10 Things to Do in Heraklion That You Shouldn't Miss

December 10, 2017 Stefan Strunk

Heraklion (/hɪˈrækliən/; Greek: Ηράκλειο, Irákleio, pronounced [iˈraklio]) is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete. It is the fourth largest city in Greece. According to the results of the 2011 census, the population of the city proper was 140,730 inhabitants, the municipality's was 173,993 while the Heraklion urban area has a population of 225,574 and it extends over an area of 684.3 km (264.2 sq mi).
Restaurants in Heraklion

1. Douloufakis Winery

Dafnes, Heraklion, Crete 70011, Greece +30 281 079 2017
Excellent
86%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 130 reviews

Douloufakis Winery

The winery is open to visitors all year round (after appointment). The visitors' wine experience starts even before arriving at the winery, as the route and the surrounded landscape is filled with images that emphasize the viticulturist character of the region. The tour starts from the production areas of the winery, continues at the cellar and ends at the tasting room where the guest then has the opportunity to taste our wines. Please contact earlier to inform us about your visit for wine tasting (via booking form/phone/email). There is a tasting fee of 5€ per person. Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00-15:30, after appointment.

Reviewed By OrangePelican - London, United Kingdom

The wine tasting was a really great experience. We had 10 different types of wine to taste and Maria was very knowledgeable, she has explained us a lot about the production process of each wine. I would highly recommend everyone to stop by here, however it's better to call before to arrange the winery visit.

2. Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Xanthoudidou | Chatzidaki, Heraklion, Crete 712 02, Greece +30 281 027 9000
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

A museum delineating the history of the island Crete, complete with artifacts belonging to the ancient civilizations that once populated the island.

Reviewed By Konacontent - Prescott Valley, Arizona

This museum has artifacts from the Palace of Knossos and several other archeological sites on Crete. The displays are presented very well. We enjoyed browsing and learning about Crete pre-history, the Minoans, and subsequent civilizations. It is a worth the time to spend a couple of hours here when Heraklion if you enjoy history and archeology.

3. Lyrarakis Winery

Alagni, Heraklion, Crete 70300, Greece +30 281 028 4614
Excellent
86%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 239 reviews

Lyrarakis Winery

The Lyrarakis Estate is a family winery which has been producing high quality wines since 1966 with a strong focus on rare local varieties and producing single variety wines. Surrounded by the idyllic setting of the vineyards and the Lassithi Mountains we offer you the opportunity to enjoy nature and discover local varieties abd wines distinguished by the uniqueness of their origin and heritage.

Reviewed By 168terry10 - Caerphilly, United Kingdom

Visited the winery with Dutch friends, on a day trip out from Mirtos. We were well looked after on a tour of the vineyards, and were able to pick grapes to taste on the way around, as the harvest had been completed. We the. moved...MoreThank you Terry. We really appreciate your comments. May the wines be a nice companion in beautiful moments! Best form the winery

4. Historical Museum of Crete

Sofokli Venizelou 27, Heraklion, Crete 71202, Greece +30 281 028 3219
Excellent
62%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 574 reviews

Historical Museum of Crete

The Historical Museum of Crete presents a comprehensive view of Cretan history from early Christian times to the present day. It was founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies, which had been established two years earlier. The museum is housed in a two-storey neoclassical building, which was constructed in 1903 on the site of an earlier mansion belonging to the Kalokerinos family. The second building, designed by K. Tsandirakis, was clearly influenced by morphological features of the earlier one, and was later listed as a historical monument. The new museum extension to the west constituted an attempt to combine traditional and modern architecture. The original goal of those founding the Historical Museum of Crete was to collect and preserve valuable archaeological, ethnographic and historical material deriving from the medieval and modern periods in Cretan history. The process of enriching the collections, extending exhibition space and redefining the museum's aims has never ceased. Prolific research and publishing activity, the organisation of temporary Exhibitions, educational programmes and the use of audiovisual media all form part of the modern educational role adopted by the Historical Museum of Crete over time. The same approach also includes the gradual re-organisation of the collections on display so as to appeal to a wider range of visitors, thus offering them the opportunity to understand the many facets of historical development on Crete from early Byzantine times to the present day.

Reviewed By 46Elizabeth53 - Portland, Maine

The Museum presents a variety of historical topics: classical (of course), but also continues the timeline of Crete with displays about the Venetian Heraklion (great model), Byzantine influence and folk customs. Of particular interest was the exhibit on Crete during World War II, explaining the island's role in resistance to the German occupation.

5. Domaine Paterianakis Cretan Organic boutique Winery

Provincial Road Kalloni-Gdochia, Heraklion, Crete 71003, Greece +30 697 768 1727
Excellent
88%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 78 reviews

Domaine Paterianakis Cretan Organic boutique Winery

The Domaine Paterianakis is located in a semi-mountainous area of an approximate altitude 650 m, near to the "Melesses" village of the Municipality of Nikos Kazantzakis of Heraklion Prefecture on Crete Island. The wider region of "Peza", where the Domaine belongs, is reputed since ancient times for the excellent quality and the exceptional taste of the wines that were produced there. The vineyards of the Domaine belong to a biologically sensitive area appellation of origin Peza of high quality. Domaine Paterianakis is a pioneer in wine production from organic farming grapes on Crete. The owned vineyards within the domain had been cultivated since 1988 when the first procedures for wine production were commencing. In continuation of the long term tradition of the family, all the indigenous and rare grape varieties at the vineyards were preserved and gradually more were added. The grape varieties have been carefully selected in order to be completely adjusted to the local ground and climate conditions and always according to the principles of the organic farming and to the protection of the environment.In the heart of the Domain an outstanding winery was constructed with respect to the environment and from natural materials like rocks from the vineyard and the wider area. Within the winery there were established the production stations, the bottling and storage place, underground cellars and a fully equipped chemical analyses laboratory. The winery is designed in different levels in order to use gravity for the production processes and to avoid artificial pressures that damage the stum. Additionally, the smooth pressures of spirit press machines, the underground maturing cellars in stable temperatures, the ideal bottling conditions with lack of oxygen and the proper storage of the bottles in an underground bottle cellar are guaranteeing our high quality products.

Reviewed By thatmarion - Hong Kong, China

Niki Paterianaki was a most generous host. We were only in eastern Crete on a weekend when the winery is normally closed so I emailed a few weeks in advance to ask if a weekend tasting and lunch was possible. Niki invited us to come on Sunday as her sister, the winemaker, was getting married on Saturday. Wow! Very kind of them we thought.
We arrived to find the happy remnants of a wedding party for 800 people hosted at their winery which had finished early in the morning. After just 2 hours sleep, Niki, head of marketing and sales and chief bridesmaid for her sister, warmly welcomed us, gave a short tour and explained their organic process and philosophy, and led a full tasting. I would have been barely coherent! A delicious and generous lunch was set out for us ( I think we benefited from some great wedding leftovers as well as freshly made food) and we had 2 glasses of wine included (actually supposed to be 1 glass, but they were very generous!). The winery dog was an added bonus.
I was very impressed with Cretan wines (as an Australian wine lover). Domaine Paterianakis wine was some of the best we tasted on Crete, especially the Vidiano and Syrah. We bought a case, which we are now enjoying back home in Hong Kong.
We are truly grateful for your warm weekend hospitality, right after such a significant family celebration. Sincere congratulations to the happy couple.

6. The Natural History Museum of Crete

Sofokli Venizelou Ave., Heraklion, Crete 71202, Greece +30 281 028 2740
Excellent
62%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 623 reviews

The Natural History Museum of Crete

The Natural History Museum of Crete (NHMC) demonstrates with an impressive manner the natural environment of eastern Mediterranean area with special emphasis on Greece and Crete.

Reviewed By ZittaN - Galway, Ireland

One of the best places we visited. Fantastic for young and old alike. 5 floors filled with stuffed animals displayed in their natural habitats, moving dinosaurs, flora, fauna, light and sound illusions and much more. The interactive discovery floor was fantastic. Loved the earthquake simulator. Really fun and educational museum. Even the 1 year old was fascinated with it.

7. Castello del Molo (Koules)

Heraklion, Crete, Greece +30 281 039 9399
Excellent
51%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 599 reviews

Castello del Molo (Koules)

Reviewed By Nadine A - Lebanon

One of our first stops on Heraklion, very easily found. This castle has a rich history nicely explained inside the castle.
The castle has an entrance fee of 2 euros if I remember correctly. Required visiting time is up to a max of 2 hours.
Recommended

8. Cathedral of St. Minas

Heraklion, Crete, Greece +30 281 028 2402
Excellent
54%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 321 reviews

Cathedral of St. Minas

Reviewed By Belgo96 - Australia

I found this Christian Orthodox Cathedral to be the most attractive of all the Cathedrals and churches we saw in Heraklion, or on the whole of Crete actually. From the outside it is imposing, tucked away in old Heraklion close to some good restaurants. Inside it is beautifully painted with frescoes of the saints. It isn't old - around the 1800s but rebuilt over an older church. This Cathedral is particularly striking from the outside.

9. Agios Titos Church

25 Augustou Street, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Excellent
49%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 584 reviews

Agios Titos Church

Reviewed By Belgo96 - Australia

Attractive on the outside this church isn't that old now (although it has a very rich history since it was originally thought to have been built around 960AD). However, it was destroyed completely by an earthquake in 1856 and then re-built. It is in a nice part of the town near a pedestrian zone. In personal taste I found St Minas a lot more attractive inside.

10. Old Venetian Harbor

Leoforos Nearchou, Heraklion, Crete 712 02, Greece
Excellent
44%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 452 reviews

Old Venetian Harbor

Reviewed By Linda Y - Frisco, Texas

The Venetian Harbor is the old harbor of Heraklion with a long history dating back even before the Venetians took control of Crete in 1204. This is a very picturesque part of Heraklion, a gathering spot for both tourists and locals. The crown jewel is the Koules Fortress, completed in 1540, which dominates the entrance to the harbor. This is the perfect place for a stroll to enjoy the views of the city and sea.

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