Honoured Municipality - Heraklion
In this year's PHILOXENIA event, Heraklion is the honored municipality! Heraklion, which is the largest urban center of Crete, the capital of the region and the financial center of the island, through its dominant exhibition participation, will solemnly highlight its tourist product and its cultural wealth, elements that are a pole attracting thousands of visitors every year.
Heraklion, the gateway and capital of Crete is one of the most important islands of the Mediterranean, the city where you can enjoy an endless summer, welcomes everyone who wishes to live unique and authentic experiences in a city, so vivid 24/7! At the same location since the ancient times, it is incessantly washed by the wild Cretan sea. Called “Kastro” (Fortress) by the Byzantines, “Fortress of the Trench” (Rabdh el Chandak) by the Arabs, “Chándax” during the Middle Byzantine period, “Candia” by the Venetians, “Kandiye” by the Ottomans and “Heraklion” at present.
Someone admires in every corner renowned monuments, footpaths of «5+1 civilizations», the unique palace of King Minoas in a lush area full of olive trees, vines, and cypresses, the archaeological museum with the exquisite collection of Minoan art. He or she enjoys mouth-watering tastes, unspoiled crystal-blue waters, Cretan music, and dances. Its streets and bountiful markets are bustling with people. Night and day, dozens of hangouts are waiting to be discovered. The city remains in a never-ending motion which is constantly fuelled by countless cultural, sport and social events.
Just outside of the city limits there is a warm welcoming by all shades of green, the hills and plains, the stimulating scents and wonderful colors of the wild nature which excite the senses. Wander around endless olive groves and vineyards emphasizing all the natural beauty of the area and offering moments of calmness and relaxation. Local products and unique tastes and flavours of the famous Cretan diet are offered everywhere.
It is necessary for a traveler to make a stop in the traditional villages just to walk in the picturesque alleys or wooded paths, refresh himself in the natural fountains, and to meet locals practicing traditional occupations. In the taverns and the cafés of the villages, he or she may have a rest, tasting authentic local cuisine and local wines of excellent quality, sharing moments and stories with the locals enjoying their famous hospitality.