Heraklion or Iraklio is the major city and capital of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Its Archaeological Museum holds the remains of the 4000-year-old Minoan civilization, which centred around the nearby palace of Knossos, with its Minotaur legend.
The city has several Venetian and Byzantine churches and the biggest in East Mediterranean well-preserved Venetian wall and harbour fortress from the 15th century.
Modern air transport brought huge numbers of tourists, mostly heading to resorts further along the coast, and the city sprawled out way beyond its historic centre – the population is now some 200,000. Heraklion today is an interesting city with a pedestrianized center and a lovely coastal promenade.