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Iraklion's Top 10

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Dedalou, Iraklio 714 09, Greece
The remarkably mazelike passages of the palace of Knossos were excavated in the early 20th century. Until then the myth of King Minos who kept the bull-headed Minotaur in a secret labyrinth was regarded as, well, a myth. Archaeologists now agree...
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Ξανθουδίδη και Χατζηδάκη 1, Iraklio 712 02, Greece
Reflecting the history of the island this is an important museum, particularly for its presentation of the incredible artworks of the Minoan civilisation. They include impressive pottery with remarkable decorations, plenty of the Minoan symbols of...
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Iráklion is a bustling, modern city, but dig beneath the surface and there are many reminders of the past. The island and city were both under the control of Venice for many years; the Venetian fortress that still overlooks the harbor is...
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This museum gives a comprehensive overview of Cretan history outside of the Minoan and classical periods, including artifacts from its Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman past, as well as photos of the German attack during World War II (an airborne...
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This museum is imaginatively housed in an old seafront power plant. It focuses on the wildlife and geology of Crete and its surrounding area, both past and present, with dioramas showing how the island would have appeared at various times. There...
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Χωριό Πεζά Ηρακλείου, Peza 701 00, Greece
Minos Wines produce some of the finest wines on Crete, but visiting the winery provides more than just an opportunity to try some of these. Located in the centre of the island south of Iraklion, there is also a museum where old wine-making...
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Malia 700 07, Greece
Like Knossos, Malia is an ancient Minoan palace complex, easily reached from Iráklion. Unlike its more famous sibling, however, little reconstruction work has been done here. This means you can view the extensive remains as they were first...
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Heraklion 710 03, Greece
This excellent aquarium contains over 250 species, from crustaceans and jellyfish to many-toothed sharks. The 2,500 sea creatures are displayed in 30 tanks, all spectacularly housed in an old NATO air base just to the east of Iráklion. The marine...
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Unnamed Road, Oropedio Lasithiou 720 52, Greece
This rural refuge is circled by high mountains and separated from the coast. Lasithi provides a glimpse into traditional life on Crete, and you'll still find many of the white-sailed windmills which used to pump water to the abundant orchards and...
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This Eastern Orthodox monastery is a monument to the indomitable Cretan spirit. During an uprising against Ottoman rule in 1866 the monastery became a stronghold for rebel forces. When the tide of the conflict turned against them, many Cretan...