Heraklion Crete

A Look at the Region...

Heraklion Crete - looking from the old fortress to the new port

Heraklion Crete - a modern city with a complex and fascinating history, became the capital of Crete in 1971. The central region of Crete, also named 'Heraklion' is fascinating, with something new to discover at every turn.

Our personal guide to the region, home to our Grandfather's village, lush farming lands, the famous author Kazantzakis, legendary King Minos and Knossos Minoan Palace, arguably the birthplace of European civilization. There is so much history to explore, you might not get time for the beaches!



Discover Historic Sites

Knossos sits in a verdant valley (image by RP Young)

Unravelling the history of civilization:


Visit the Museum map page of 'Incredible Crete' to discover history all over the island



Explore Our Vineyards & Villages

A beautiful vineyard region is located not far from town



Museums of Heraklion Crete...

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

1 Xanthoudidou Street, Heraklion

This is one of the most intriguing and valuable ancient history collections in the whole of Greece, in fact in Europe, and contains artifacts from many of the Minoan archaeological sites dotted all over the island.

These artifacts date from as early as 6000 BC, with neolithic ceramics.

Our highlights of the collection are the:

  • beautiful frescoes discovered at Knossos
  • ceramic figurine of the Snake Goddess
  • Linear A and B scripts
  • the collection of double headed axes
  • beautiful bee pendant and other intricate jewellery
  • Phaistos Disk




Home of the Minoan settlement which is famous for the Snake Goddess



Historical and Folklore Museum

27 Sofokli Venizelou Avenue, Heraklion

This museum is of more modern times, from 330 AD to the end of the second world war. This collection is housed in a beautifully restored three storey neoclassical mansion.

The building itself has been declared a Historical Building and a Work of Art. There are collections regarding the Battle of Crete, the writer Nikos Kazantzakis, artist El Greco and the traditional rural Cretan home.

Below is a video of the Historical Museum of Heraklion:




The Historical Museum of Crete




Natural History Museum of Crete

The Natural History Museum of Crete

Exhibition Halls, Sofokli Venizelou Avenue, Heraklion

The easiest way to get to the exhibition halls is to walk towards the sea from the Liondaria, along Chandakos Street. This museum shows all the past and present ecology of the island. It has exhibits especially of interest for children under 15, dinosaur exhibits, earthquake exhibits and fossils.

See the video below showing a virtual visit to the Natural History Museum of Crete...






Museum Fees and Opening Hours...

Home of the Phaistos Disk


Each museum charges a small fee – usually less than 10 Euro. The most reliable place to check opening times is the government's Odysseus website - odysseus.culture.gr - it is a good idea to double-check with your hotel before setting out, due to seasonal or unexpected changes in museum or site opening times.

Please note that Heraklion Crete is a busy tourist destination in summer and both the archaeological museum and Knossos site can become very busy with long queues. We suggest visiting in spring or autumn, or visiting early in the morning, leaving plenty of time, see our tips for visiting Knossos here...








Video of Heraklion Region...

We love this wonderful video of Heraklion prefecture, made by the regional tourism board, because it shows the wild south coast, many stunning aerial shots of the countryside, the olive groves, the university, the rugged mountain passes, sparse rocky dry areas with remote highways, Knossos Palace, highlights of artifacts from the archaeological museum, Lake Zaros and lush farming lands, all with a commentary of the history of the region.











Return to Crete History

Return from Heraklion Crete to We Love Crete Homepage






Thalori Retreat, Crete
Thalori Retreat
Heraklion, Crete






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