Heraklion is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. It is easily reached by plane from all over the world, its international airport is first in charter flights, and by boat from Piraeus and the nearby Greek islands. Travelling within Crete is also very easy with bus connections to most places around of island.
If you begin a walk around Heraklion, starting at the fishing harbour close to the modern port, what will strike you first is the Venetian fortress at the harbour gate. The fortess was originally built by the Venetians and called Rocca al Mare, but is now known by its Turkish name, Koules. It has a mixed history; for centuries it was used as protection against invaders, as were the great city walls and ditches. These are among the longest city walls in Europe.