City of Heraclion
is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the
economic centre of the island. The first European civilisation, the Minoan
civilisation, flourished on this land 5000 years ago. The conquering of
Constantinopole by the Franks in 1204, left Crete under the sovereignty
of the Venetians until 1669. During this period, Heraklion experienced significant
cultural growth and became the capital of the ''Regno di Candia''.
all this cultural and spiritual growth came to a sudden end in 1669 with
the invasion of Crete by the Turks. Crete became autonomous in 1897, to
be united with Greece in 1913. The cultural heritage of the city of Heraklion
offers a variety of forms of modern entertainment.
Every year, the city,
as well as numerous villages in the surrounding area, organize cultural
events such as theatrical performances, art exhibitions, musical nights
and festivals which attract a lot of people, locals and visitors alike.
For those inclined to modern entertainment and clubbing, the city offers
ample opportunities for night life. Heraklion is a city with one foot rooted
in the past, the other stepping into the future.
Currently the population of Heraklion is approximately 150000 people. It
is a very dynamic and cosmopolitan town, particularly during the summer
period when thousands of visitors can be seen shopping in the market or
visiting the museums and other places of interest. Today Heraklion is the
top choice for tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.
The unique natural beauty favours the development of alternative forms of
tourism and provides a combination of mountain and sea sports.
The city is also the commercial and scientific centre of the island. It
has a strategic geopolitical position in the southeast basin of the Mediterranean
Sea connecting three continents and many different cultures.
During the last 20 years the city has made remarkable progress in the academic
and technological fields.
The dynamic and imaginative combination of natural beauty, climate, strategic
position, cultural heritage and scientific background has created an appropriate
environment to add value to the broader entrepreneurial activity in the
region and stimulate the local economy.
Airports: Tel: 2810-397129, 397136 (info 24hrs)
Ports: Tel: 2810-244912,
Tourist police: Tel: 2810-283190
There are taxi stands scattered around Heraklion. Three useful ones are
Eleftherias Square opposite the outdoor cafes, on 25th August below
& almost-opposite Lion square and at bus station .
Radio taxi tel: 2810-210102, 210146, 210168, 210124.
There are THREE operating bus stations.
Rethymno and Chania station is now included within
bus station A.
Bus station A (tel: 2810-245019, 245020) is
across the road from the port, near the marina. For:
Chania, Rethymno and connections to Imbros,
Sfakia, Kastelli and other places in west and south-west Crete, and
destinations on the north coast east of
Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, Lassithi Plateau).
Next to it is the bus station
for local, city and Knossos buses (tel: 2810-220755, 226065).
Bus station B (tel: 2810-255965) at Hanioporta (part of the old
city walls, at the beginning of 62 Martyrs street). For all other destinations - this means
Gallini, Mires, Matala, Phaestos, Gortyn, Zaros and places in between.