Crete is a super photo op for professionals and novices alike, and for Instagram users the island’s capital city of Heraklion is a sharing paradise. We have covered many of the high points of touring the city in the past, but not from an Instagram point of view. In order to solve this Argo travel deficiency, we present some of the city’s most photogenic spots.
Agios Minas Cathedral
This wonderful church is dedicated to Saint Minas (Agios Minas in Greek), who was the patron saint of Heraklion. For visitors waling along Vikela Street and then Agiou Mina Street in the city center, the great cathedral comes as something of a surprise. Visitors always take the time to sit at one of the many taverns or cafes lining the large paved square in front. The Instagram below shows us why.
The Palace at Knossos
This fabulous Palace is by far the most photographed attraction in Heraklion. The centre of Minoan civilisation in antiquity, the capital of Minoan Crete is just 5km south of the city in a lovely valley that leads to the Cretan Sea. The place discovered by legendary archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans is the most visited attraction on Crete these days. Travelers still marvel as the capital of a land that had paved roads and running water when Rome was not even an idea. This is where Europe emerged from the Stone Age, and the place where the Minoans advanced urban lifestyles, cultural wonders, and even technological marvels. The Palace of Knossos is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth, with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Ikaros.
The Lion’s Fountain
Morosini Fountain, sometimes referred to as the “Lion’s Fountain,” is another of the best known Heraklion attractions. A key point of reference for locals, the landmark named for Francesco Morosini sits at the center of all activities in the city. Created in 1628, the complicated system of pipes that delivered water from the famous Archanes’ springs makes this historic site all the more interesting. As you can see in the Instagram below, the distinctive lion’s heads watch over the pedestrian zone of Crete’s capital city.
Guarding the harbor of Heraklion since 1523 , Castello del Moro (Koule) is a Venetian seaside fortress is open to visitors and during the summer period it is used for various cultural activities (art exhibitions, music, theatre). As you can see in the drone shot below, the fortress occupies a prominent place as the city’s protective bastion.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
This unbelievable museum is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most important museums in Europe. Visitors will find housed here artefacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history. Of particular note are the findings from Minoan times from around the island. The chronological here spans over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. This is where you’ll find the masterpieces discovered by Sir Arthur Evans and others.
25th of August Street
The center of the pedestrian only zone, 25 August St. sits directly opposite the Old Harbour and extends to the aforementioned Lion Square. It takes its name from a massacre of ‘martyrs’ which occurred in 1898, which was the killing of many Cretans and, crucially, British in this area, by the Turks, finally forcing the ‘Great Powers’ to recognize Crete’s struggle. These events led eventually to the declaration of a Cretan State and, finally, unification with Greece in 1913. The street is famous today for the chic boutiques, cafes, and for girl watching as in the Instagram below.
Heraklion’s favorite foodie hotspot is a rustic bit of sophistication, and a design masterpiece for culinary photos. The chefs use heirloom produce and organic meats from their own farms for preparing picturesque and yummy gastronomical treats.
A few kilometres south of Knossos, in the heart of the Minoan vineyards in the village of Κουναβοι, winemaker Yannis Stylianou has cultivated 30 acres of the best organic vineyards on Crete. Besides the wonderful wines produced here, the overlook of the vineyards and the Lassithi Plateau in the distance leave the visitor breathless. Here Stylianou creates unique native varieties like; vidiano, Thrapsathiri, Vilana, Kotsifali and Mandilari. But the main photographic value, as captured by our own Mihaela Lica Butler in winter below, is the landscape…