3 Reasons to Choose Heraklion as a Home Base to Explore Crete in Greece

Speaking of Greece, people usually think about the blue and white backdrop of the breathtaking Santorini. But Crete is in fact the largest and most populous Greek island and in my opinion, a perfect getaway. My first stop on this island was its capital city, Heraklion.

Heraklion is a nostalgic city, full of historical heritage and old buildings. From museums, palaces, ruins, Lions Fountain to the distinctive yellow building style, it tells of the ancient history and culture of the Minoan civilisation, the very first advanced Bronze Age Civilisation in Europe. The civilisation dated back to around 2700 BC when Heraklion was the port of the centre of the civilisation, the Palace of Knossos. There are fascinating legends about the palace, one of which says King Minos, in Greek mythology the first king in Crete and son of Zeus, lived in the palace. The Minoan civilisation was named after him. It’s amazing how the Greek history is intertwined with mysterious legends.

Today the ruins of the palace remain on Kephala Hill. Through the frescos and remains we can learn more about one of the oldest and mysterious cultures on earth. A relaxing day like this in the old town marked the beginning of my trip in Crete.

The reasons why I chose Heraklion as a home base to explore Crete in Greece:

  1. There was a direct flight from Paris to Heraklion, and the hotel I stayed was only 15-minute drive away from the Heraklion Airport.
  2. The Heraklion Port is the main hub to take ferries to different islands  near Crete including Santorini.
  3. Heraklion is located in the middle of the north coast of Crete, making it convenient to go either East or West to different destinations.

Read more or book: Hotels in Heraklion


三大原因選擇伊拉克利翁作為發掘克里特島的根據地

說到希臘,人們不其然想起聖托里尼的藍白風光,大家都忘記了克里特島才是希臘最大及人口最多的島嶼。島上一派詩情畫意,絕對是完美的度假勝地。我在克里特島的第一站是其首都伊拉克利翁。

伊拉克利翁是米諾斯文明的的發源地,所以城內充滿歷史遺跡和建築,從博物館、宮殿、遺址、廣場,到標誌性的黃磚牆,一一印證着這重要的愛琴海文明的歷史和文化。米諾斯文明是歐洲較早期的青銅時代,可追溯至公元前約2700年,當時米諾斯文明的政治和經濟重心在克諾索斯宮殿,而伊拉克利翁就是克諾索斯的港口。關於克諾索斯宮殿的神話傳說有很多,例如說宙斯的兒子米諾斯是克里特島的第一個王,並住在克諾索斯宮殿中。而米諾斯文明亦以其來命名,這種歷史和神話交錯的故事為此地增添許多神秘色彩。

今天,克諾索斯宮殿的遺址仍佇立在凱夫拉山上,透過壁畫和遺蹟向我們訴說這古老神秘的文明。如此便度過輕鬆的一天,讓我在克里特島有個愉快的開始。

我選擇伊拉克利翁作為我發掘克里特島根據地的原因︰

  1. 交通方便,有直航從巴黎到伊拉克利翁,從伊拉克利翁機場到我住的酒店只需十五分鐘

  2. 伊拉克利翁港口是乘搭渡輪到達周邊島嶼包括聖托里尼的主要交通樞紐

  3. 伊拉克利翁位於克里特島北岸中部,方便前往東西兩邊不同目的地

更多相關資訊︰伊拉克利翁酒店

An Amazing Day in Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania is the second largest city in Crete after Heraklion and one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island.

As the city was once ruled by the Venetians, the style of the buildings was heavily influenced by Venetian elements. Many other historical heritage remained from the period, like the Venetian lighthouse, fortifications, walls, etc. along with some mosques that survived from the history of Ottoman rule after the Venetians. All together made a distinctive skyline, especially in the Venetian Port in the old town. Along the coast, tourists can also opt for horseback riding for an exotic stroll.

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Walking around the old town was such a delight; it literally rolled back time with all those quaint and historic houses and lanes. There were lots of interesting stores and inviting restaurants. It was a good place to shop for handicrafts, leather goods, olive products, etc. I spent a relaxing afternoon around the area and had a nice tea with fantastic sea views. No wonder people fall in love with the city.

How to get there?

I took a bus from Heraklion, taking about 4 hours to get to Chania. Alternatively, people go by plane to Chania International Airport from Athens. During popular seasons, there are direct flights from other countries. Go by ferry from Athens is another option.

Read more or book: Hotels in Chania


遊覽希臘克里特島上風光如畫的干尼亞

干尼亞是繼首都伊拉克利翁後克里特島上的第二大城市,因着迷人的風光和獨特的文化背景,成為島上最受遊客歡迎的旅遊地點之一。

干尼亞曾被威尼斯人及鄂圖曼帝國統治,所以城上隨處可見許多歷史遺物,特別是在威尼斯港灣,就有極具威尼斯風情的建築,如燈塔、堡壘、城牆,以及鄂圖曼帝國時建造的清真寺,形成一道干尼亞獨有的風景。遊客也可以在海邊乘搭觀光馬車,享受悠遊的下午。

干尼亞的舊城區是必到的地方,看着古色古香的建築和小徑彷如時光倒流,別有風情。當中有許多不錯的餐廳以及值得逛的商鋪,可以買到當地的特產如工藝品、皮革製品、橄欖產品等。我們在異國風情的舊城閒逛着,吃個下午茶,欣賞美麗海景,不知不覺就度過了一個悠閒的下午,難怪那麼多人會愛上這個城市。

如何去干尼亞?

我從首都伊拉克利翁乘搭巴士大概四小時就到了干尼亞,也可從雅典搭飛機或者渡輪到干尼亞國際機場,旺季時亦有從其他國家飛到干尼亞的航班。

更多相關資訊︰干尼亞酒店

My Very First Beach Day this Summer – Creta Maris, Crete, Greece

I was trying to do some research before the trip to Crete to ensure I would be able to arrive at the conference venue on time and have an appropriate place to stay for a nice rest (Hotels in Crete). However, as this was my first time going there, I was not familiar with the names of the places, nor the transportation options available.  I found it very difficult to comprehend the information collected online.  Not until I was there in person I started to realize that the same place could be referred to very differently.  For example, Chania, the second largest city of Crete, is presented as Χανιά (Greek), Canea (Venetian) or Hanya (Ottoman Turkish).  No wonder it took me so long to get myself up to speed with the map of Crete.

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During this trip, I spent most of the time in Hersonissos, a beautiful traditional touristic village and port. Most of my friends stayed at Creta Maris Beach Resort, which balanced between convenience reaching the convention venue and access to the beautiful beach.

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Like the rest of Crete, the convention centre was just as quaint with an antique construction style. This old-fashioned and relaxing environment gave me a very relaxing and peaceful feeling – highly recommended for retreat or a quiet break.

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Read more or book: Hotels in Hersonissos


希臘克里特島的消暑勝地 — 克雷塔馬里斯海灘渡假村

因為要參加一個國際聲學會議,我到了美麗的希臘小島克里特島。為了能準時到達會場和尋找合適的落腳點(克里特島酒店),出發前我在網上做了點資料搜集,可是因為我從未到過克里特島,所以對島上的地名和交通選擇都十分陌生,覺得網上的資料很難明。直到我去到當地,才發現同一個地名有不同寫法,例如島上第二大城市干尼亞,英文名是Chania,希臘文是Χανιά,威尼斯語是Canea,還有鄂圖曼土耳其語叫Hanya,竟有好幾個看來各不相干的名字,難怪我花上好些時間才看明白克里特的地圖。

這次我大部分時間都待在赫索尼索斯,一個歷史悠久的美麗村落和海港。我的朋友們住在克雷塔馬里斯海灘渡假村,離會議場地和沙灘很近,十分方便。

這次會議在克雷塔馬里斯會議中心舉行,會議中心是典型克里特島古色古香的建築風格,環境十分平靜舒適,絕對是放鬆和散心的好地方。

更多相關資訊︰赫索尼索斯酒店