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Heraklion

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heraklion

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Heraklion is the administrative capital of Crete and the fourth largest city in Greece. Unlike Chania and Rethymno, it is a modern city, rebuilt after brutal bombing in World War Two. Over time, the city has been the slave-trade capital of the eastern Mediterranean, a Byzantine fortress town, a Venetian haven, and after a period of Turkish Rule, became the capital of Crete in 1971. It is not as charming as the other major centres in Greece, but there is a lot to offer in and around the town.
There is a good chance that if you are visiting from abroad that Heraklio may be your first stop. The international airport, named after Nikos Kazantzakis , the author of Zorba the Greek. Many famous and infamous people have called the city home over time, including the painter, El Greco.
If you have a day to spend in the city there are some wonderful walks that can be taken, and there is a bustling atmosphere to the city, which is infectious and uplifting. Although it may not be as classically beautiful as the other major cities on Greece, there are a number of churches and squares to be explored, and if you search it out, evidence of the Venetian splendour for which the city was once known. There are also a number of wonderful fountains, large and ornate to be visited, the Bembo Fountain at the southern end of town is touted as a Turkish creation, but it actually goes back to Venetian times.
The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion is second only in importance to the one in Athens, and it is well worth the entry price to spend a day looking over the antiquities on display.

Heraklion  Heraklion  Heraklion  Heraklion 

Many of the artefacts have been sourced from Knossos, only a few kilometres away, showing the sophistication of the Minoan people who lived in the region. The items on display are fascinating, from mosiaics, to pottery, to amazing gold figures that carve a place in the Greek identity. This one museum shoudn’t be overlooked on a visit to the region.
Knossos is the main attraction of Heraklion. What was the capital of Minoan Crete; it is now the islands main attraction. The British Archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, excavated the site in 1900 and then sections of the palace were reconstructed over the next 40 years.
The site isn’t like many other Grecian ruins, where you can stand perplexed looking at a mass of rocks and ruins. Knossos is a labyrinth of rooms and passages, displaying the splendour of the age.

Ancient Labyrinth Coin from Knossos  Knossos Crete  Minotaur labyrinth  the palace of Knossos 

The colourful mosaics and frescos give an idea of how advanced the civlisation was before earthquakes damaged the site in 1700BC and fire finally destroyed the site in 1450BC. Knossos is a place you will want to spend a day exploring, investigating the fascinating surroundings, so comfortable shoes and water are necessary.

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Trip of a Lifetime!

We had a wonderful family trip to Athens and Santorini. We could not have done it without the expertise of our travel agent Anthony Alagiah and the fantastic tour guides and drivers arranged through Anthony. He spoke to us months before our trip to find out exactly what we wanted. He sent us spot on suggesstions for tours and hotels. In Athens we were met by a great driver, Yianis, who was our driver for our time in Athens. He was extremely friendly and welcoming and we felt confortable travelling through Athens with him behind the wheel! The tours we did included the Walking Food Tour in Athens (highly recommend), 3 island cruise, private tours of Delphi, Cape Sounion and the Acroplis. Our hotel in Athens, the Athens Lodge, was centrally located, very clean, had a great breakfast and very friendly staff! In Santorini we were met by a welcoming tour guide and driver and our hotel (Hotel Santorini) was stunning! We did two tours in Santorini, the catamaran sunset cruise and the 5 hour hike through Santorini. The catamaran sunset cruise had delicious food, great saling and a brethtaking sunset! The hike was probably the best tour we took as we saw so much of Santorini, with lots of breaks for water and snacks. We couldn't have had a more remarkable, perfect family vacation! We highly recommend Anthony and Antelope Travel because their service made our vacation the trip of a lifetime!

Written July 30, 2023

Greece Family Trip of a Lifetime

Our family of 4 took an 8 day trip to Crete, Santorini and Athens… and we could not have done it without the planning, recommendations and assistance of Anthony and Antelope Travel. We gave Anthony our budget and a rough idea of what we wanted to do with our 2 kids (5 & 7) and he was able to create a trip of a lifetime. Whenever we needed a driver or some assistance, even a last minute restaurant recommendation Anthony and his team were readily available with great solutions. He really listens and can modify things to suit your particular needs. Everything was planned and went accordingly for us, including boarding passes to flights, ferries, booster seats in all vehicles, a private Greek mythology tour and tour of the Acropolis, winery tour and even a stunning catamaran ride in Santorini. We will 100% be recommending Antelope travel to all my friends and family. Thank you for such an incredible family vacation!

Written July 29, 2023

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