- Heraklion All inclusive holidays
Arriving on your Heraklion all inclusive holiday can initially be a bit of a culture shock. This isn’t some quaint little town with whitewashed buildings and cobbled streets, it’s the largest city on Crete and a busy, prosperous location that’s a powerhouse for business and commerce. However, stick with it, because once you move away from the busy city centre you’ll discover those whitewashed houses and cobbled streets you were expecting, and much more besides.
Most holidays to Heraklion are focused on the beach and waterfront area, and this is where you’ll find most of the hotels and accommodation providers used by tour operators. The beach is fabulous, and geared to providing families with everything they need for a great holiday. However, this is Crete, so expect plenty of ancient ruins too. Get a bit of background information at the Natural History Museum of Crete, just 10 minutes’ walk along the seafront. This will tell you all about the island’s natural history, and even includes a children’s play area complete with caves and the slightly unnerving ‘experience an earthquake’ feature!
Crete’s underwater wildlife is amazing, and a good place to see it without diving in at the deep end is the CretAquarium Thalassocosmos. It’s a marine research centre and impressive aquarium with 60 tanks and 100 viewing points.
You have to head underground for our next must see spot, the recently restored underground City Gate. Head to Eleftherias Square, where you’ll also find the Archaeological museum, and look for signs that will take you into a subterranean world that includes ancient circular granaries and a host of underground mysteries. Don’t worry, though, it’s highly unlikely you’ll bump into the Minotaur down there. We hope…
There’s a lot to see in Heraklion, and the best thing to do is to buy a local guide book, lace up a pair of comfortable shoes, and get exploring! You’ll find plenty of excellent museums charting the history and mythology of the island, its culture, music and arts.
Heraklion all inclusive holidays have to include at least one visit to the Palace of Knossos, around 25 minutes from the centre of the city. This Minoan palace is truly special, and is one of the best preserved buildings from the period. It was the home of the Minoan kings and that legendary bull headed Minotaur. Is the Labyrinth still there? Well, nobody really knows for sure. But what does remain is genuinely spectacular and one of the top landmarks on the island. Buses run regularly to the site, and whatever you do, don’t forget to take your camera!
Proudly guarding the harbour of Heraklion is Koules, the magnificently well preserved Venetian fortress. It’s short, dumpy and square, but incredibly solid, with walls that are nearly 9m thick in some places. Built in the 16th century on the site of the original fortification, it’s a big attraction for tourists and the city’s main landmark. For years, it bristled with cannon, all pointing out to sea to protect the city. Today, the guns have fallen silent and it’s a must see on any itinerary.
The Venetians really stamped their mark on the city, and another demonstration of their building prowess are the towering Venetian Walls. First started in the 15th century, they can still be seen today, and include huge ramparts and four gates. One of the key points along the walls is the Bastion of Martinegro, the highest point of the wall.
One of the most important churches in the city is St Titus Church. Originally constructed by the Byzantine occupiers, it was renovated by, who else, but the Venetians, and today is the focus of Greek Orthodox services and worship. It’s a beautiful building and well worth a visit. Scattered around the city you’ll also find fountains, ornate 12th century buildings, and even huge ancient shipyards that are iconic landmarks of what is an historically important city.
You don’t even have to leave the beach to check out some great entertainment, as the city’s beach area of Amoudara has its own multiplex cinema and open air theatre, providing entertainment for all ages. You’ll also find most of the best bars and clubs along the strip, so this is a spot that is lively and fun from morning right through to the small hours. Drinks are cheap with plenty of two for one offers, and door policies are pretty relaxed, creating a surprisingly chilled out and easy going vibe, despite the usual pounding dance beats in the background.
For the kids there are nearby waterparks that make a perfect day out, while most hotels will provide kid’s clubs and entertainment so mum and dad can go out for a few hours without worrying about the children. Children’s shows are also put on at the open air theatre, including puppet shows.
The city has plenty of arts and culture to discover, with four months of exhibitions and events during the Heraklion Summer Arts Festival from June all the way through to September. This includes theatre, music and dancing, as well as traditional folk art, painting and sculpture exhibitions. You’ll also find plenty of live music venues throughout the city.
Why choose an all-inclusive holiday to Heraklion
It’s all about the beach for the kids, but if they get bored of sandcastles and want something a bit more thrilling then the nearby Water City and Aqua Plus water parks will have them splashing about all day long. Kids are spoilt rotten in Crete, so families are welcomed with open arms at restaurants and hotels, who go out of their way to provide everything you need on all inclusive holidays to Heraklion. Bigger hotels have kid’s clubs and entertainment specially designed for younger visitors, while restaurants will offer small portions or simple favourites for fussy eaters.Like cheap all-inclusive holidays to Heraklion? Check out our other amazing deals for Heraklion holidays!