Explore the Capital of Crete with Azamara

As the largest city on the isle of Crete, with a history that dates back to the 9th century, Heraklion has seen its share of travelers over the millennia. It’s been ruled by the Arab, Venetian, and Ottoman empires. It’s hosted international athletes during the 2004 Olympics. And now, as a new port of call for Azamara, Heraklion welcomes you with a wealth of timeless experiences.

Discover the many treasures at the Archaeological Museum, regarded as one of the most important museums in Greece. Be divinely inspired by St. Titus Cathedral, the 13th century Basilica of Saint Mark, and Agios Minas Cathedral. Browse the trendy shops and boutiques on the pedestrian-only Daidalou Street, or find the perfect gift at the city’s central market on 1866 Street.

Just 20 minutes outside of the city is one of Heraklion’s most popular attractions: Knossos, the center of Minoan civilization. With settlements dating back to 7000 BC, it was eventually destroyed around 1400 BC, and rediscovered in 1900 AD. You, too, can uncover its remarkable riches, with Azamara guiding the way.

Given that it’s Greece we’re talking about, the food here is naturally outstanding, and comes with a delicious Cretan touch. Local specialties include kaltsounia (sweet and savory cheese pie), chochlioi boubouristi (fried snails), hirina apakia (smoked pork), and lamb with stamnagathi (a type of wild chicory).

Try some of the excellent local cheeses, like the nutty and sweet graviera, a mild myzithra, or the soft and creamy pichtogalo chanion. Pair them with such white wine varietals as Vilana, Vidiano, and Dafni, or reds like Kotsifali and Romeiko. (With a Cretan wine culture that’s over 4,000 years old, you know that whatever grape you pick, it’s going to be superb.)


Known as “Europe’s oldest city”, Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. Its legendary history even includes the origins of the Minotaur and the labyrinth. Though the Palace of Knossos is the main attraction, there are also countless courtyards, paved roads, painted frescoes, and more.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

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Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Covering 5,500 years of Cretan history, the Archaeological Museum is filled with ancient artifacts, pottery, sculptures, wall paintings, and a Minoan collection showcasing true masterpieces. Its modernist building itself is a stroke of genius, offering 27 galleries, audio-visual displays, and a variety of cultural events.


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As the city’s main square, Liontaria (or “Lion Square”) is the place for locals and visitors alike to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Heraklion. It features the 1628 Morosini Fountain and many outdoor cafés and restaurants—and to the left of the square is the pedestrianized Handakos Street, leading down to the sea.

Heraklion (Iraklion), Greece At a glance

Current Weather:
Mostly Cloudy (Night)
19°C / 66 °F
Partly Cloudy (Day)
Mostly Cloudy (Day)
Partly Cloudy (Day)
Scattered Thunderstorms
Current Time:
11:24:14 pm2018/11/18 23:24:14 pm
Sunday, November 18
UTC/GMT +02:00
Exchange Rates:
  • 1.16
  • 1.50
  • 0.87
  • 1.52
  • 75.18
  • 3.81
  • 22.28
  • 1.69
Local Details:
GPS: 35°19'60"N 25°7'60"E
Size: 109.00 KM2 (42.09 MI2)
Population: 151,324
Density: 1,388 Pop/KM2 (536 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: +30

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