Known for its beaches, beautiful nature, and authentic Greek tradition, Iraklio is a popular holiday destination for travellers from all over the world. The coastline is covered with one amazing beach after another, and there are a multitude of intriguing archaeological and historical sites, churches, castles, and fortresses to explore. For the traveller looking for the perfect balance between relaxing on the beach and exploring local culture, a holiday apartment in Iraklio is the way to go.
When travelling in a larger group, a villa in Iraklio is a good option. HomeAway has holiday homes to accommodate groups of any size, from a small family to a multiple family entourage. Homes with internet, grills, and even pools are available at great rates. An apartment in Iraklio is also an option for families or couples. Whether it be a small one-room holiday apartment with a balcony and terrific view, or a multi-bedroom, pet- and kid-friendly place, HomeAway has plenty of comfortable and affordable options. What's more, HomeAway caters to those who like to explore the various islands, providing comfortable accommodations on Mykonos as well as holiday rentals on Corfu.
Iraklio Archaeological Museum:
This fascinating museum is one of Greece's largest and most important. Over 5,500 years' worth of priceless artefacts are on display and the extensive Minoan collection is highly impressive. No trip to Crete is complete without a stop at this museum.
Historical Museum of Crete:
For history buffs, a visit to the Historical Museum of Crete is a must. Visitors can explore 1,700 years of Cretan history. Artefacts from the Byzantine era, Venetian and Turkish periods, and as recent as WWII are on display. The museum is well equipped for English speakers.
Koules Venetian Fortress:
This fortress, also called Rocca al Mare, is Iraklio’s main landmark. It was built in the 16th century by the Venetians to keep the Turks off the island and was later turned into a Turkish prison for Cretan rebels. The rooms of the fortress have been restored and house exhibits and performances.
Church of Agios Titos:
This Byzantine church dates back to AD 961. It was turned into a Catholic church by the Venetians and then into a mosque when the Turks gained power. In 1856 it was completely renovated after devastating damage due to an earthquake. This church is home to the skull relic of St Titus.
Between 1462 and 1562 the Venetians built seven bastions and four gates to create the city walls. These massive fortifications are still very conspicuous, dwarfing the concrete 20th-century structures around them. The walls carry visitors around the heart of the city.
Natural History Museum:
This modern museum guides visitors through the interesting flora and fauna of Crete and the Mediterranean. Perhaps most intriguing is the life-sized replica of a Deinotherium gigantum, a prehistoric elephant-like mammal. It was constructed based on fossils that were found on Crete and stands over 16 feet tall and 23 feet long.
Because Iraklio lies in the lowlands, it enjoys a more mild temperature than other parts of Crete. Summers are hot and dry with temperatures averaging around 26°C in July. Sunshine is frequent and consistent, which results in a pleasant sea temperature all summer. Winters are generally mild and rainy.
There is an international airport in Iraklio, the Heraklion International Airport (HER), with daily flights from Athens (ATH) as well as other major cities in Greece. During the high season (April until early November), many charter airlines out of most major European cities fly directly to Heraklion. The airport is only three miles from the city centre by car or taxi. There are also ferries that arrive from Athens, Thessaloniki, Santorini, and the Cyclades.