The prefecture of Heraklion with a total surface area of 120 km2 is located between the prefectures of Rethymnon and Lasithi.
It is bordered on the east by the prefecture of Lassithi and on the west by the prefecture of Rethymnon, while north lays the Cretan Sea and south the Libyan Sea.
The prefecture has a surface area of 2,641 km2.
The capital of the prefecture is Heraklion.
The ground of the prefecture is for the most part flat and semi-mountainous.
It is the most densely populated prefecture of Crete and the city of Heraklion is the capital of the island.
During the census of population in 2001, the prefecture of Heraklion had 26 Municipalities, 194 Municipal Districts and 460 Settlements.
There are several mountains along with “Dikti” and “Kofina” mountains ranges which are the most important and also some plains. You can rent a car or motorbike from many shops in the city town and other well-developed tourist villages, or you can move around with the buses from all regions of the prefecture.
The city of Heraklion is the capital of the Prefecture and also of the region. It is the largest city center of the island. The city, built at the northern end of the prefecture, has been dominated by many conquerors and the periods of development and decline have been rotated several times, leaving their marks on the city’s characteristics.
So today, the structure of the city is particularly interesting through its contradictions. It combines the traditional with the modern, the old with the new element in a unique way.
During a city tour the visitor is able to see buildings of different time periods, monuments and modern architectural constructions, all situated in this diversified town. The city’s atmosphere has been mainly determined from the Venetian era. The Venetian harbor, with the fortress of Koules at its entrance, located to the left of the current harbor, is a good indication of the magnificence that the visitor will see when exploring the city.
In the city center, the square with the Morosini Fountain, the famous Lions, are the city’s most photographed sightseeing and the busiest hangout for both locals and visitors. Around the square there are many modern coffee bars, as well as traditional cafes where you can taste the traditional sweet “bougatsa”. The surrounding streets have a great commercial traffic with all kind of shops. You will find all the famous brands and all the traditional Cretan products. Close to the Morosini Fountain is the historic church of St. Mark, dating back to the 12th century.