Rent a car in Heraklion Crete
Looking for an exciting, summer destination? Rent a car in Heraklion Crete for a unique summer vacation!
Heraklion is the biggest city in Crete and the biggest port of the island. The Municipality of Heraklion is the fourth most popular in the country with about 170 thousand inhabitants. It is a city full of life and history in which you can visit internationally renowned sights and archaeological museums. The food and entertainment options in the city of Heraklion are countless and the hours are flexible enough to enjoy as much as you can. You can easily and quickly make a request for car rental in Heraklion Crete through our website. Rent a car in Heraklion and explore the island of Crete!
A unique building at the port of Heraklion is the fortress Koules, built during the Venetian occupation in 1523 AD., also known as Rocca a Mare, Castello a Mare or Castello. The name Koules came from the name of Turkish origin, Su Kulesi. The fortification work has gone through several stages throughout history. The first construction took place in the 7th century to protect the area from the Andalusian Saracen pirates. Later, the Arabs also built a ditch to protect them from pirate raids. Heraklion was then called Chandakas.
The fortress consists of 2 floors and 26 rooms and on the ground floor there were cannons for defensive purposes. The ground floor has also been used as a prison and as a storage area for food and military supplies. Today the Koules fortress is used for various exhibitions and events.
Archaeological site of Knossos
Knossos is the top landmark of Minoan civilization and is about 5 km away southeast of Heraklion. The most important finding of the archaeological site is the palace of Knossos, the center of King Minos’s state. Ancient Knossos is mentioned by various historians of that time, such as Omiros and Thucydides. The city flourished during the Minoan period from 2000 BC to 1350 BC., and associated with the legend of Minotaur with the maze, as well as with Daedalus and Icarus. The city of Knossos was inhabited by about 80,000 people in an organized structure of palaces, luxury villas and hostels. However, in 1700 BC., the city is experiencing a major earthquake and is largely destroyed and rebuilt. In 1450 BC., the Mycenaeans came and occupied the city without reconstructing the palaces.
The archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, from 1900 to 1931, made archaeological excavations and uncovered the palaces. Much of the ancient city and cemeteries also surfaced. It is noteworthy that the first person that discovered ancient Knossos was Minos Kalokerinos in 1878, an admirer of the ancient history. However, the works were not continued, in order not to reveal the findings to the Turks.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is considered one of the largest and most important museums in Greece and Europe. The 5500-year-old history from the Neolithic to the Roman years is on display at the museum. It is natural that the findings of the Minoan civilization, such as the mural of Taurokathapathia, the Phaistos disc, the Prince with lilies, the Krokos Collectors and the Blue Bird, are of prime importance. It also hosts the collection of Minoan antiquities that are regarded as some of the most important in the world, as a reference to Minoan culture.
Also, we suggest visiting the wonderful marine world of Cretaquarium. There you will admire many species of fish, shellfish, sharks, skates and sea turtles. The site consists of 60 aquariums and is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. It hosts around 4,000 marine organizations and has specially designed venues for exhibitions, conferences, parties or for dinner.
Gastronomy and fun in Heraklion
In Heraklion you will find countless taverns and restaurants and taste traditional Cretan cuisine. You will drink tsikoudia and listen to Cretan music at a tavern. There are dining options for all tastes. If you still want you can enjoy your coffee at a modern café or try a drink in one of the city’s hangouts.
Suggestions for beautiful beaches in Heraklion
Amoudara beach is a 7 km beach, consisting of fine sand and is 1 km away from Heraklion. There are options with organized beach bars but also more quiet with the feeling of seclusion. In the area you will find many hotels, taverns and bars for your entertainment.
Tobruk Beach is 10 km away from Heraklion. It is a large beach and usually has waves due to the north winds. On the beach you will find organized structures for bathers as well as not organized ones. There are also several dining and coffee options.
Arina or Kokkini Hani
The coastline of Kokkini Hani consists of several sandy beaches and shallow blue waters. Located 14 km. from Heraklion, and has all the comforts such as umbrellas, sun loungers, beach bars, hotels and restaurants.