First time visitors to Heraklion are often amazed at just how multifaceted the seaside city is. Crete’s top urban center, the Greek province’s capital has a plethora of world-renowned attractions, as well as local treasures no guide book has ever portrayed. From the stunning Veneitan harbor to mighty Knossos, there’s a nostalgia trip and tons of friendly Cretans all in between. Heraklion today is a vibrant city of lovely squares and pedestrian walkways filled with a youthful energy, replete with luxury hotels, chic shopping boutiques, and elegant sidewalk cafes on every street. Stunning museums, one of the largest aquariums in Europe, Minoan and modern fabulousness, Heraklion is a discovery you’ll never forget. To give you some idea, here’s an early Spring photographic journey across Heraklion’s diverse landscapes.
This first Instagram share is one I posted the other day from the countryside surrounding the city. A few kilometers inland village dot the magnificent landscape of this majestic Island. This photo is on the way to the famous village of Ano Asites.
Heraklion is one big photo op that reflects on the canvas of the mind differently with each season. Here is a view from one of the Venetian ramparts across to uninhabited Dia Island (Lizard Island), which is according to legend, a gigantic lizard turned to stone by mighty Zeus.
Down by the fortress on the harbor is the beating heart of this city. Everything seems to emanate outward from here, from the Venetian Fortress to the fish taverns and the pedestrian zone, “Yamas” can be heard in an almost continual melody.
Walking the streets of the city each day I am amazed at the beauty of these people on Crete. In Heraklion’s center one could spend a lifetime just people watching. Here to locals are oblivious to their surrounds in an expression of innocence you’ll find prevalent here.
Not famous for its beaches, Heraklion actually has a couple of the best ones suited for families. We take our little boy Paul to the seaside almost every week.
My wife Mihaela looks at me scornfully when I use my nickname for this city. But she agrees that “Three Steps” suits Heraklion because there’s a beautiful girl just about every 3 steps you take. With this theme in mind, here’s a rapid succession of proof the girls of Heraklion are one of the city’s best diversions in perfect harmony with the contrasting styles.
As unique and individual as every other Heraklion facet, Moms and daughters of this city are the greatest Cretan treasure.
Sitting across from or passing a local model on the beach or at a cafe is a daily occurrence here. This University student shares her city and regional visitations well.
Heraklion’s second best beach…
Heraklion’s best beach…
Just strolling through town, like I said, there’s always a surprising feast for the eyes even in simple things.
Still, just walking around the squares and markets, pure urban joy.
I mentioned Knossos, right?
You can find everything good here, we do every day.
And the food!!! Even if you hanker for a burger on Crete, places like Heraklion’s Mare Coffee Bar & Food can satisfy with scenery to boot.
Oh, it’s already been two steps.