Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Crete, Greece's largest island and the birthplace of the mighty Zeus, is rich in ruins, relics, and roaring mopeds, sunshine and sand, myth and history. The legendary king Minos was said to have ruled from his throne at the nearby Palace of Knossos and important artifacts from Minoan Civilization are housed at Heraklion's Archaeology Museum. Bubbling bistros and traditional kafeneias, where the conversation matters as much as the coffee, spill onto Korai Street along with strains of bouzouki music. Just outside of town, stretching from Kartero to Malia, warm Mediterranean waters lap the shores and soften the sands.