At a glance
The prefecture of it, is the largest and most populous province on Crete, with its main city the capital of Crete.
Like the rest of the island, it is a riddle with many contradictions. Its inhabitants, like the landscape, can be rugged and hardy yet at the same time warm and accommodating, stern and unforgiving yet lyrical and cultured, thrifty and guileful yet generous and honest, fierce and independent but communal and supportive.
Herakleion is a land that basks in sunshine, enjoys delicious food and honours spectacular nature. It has a deep and proud past, the evidence of which can be witnessed at every turn; Crete and more specifically Herakleion gave us mythic Europa, whose name has been given to culturally unite a continent and whose legendary son King Minos was the figurehead of the powerful and far-reaching Minoan civilization.
The imposing palaces of Knossos and Phaistos are Crete’s most famous and visited ancient sites. There are over 35 beaches in the Herakleion area, and around these tourist facilities have sprung up to cater to every kind of visitor.
Inland, you will discover villages that stubbornly cling to their traditional roots and way of life, whereas on the coast people are more open-spirited and have been shaped by strong connections to cultures and ideas from around the world, whilst still holding true to their local customs.