Discover Exclusive Offers and Special Deals on MSC Cruise Deals
Find a cruise and book cruises direct - no booking fee!
Departure Ports
Departure Ports

Cruises from Heraklion

Heraklion, Greece Cruises

Heraklion, Greece Cruises

In addition to being the prefecture and capital of Crete, Heraklion is also situated between Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos. In the city, there are about 310,000 people. You are guaranteed to be amazed and delighted by Heraklion, Crete, regardless of whether you want to admire the ruins of an ancient civilization or soak in the rays on some of the best beaches in Europe. You can walk through the Minoan Palaces of Knossos and explore the Venetian-era Koules Fortress while learning about history and viewing sweeping coastal views. There is also a lot of beauty on the coast of Crete. As you ride down Karteros Beach on horseback, you can enjoy the sunset over Amoudara Beach by day.

Heraklion Highlights

A true metropolis, Heraklion (Crete) boasts friendly people and exciting antiquities despite being the fifth largest city in Greece.

1. Local Culture and Flavor

In addition to providing an exhilarating and relaxing experience, Heraklion is also a place to relax. You can enjoy tasty seafood in a variety of restaurants overlooking the marina, or you can browse bakeries that smell of fresh bread baked just moments ago. The island's political winds have repurposed several historic buildings. Throughout your journey, you will find the locals to be engaging and helpful.

2. Past and Present

Arabs established the Emirate of Crete in the 9th and 10th centuries, and Heraklion became the capital. There was a protective moat surrounding the city. At the height of the Italian Renaissance, Crete merged Greek and Italian culture under the Byzantines and the Republic of Venice. Heraklion (Crete) city hall can be found at 25th August Street. 17th-century Ottoman Empire claimed the island after a 21-year campaign. Greece had taken control of the region early in the 20th century.

As of today, Crete, along with the rest of Greece, is a part of the Third Hellenic Republic. This was established after the monarchy was abolished and a short military rule ended in 1974. Its urban population is dense, making it one of the densest cities in Crete.

3. Shopping Scene

Heraklion's Old Town is home to most of the shops, especially Odos 1866 street, where you'll find a variety of gift shops and souvenir stands. As well as clothing and accessories, vendors sell olive oil, raki, cheese, and other local goods. You'll find fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish in Odos 1866's open-air market, which operates Monday through Saturday.

Interesting Spots to Visit in Heraklion

The capital city of Crete, Heraklion, offers a lot of things to see and do. You can explore miles of sandy beaches, visit ancient Minoan and Venetian landmarks, and enjoy its lively nightlife. In addition to serving as Crete Island's central transportation hub, the port city has an international airport and marina. The historical sites in this region are some of the most impressive and well-preserved in all of Greece, so allow plenty of time to explore them. Besides pedestrian-friendly squares and seafront promenades lined with restaurants, taverns, and bars, the Old Town of Heraklion also has museums showing off its colorful past.

1. Old Town of Heraklion

A stroll around the Old Town is a great way to soak up the atmosphere and see the sights. Today, the old town of Heraklion is still dominated by the harbor as it was built around the sea. The Venetian Fort of Koules, built in the 16th century, is a notable monument along the pier. The waterfront is lined with fishing boats, and there is a walkway along the edge. Venetian Arsenals, known by their stone facades and massive arches, are across the road from the harbor. A Venetian ship was repaired here. The picturesque promenade along the sea and seafood restaurants line the west side of the harbor. A circuit of largely demolished defensive walls protects the Old Town. Within, its leafy squares and busy cafes are framed by aristocratic buildings, churches, and boutiques.

2. Minoan Palace of Knossos

There are significant historical and archaeological resources available at the Minoan Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. Several reconstructions from the early 20th century are scattered among the ruins, which date back to 1,450 BC. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum displays relics from past excavations. These Four wings surround a central courtyard building and have reception halls, living areas, throne rooms, and complex drainage systems. It is approximately 5km from Heraklion to Knossos. There is a bus that departs every 15 minutes from the Old Town during the summer.

3. Beaches in Heraklion

Heraklion does not have beaches, but there is Amoudara beach, 15-minute drive west of the port. This is a lovely wide and long beach with nice sand, although the sea can be rough at times. If you have kids, when you visit the ocean, stay alert to the depth. In Amoudara, you can find a variety of small restaurants. For a few suggestions on other beaches, you can visit while you're in town, ask locals.

4. Church of Agios Titos

Agios Titos Church, the island's most important religious building, is located a few steps away from Morosini's Fountain. In 1925, it underwent a complete renovation after originally being constructed during the Byzantine Empire and serving as a mosque during Turkish rule. A magnificent colorful effect is produced inside the Orthodox Church by the stained glass windows. An exhibition center and museum are located just a short distance from the church. Across from Morosini, it's easy to find.

5. Walking along the Ancient Venetian Walls

There are massive Venetian Walls that surround Heraklion's Old Town on three sides. It has been improved and enlarged over the millennia but has its origins in the Middle Ages. Today, with the walls restored to their former glory, locals and visitors alike enjoy exploring and walking along them. There is usually a gate between the Old Town and the walls, and once on top of the walls, you can see an impressive view of the surrounding area and the Old Town itself. An approximate 4.5-kilometer stretch of walls surrounds the city.

When to Visit Heraklion?

Located in the Mediterranean region, Heraklion has a mild climate. With clear skies and hot summers, it's a great time to be outside. There are usually seasonal breezes to relieve the heat on hot, dry days. Rare frosts and mild winters make this a great place to live.

Cruise Inquiry