Heraklion city is a common busy and noisy town. It is the business, administrative and commercial center of the Prefecture and of the whole island, partly due to its large port. heraklion map Even though Heraklion is not the ideal place for relaxation holidays it can offer many options to a traveler. First of all, you can find many lodging alternatives in a wide price range. In addition there are numerous restaurants, cafes and nightclubs where you can taste the local cuisine and enjoy the nightlife of this vivid city. Heraklion has many interesting places which you can visit, ranging from monuments of the Minoan civilization to Venetian castles and traditional markets. Heraklion is located in the north part of the island and its closest beach is Ammoudara. Last but not least, you can consider Heraklion city as your base from which you will explore the wider area's unique beaches and traditional villages.
As an alternative, you could settle down in one of the many villages of the area. Those villages are usually quite small, very picturesque and totally unspoiled from tourism (apart from Hersonissos which is mostly a tourist resort). Each one has its own distinct atmosphere and places of interest. Accommodation in the villages is usually smaller and consists of family - run rooms for rent (apartments).
Some of Heraklion's villages are:
- Ano Vianos
- Agia Pelagia
- Stalida (Stalis)
Arhanes is one of the most beautiful villages. It is actually a small town located at an altitude of 380 m and just 15 km far from Heraklion. There are major archaeological sites in Archanes, as well as places of unique natural beauty. The landscape is mainly mountainous, forming hills and gorges with lush vegetation. It is the best place for alternative holidays in the prefecture of Heraklion.