Heraklion is a port city and the capital of the Greek island of Crete. It is located on the eastern side of Crete and one of Greece’s major urban centers.
For this port of call, we decided to explore the city on our own and since it was a nice sunny day, we wanted to spend a little time on a beach.
Our first destination, the old castle of Koules, a beautifully restored Venetian fort dating back to the 16th century. Today it houses a museum with its 26 rooms, with low, curving archways that separate the different rooms. It hosts art exhibitions and performances.
From there, we took a 10-minute taxi ride to Karteros Beach. This beach stretches over 2 kilometres long. We had lunch, went for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea, which was quite refreshing, and enjoyed the sunshine. We took a taxi back to explore Heraklion city center.
There was a lovely square with small cafés, bars and shops, as well as, the Cathedral of Agios Titos, a former 19th century mosque, now a Greek Orthodox church. We walked to the Lion Square to admire and take pictures at the Morosini fountain. The fountain was built in 1628. It is very impressive with the four proud lions supporting the central basin. Just down the street from Morosini fountain is Heraklion’s own St. Mark’s Basilica. Named for the patron saint of Venice, it was built in the 13th century, during the Venetian rule of Crete. Today it houses the Municipal Art Gallery, which has art exhibitions by local artists, as well as exhibits of historical artifacts from the island.
It was a 15-minute scenic walk along the seafront to get back to the ship and plan for our next port of call.
If you want to see some amazing aerial views of the islands we visited, check out our videos on our Facebook page @Les Escapades de Dora et Alain.
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