One of the most vibrant cities in all of Greece, Heraklion has been at the crossroads of civilisations for centuries. In its infancy the city was known as “Kastro”, which historians believe indicates that the city was surrounded by fortification walls. Join this Heraklion walking tour to get to know the city as it is now, but also as it was centuries ago, uncovering remnants of occupations by the Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Turks, and pirates…yes, pirates.
Heading off from “Freedom Square” aka Eleftherias Square, our tour of Heraklion will continue through lesser-known streets and neighbourhoods to give you the opportunity to see the real city as a local insider. Appropriately, you’ll started off with a freshly brewed traditional coffee paired with a wander through the local market, where you can sample local products such as barley rusks and olives and cheese (what else would you expect?!), and chat with local shop owners.
From there, take a hop back in time with a walk atop Heraklion’s great Venetian wall fortifications for some of the best view of the city. It’s also a great vantage point to see how these walls (ahem, the longest in Europe, ahem) divide the old city from the new city. Continue along to the lonesome tomb and monument of Nikos Kazantzakis, the son of Crete, and discover what inspired him to write Zorba.
Moving on, we’ll walk along the pedestrian street, 25 August, admiring some of Heraklion’s major highlights, like St. Titus Cathedral and the Morosini Fountain in the heart of the city. Continue along the hidden backstreets of Heraklion, where your local guide will discuss the city’s history and point out further evidence of how the city has been shaped into the lively place it is today.
After our morning exploration, our Heraklion walking tour will end at a local favourite – a meze tavern, where you’ll finish things off with a bang, or, rather, a drink! Dig in to a meze platter and sip local specialties like raki and tsikoudia, the island’s famous (and oh so strong) distilled spirit. Opa!