Wine Roads of Heraklion
It is in the area of Heraklion that 68% of the wineries are located, where 77% of the labels are bottled and where about 80% of the total volume of Cretan wine is produced. Therefore, this is where the most interest in wine tourism in Eastern Crete lies. In order to tour the numerous wineries open to visitors, one can follow the two routes forged by the “Wine Roads of Heraklion“ by using Heraklion as the starting point. The eastern route includes the Archanes vineyard, where the PDO Archanes red wines are produced, and the Peza vineyard, where the PDO Peza white and red wines are produced. The western route passes through the Dafnes vineyard, where the PDO Dafnes dry and sweet red wines are produced. These two routes are connected by road, making it possible to plan a flexible winery-touring programme.
Among the things visitors can see in the city of Heraklion are: the Venetian walls, the Koules Fortress and the symbol of the city, the Morozini Fountain (Lions), the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum of Crete, the Natural History Museum of Crete and the Heraklion Museum of Visual Arts. Along the eastern route of the Wine Roads of Heraklion, just south of Heraklion, is the famed Knossos archaeological site with the Minoan palace and numerous other monuments. Further south, near the beautiful village of Archanes, are the Minoan necropolis at Fourni, the Minoan palace at the archaeological site of Archanes and further south, the Minoan manor at Vathypetro, where the grape press is the oldest ever found as evidence of the age-old wine-making tradition of the region. The monastery of Agios Georgios Epanosifis and Asterousia are further south, past Vathypetro, while to the east is the heart of the PDO Peza region where many wineries that welcome visitors are located. East of this route, visitors can see the Minoan palace at Galata, the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum in Myrtia, ancient Amnisos in Gouves, the Thalassokomos Cretaquarium in Gournes and the archaeological site in Malia.
The western route of the Wine Roads of Heraklion passes through the eastern foothills of Psiloritis and just outside Heraklion to the southwest, it meets the PDO Dafnes region. The road continues to the southern coastal areas and the archaeological sites of Gortyna, Levina and Phaistos. The Museum of Cretan Ethnology in Vori, Tybakio, is also of great interest.