand the essence of the city better. 
  • Photography: You can click pictures everywhere except the sections in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum that have a ‘no photograph’ sign. 
  • Wheelchair Accessible: All 27 halls of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is wheelchair accessible. There are ramps at the main entrance and you can ask for wheelchairs free of charge. The Knossos city may have stony patches where wheelchair maneuvering is difficult, however, there are guards and people there to help you through. 
  • Toilets: The first floor of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is connected to the elevator and has wheelchair-accessible toilets. The Knossos City and Koules Fortress also have clean toilets. 
Heraklion tours
  • Choose Early Hours: It is recommended that you visit the Knossos Palace early in the morning or late afternoons, as after 11 AM, the parking areas are almost always fully booked. 
  • Comfortable Shoes: To explore the Knossos Palace, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and the Ruins of Koules, you have to walk a lot. Wear closed and comfortable shoes. 
  • Carry Sunscreen: There is very little shade in these historical sites. Please wear sunscreen or sunglasses, wear light clothing, or carry a hat. 
  • Opt for Guided Tours: To deeply understand the colonial history and Heraklion culture, it is best to book an audio-guided tour. You also have the option of listening to the recording after the tour is over. 
  • No Mobiles: Mobile phones are forbidden inside the Archaeological Museum. 
  • Use the Cloakroom: There is a backpack depository on the ground floor of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, where all your bags and luggage should be deposited.  

All Your Heraklion Tours Questions Answered

Q. What is the best way to book Heraklion Day Tours?

A. Booking Heraklion Day tour tickets online is the best way to unlock great deals and discounts.

Q. Can I buy Heraklion tour tickets online?

A. Yes, you can purchase Heraklion tour tickets online.

Q. Are there discounts on Heraklion Day Tour tickets?

A. Book your Heraklion day tour tickets online to unlock great deals and discounts.

Q. How to reach Heraklion?

A. Heraklion has the second biggest airport in the city. The Iraklion airport is well connected to its city. The best way to reach the city from the airport is to take the bus from Line 6. 

Q. What is there to see in Heraklion?

A. The oldest city in Europe, Knossos city, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and the Ruins of Koules Fortress are some of the popular historical sites in Heraklion. 

Q. What is the best time to visit Heraklion?

A. May to June and September to October are the best time to visit Heraklion because the weather is pleasant and there is considerably less crowd than in the peak summer months. 

Q. Is Heraklion suitable for wheelchair users?

A. Heraklion is arguably the most wheelchair-friendly tourist destination. Everywhere from the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to the Koules Fortress, you will find ramps and elevators at the main entrance. 

Q. Is Heraklion worth visiting?

A. If historical ruins, gorgeous beaches, and delectable Cretan cuisine call to you, Heraklion will be one of your best trips. The city has tons of archaeological sites and gorgeous beaches to win you over. 

Q. What is the authentic Cretan experience?

A. The authentic Cretan experience also includes eating in taverns, listening to the local musicians, and the sea lapping away at the shore. Dakos, kalitsounakia, gamopilafo, and the signature Cretan Tsikoudia are some of the most delicious Cretan dishes that you must try when going on a Heraklion day tour.

Q. What are some other places nearby Heraklion?

A. Elafonissi, Gavdos, Chrissi, and Koufonisi are some other islands near Heraklion. All of them provide a gorgeous, sandy escape from the day-to-day tribulations of city life.

Q. How many days do you need to explore Heraklion?

A. Depending on your exploration zeal, you may spend three to four hours at every attraction. Three to four days is enough to explore the entire city.