The capital of Crete, Greece, Heraklion is a Mediterranean seaport of approximately 1.4 million inhabitants. The city is over a thousand years old and has lasted through the Byzantine Era, the Crusades and Ottoman rule.
The Palace of Knossos is the most popular attraction on the island. It is only five kilometres outside of the city and had been inhabited as early as 7,000 B.C.
A few other Venetian and Greek buildings present on the island are Koules, the Venetian Walls, St. Minas Cathedral and Loggia.
Heraklion can be reached by plane, bus from locations on Crete, or a ferry. Ferries leave regularly from Athens, Thessaloniki and Dodecanese. Multiple ferry companies operate these routes although much less often during off-season winter months.
The main airport serving Heraklion is Heraklion International Airport (Airport code HER), commonly referred to as Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport. It serves almost 5.5 million passengers a year and over 45,000 arriving and departing flights. Over fifty airlines fly routes to Heraklion each year, but many are seasonal and most carriers only fly to one or two cities. Niki, Condor, Air Berlin and EasyJet fly the most frequent flights to Heraklion, while Air Berlin, Eurocypria, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Viking offer flights to the most destinations.
The airport is named after the Greek philosopher and writer Nikos Kazantzakis, who was born in Heraklion.