A view of the harbour of Heraklion, Crete

The Venetian harbour of Heraklion is at the end of 25th of August Street, the pedestrian street leading from the town centre to the Koules fortress. This is the old harbour of Heraklion, now used by fishing boats and yachts, and its history is as ancient as that of the city itself.

The new, modern passenger and cargo Heraklion port extends east of the old harbour.

In the Venetian harbour of Heraklion stands the fortress of Koules. Here begins the long mole of the new harbour. The mole is a favourite spot for a stroll, especially on warm summer evenings, when the sea breeze offers some relief from the heat. The people of Heraklion jokingly call the mole "Bypass Avenue", as many of those walking along the long mole are heart bypass patients taking the constitutional recommended by their doctor.

All along the mole you will see amateur fishermen waiting patiently for a bite, both day and night. In the middle of the mole is a canteen selling soft drinks, ice cream and fast food.

The Venetian harbour also contains the Venetian Arsenals or shipyards, where ships were repaired.

Opposite Koules, at the yacht moorage, is the Marina cafeteria. Behind it is the Heraklion Port Authority, with a seafood restaurant next door. Here stood Little Koules, which once guarded the entrance to Heraklion harbour along with the larger fortress.

There are two more fish restaurants a little further along, in the new Heraklion port area, where the ferries for Santorini leave. There is also a large car park where you can leave your car before walking up to the town centre or strolling round the harbour.

Continuing east into the new port, you come to the passenger terminus and docks for ferries to and from Piraeus. There are daily scheduled trips, with the ferries leaving at night and arriving early in the morning, while there are also daytime trips in the summer.