Iraklio Province attractions

Top Choice Museum in Iraklio

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This state-of-the-art museum is one of the largest and most important in Greece. The two-storey revamped 1930s Bauhaus building makes a gleaming showcase for artefacts spanning 5500 years from Neolithic to Roman tim…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Knossos

Palace of Knossos

Crete’s most famous historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos, the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located 5km south of Iraklio. The setting is evocative and the ruins and recreations impressive, incorporating a…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Around Matala


Phaestos was the second-most important Minoan palace-city after Knossos and enjoys an awe-inspiring setting with panoramic views of the Messara Plain and Mt Psiloritis. Like Knossos, Phaestos was built atop a previo…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Malia

Palace of Malia

The Palace of Malia, 3km east of Malia, was built at about the same time as the great Minoan palaces of Phaestos and Knossos. The First Palace dates back to around 1900 BC and was rebuilt after the earthquake of 170…
Top Choice Aquarium in Iraklio


This huge aquarium occupies the grounds of a former US military base. Inhabited by some 2000 Mediterranean critters, this high-tech indoor sea will likely bring smiles to even the most jaded youngster. You can watch…
Top Choice Fortress in Iraklio

Koules Fortress

After six years of restoration, Iraklio’s symbol, the 16th-century fortress called Rocca al Mare by the Venetians, reopened in August 2016 with a brand-new exhibit. It tells the story of the building, zeroes in on m…
Top Choice Museum in Hersonisos

Lychnostatis Museum

In a lovely seaside setting on Hersonisos’s eastern edge, this family-operated, open-air folklore museum recreates a traditional Cretan village with commendable authenticity. The various buildings include a windmill…
Archaeological Site in Around Matala


Gortyna (also Gortyn or Gortys) has been inhabited since Neolithic times but reached its pinnacle after becoming the capital of Roman Crete from around 67 BC until the Saracens raided the island in AD 824. At its pe…
Archaeological Site in Knossos

Throne Room

Behind an antechamber, this beautifully proportioned room is separated by a pillar from a sunken basin that may have been used for purification rituals preceding ceremonies held in the presence of the king. The rule…
Archaeological Site in Knossos

Queen’s Megaron

With its painted pillars and playful dolphin fresco on the far wall, Evans believed this pretty space in the residential eastern wing to have been the queen's bedroom, complete with adjacent 'bathroom'.