Heraklion or Iraklion (Ηράκλειον) is the largest city and capital of Crete, as well the 5th largest city in Greece after Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus and Patras. For centuries the city was known by the name Candia, a Venetian adaptation of the ancient Greek name Χάνδαξ (Chandax, “moat”). As of latest measurement the city Heraklion has a population of 160 thousand people.
The city of Heraklion is the social and business center of Crete as well a popular travel destination within Greece. Although the government tried to modernize the city, walking through, you clearly notice a lack of commitment resulting in a modernization being overlapped by series of ancient and historical buildings that rapidly need to maintained. However, recently things have become to change, and efforts are being made to maintain and keep Heraklion’s rich culture alive. Heraklion has a Mediterranean climate, which means the summers are hot and dry, clear skies and barely any rain. The hot days are usually relieved by seasonal breezes coming from the beach areas like Amoudara, an 1.8 miles beach strip with boulevard cafe’s, bars and hotels and several sightseeing’s like the Technopolis, a modern multiplex cinema and open-air theater.
Heraklion is an easy from anywhere in Greece, you can travel by boat or airplane to reach it. It’s often used an starting point to continues travel to Crete and nearby islands. From the harbor, airport or anywhere on the island: all roads lead to Heraklion. If you are spending several days in Heraklion, there’s defiantly some sightseeing to be considered “need to see” including; The Minoan Palace of Knossos, Koules, Venetian Walls, Loggia and Morosini Fountain (Lions Square). Further more there’s several cathedrals like; St. Minas Cathedral, St. Titus Church, St. Catherine of the Sinaites Church, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Dominican Church of St. Peter.
Travelers to Heraklion need a valid passport and visa. American citizens can visit without a visa for up to 90 days. For transportation within the city you can use the trolleybus, the tram or the underground metro system (known as; Attiko Metro). The best time to visit Heraklion is in the summer months which are June till August.