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Heraklion is the biggest and most popular region of Crete on the eastern side of the island located between Rethymno and Lassithi. It is a city of contrasts, offering intense nightlife in nearby regions such as Malia and Hersonissos, but also many peaceful places, particularly on the southern side. Heraklion Greece is the cradle of the Minoan civilization and a visit to the Minoan Palaces of Knossos and Phaestos will be worth your while. It is surrounded by traditional villages, Medieval castles, Byzantine monasteries, and nice beaches to relax, so make sure you get a drive around. This region combines busy resorts and secluded places to cover all tastes.

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Heraklion is the main transportation hub to Crete and gets really busy in the summer with charter flights from abroad and ferries arriving at Heraklion city daily. From the port of Heraklion, during the summer there are also ferries to the Cycladic islands of Santorini and Mykonos.

Popular Areas in Heraklion

Heraklion includes many popular areas and sights such as the Palace of Knossos and the Palace of Phaestos where the Minoan history unfolds its thread, Matala beach, one of the most famous resorts with its caves which gained popularity in the ‘60s with the hippies, Malia and Hersonissos with their luxurious resorts and many more to discover.

Family Fun in Heraklion

Cretaquarium Thalassokosmos is a must-see in Heraklion city for the whole family. Explore the world of the sea and its amazing creatures. Let your children get wild in theme parks such as the Labyrinth Park, which blends harmoniously Greek mythology with children amusement. The beaches nearby Heraklion will offer additional family moments of relaxation and fun in a safe environment.

Things to do in Heraklion

Heraklion is a popular destination for the fact that it combines developed beach resorts with a visit to historical sites. On the northern side of the region, you will find the most luxurious resorts of very high standards. The southern side is more peaceful and secluded and not as busy with tourists but it includes famous places, like Matala with its caves, which flourished in the '60s as a hippy destination.

Ammoudara, Hersonissos, Gouves and Kokkini Hani boast large spa resorts and smaller studios. Malia and Hersonissos attract younger crowds since they are tourist hot spots with vivid nightlife. Heraklion has a range of impressive five-star hotels and spa resorts to boutique hotels.

It is a great destination for family holidays, as the beaches are safe and calm and there are lined up seafront restaurants to enjoy delicious dishes. Heraklion is where mythology and history come to life, home to the famous Minotaur. Do not skip a visit to the important archaeological sites of the region: the Minoan Palaces of Knossos and Phaestos, the Caves of Matala, the Medieval Castles, the Byzantine monasteries and the ancient sites.

Last but not least, Heraklion hosts many festivals and "panigiria" (folklore festivals) during the summer in various villages and attending such a festival is a unique cultural experience.

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Unique Villas has over 100 villas to rent in the most hot spots of Heraklion, so whether you are seeking for peace and privacy or would prefer to be close to nightlife popular places, our villa specialists have something just right for you.

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