The history of Iraklion, the capital of Crete, stretches back over 5000 years to the time of the Minoans – Europe's first civilisation – and is a port city of remarkably well preserved fortifications, a fine, animated street market and atmospheric old alleys and museums.
Also known as Heraklion, the city’s most sought-after highlight is the Minoan Palace of Knossos, an archaeological site that has amazing frescoes and baths to discover.[ReadMoreMob] Guarding the city’s Venetian port is the 16th century Koules fortress, and the vast Heraklion Archaeological Museum exhibits classic Hellenic and Roman sculptures, frescoes, jewellery, wall-paintings, pottery and Minoan art.
Iraklion's notoriously congested streets have been dramatically improved in recent years with investment in infrastructure, which has included the redevelopment of the beautiful waterfront district. The city’s stunning architecture gives way to high-end stores of Daedalou Street, and many fine restaurants. Away from the city’s bright lights, there are plenty of outstanding ancient sights to uncover including the Martinengo Bastion and the Chanioporta Gate.
Heraklion was once the site of the Minoan Palace and the centre of the famous civilization. This prolific society, considered the first advanced civilization in Europe, left behind many impressive artefacts, including the remnants of the Palace of Knossos.
The Battle of Crete/WW2
One of the most important battles of World War Two, the Battle of Crete’s decisive action in May/June 1941 ended with the evacuation of the bulk of the Allied forces and informed airborne assault strategies on both sides.
According to Greek mythology, the Dikteon Cave (Cave of Zeus) is the hideaway where the god was sheltered from his father, Chronos, whose demise at the hands of his son became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The site today is rich in stalagmites and stalactites.
Cruises to Heraklion
Departs: Southampton • Thu 05 Nov 2020
140 nights • Boudicca • D20GV
- A holiday beyond your wildest dreams, this 140-night voyage to some of the world’s most iconic and intoxicating destinations offers authentic cultures and traditions, amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery and much more.
- Experience an exhilarating Asian exploration, to learn of samurais and geishas in Japan; explore the war-torn history of Vietnam; sample India’s engrossing hustle and bustle; and even celebrate New Year’s Eve in stunning Singapore.
- African adventures include chances to seek-out South Africa’s ‘Big Five’ game and Madagascar’s iconic flora and fauna; explore the colossal Namib Desert; marvel at the Great Pyramid of Giza; and sail the impressive Suez Canal.
From £13,999ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Tokyo • Thu 14 Jan 2021
70 nights • Boudicca • D210105
- Experience a stunning 70-night voyage to some of the world's most fascinating and awe-inspring destinations, offering amazing wildlife, outstanding scenery and local cultures and traditions.
- Learn of historic Japanese events which changed history, explore the hustle and bustle of Singapore, relax on the beaches of Thailand or marvel at more than one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Explore the high-speed energy of Mumbai, or venture to Elephanta Island, set in lush green vegetation - a peaceful contrast to the commotion of inner Mumbai.
From £9,399ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Muscat • Thu 25 Feb 2021
28 nights • Boudicca • D210405
- Visit incredible destinations in the ancient Middle East and the Mediterranean, for unmissable opportunities to step back in time amongst centuries-old wonders and revel in the architectural, cultural and scenic delights of these captivating regions.
- Seek-out some of the world’s greatest ancient sites, including the Pyramids of Giza and ‘Lost City’ of Petra, in Egypt and Jordan; and explore the holy lands of Jerusalem and Bethlehem from Ashdod and Haifa in Israel.
- Delve into the legendary ancient history of Greece in Crete and Athens, with its famous temples and ruins; sail into Valletta’s magical Grand Harbour; and uncover the attractions of three stunning Spanish cities.
From £3,499ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Limassol • Thu 11 Mar 2021
14 nights • Boudicca • D2105
- Sail from Cyprus through the sun-kissed Mediterranean and discover historical, architectural and natural delights in this diverse and beautiful region.
- A weekend in Greece offers the chance to delve into Crete's 5,000-year-old history. Tour to Athens to uncover world-famous ancient sites such as the Acropolis or the mighty Parthenon.
- Delight in the UNESCO-listed Grand Harbour in Valletta. In Spain visit the Roman sites of Cartagena and discover diverse Andalusian attractions from Malaga.
From £1,799ppFares Explained | What's Included