The city of Heraklion is the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. The first European civilisation, the Minoan civilisation, flourished on this land 5000 years ago.
It is a very dynamic and cosmopolitan town, particularly during the summer period when thousands of visitors can be seen shopping in the markets or visiting the museums and other places of interest. Heraklion lies along the North coast of the island, having to the west at about 80 km the town of Rethymnon and at 135 km the city of Chania. To the east is the town of Agios Nikolaos (60km) and the town of Sitia (130km).