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Crete Area Information

Heraklion, East Crete

Heraklion, the fourth largest city in Greece with 140,000 inhabitants, is a vibrant mixture of "small Athens", Crete´s business and administrative centre, historic site highlights, chaos and lively hustle and bustle. The holiday mood merges into the bustle of the city. The city has a long history. Minoans, Saracens, Byzantines, Venetians and Turks have all left their mark. Heraklion was made Crete´s capital city in 1972.

The tourist sights are located in Gro within the still well preserved town walls. Here you can get your bearings, unlike in the districts outside. The large Freedom Plaza, Platia Elefterias, is the hub of the city. The Archaeological Museum is located here. The Dikeossinis Street runs from here and is one of the most important shopping streets. The Odos Delalou runs parallel and this is a pedestrian zone with cafes, restaurants and many souvenir shops leading to the most beautiful plaza in the city - Platia Venizelo. Here tourists rub shoulders with the locals. Small streets lead off from the plaza where one can find many places to linger and while away the time.

Parking is difficult and there are many one way streets so it is better to use public transport and avoid the hassle. There are souvenir shops and jewellers in the streets named above. Odos 1866 is the interesting market street of the city dealing in fruit, vegetables, meat, herbs and spices and cheese. In the Archaeological Museum are exhibits from the excavations of Knossos, Malia, Phaestos and Zakros. The outside of the museum is unimposing but inside it is stunning and those interested can spend many hours there.

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