Speaking of Greece, people usually think about the blue and white backdrop of the breathtaking Santorini. But Crete is in fact the largest and most populous Greek island and in my opinion, a perfect getaway. My first stop on this island was its capital city, Heraklion.
Heraklion is a nostalgic city, full of historical heritage and old buildings. From museums, palaces, ruins, Lions Fountain to the distinctive yellow building style, it tells of the ancient history and culture of the Minoan civilisation, the very first advanced Bronze Age Civilisation in Europe. The civilisation dated back to around 2700 BC when Heraklion was the port of the centre of the civilisation, the Palace of Knossos. There are fascinating legends about the palace, one of which says King Minos, in Greek mythology the first king in Crete and son of Zeus, lived in the palace. The Minoan civilisation was named after him. It’s amazing how the Greek history is intertwined with mysterious legends.
Today the ruins of the palace remain on Kephala Hill. Through the frescos and remains we can learn more about one of the oldest and mysterious cultures on earth. A relaxing day like this in the old town marked the beginning of my trip in Crete.
The reasons why I chose Heraklion as a home base to explore Crete in Greece:
- There was a direct flight from Paris to Heraklion, and the hotel I stayed was only 15-minute drive away from the Heraklion Airport.
- The Heraklion Port is the main hub to take ferries to different islands near Crete including Santorini.
- Heraklion is located in the middle of the north coast of Crete, making it convenient to go either East or West to different destinations.
Read more or book: Hotels in Heraklion