Walking through history on the island of Crete

A visit to Heraklion is ideal for cruise guests who want to step back in time, embark on an adventure, or enjoy a rich culinary culture

Walking through history on the island of Crete
Many of Heraklion’s unique landmarks are located within walking distance of the port

Heraklion, the capital of the Greek island of Crete, makes an ideal port of call on any Greek Isles or Mediterranean cruise itinerary.

Many of the city’s points of interest are located within a short walking distance from the port, such as the multiple well-preserved remnants of several centuries of Venetian rule. They include the Old Venetian Harbour with the Koules Fortress, shipyards with vaulted roofs, salt warehouses and the Dermatas Gate, which overlooks the Dermatas Gulf. Opposite the gate is the Renaissance-style Priuli Fountain and nearby is the Temple of St Peter the Martyr, which was built as a monastery for the Dominican order and later expanded to become one of the city’s largest temples.

Other attractions near the cruise port include the Natural History Museum of Crete, the Historical Museum of Crete and the city’s best-kept secret, Heraklion Municipal Art Gallery. The gallery boasts a collection of over 1,000 paintings, sculptures, engravings and miniatures by Cretan, Greek and international artists. Meanwhile, cruise guests looking for adventure can travel further afield to hike or rock climb in one of Heraklion Prefecture’s many canyons and gorges.

Famed for its nutritional value, Cretan cuisine is another draw for cruise guests. They can take a trip to family-run tavernas in Heraklion’s villages to sample various traditional dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients and Cretan delicacies, including extra virgin olive oil, herbs, honey and wild greens.

This article was first published in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
21 February 2020

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