Heraklion is the largest urban center in Crete and the economic, commercial and scientific center of the island. As the myth goes, Heraklion was named after Idaios Hercules, the "father" of the Olympic Games.
During its 3,000 years of life, the city of Heraklion boasts a stormy history with main reference to the Minoans, fathers of the Cretans. According to archaeological excavations, the island was first inhabited in the Neolithic period and the first settlements in Heraklion region were located at Knossos, Phaistos and Katsambas.
Over the years and due to its strategic geopolitical position - southeastern Mediterranean basin connecting three continents - Crete was the target of many colonists such as the Achaeans, Dorians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Turks and even pirates!
Taking a stroll around beautiful Heraklion, you will see for yourself the influences of these various peoples, notably the Venetians, mainly in the city architecture. But apart from its rich history, Heraklion is a lively city with more than 180,000 permanent residents, students and thousands of tourists who visit it throughout the year.
Its cozy hangouts, the beautiful Cretan traditions and delicious Cretan delicacies are just some of the reasons Heraklion is high in the preferences of tourists from around the world, even from Greece.