Crete (Heraklion), Greece
Call on fabled Crete today, home to the Minoans, Europe’s oldest recorded civilization. You’ll have the afternoon to uncover local remnants of the Venetian Empire, which brought great wealth to the capital, Heraklion. Admire the Koules Fortress - known to the Venetians as the Rocca al Mare, or “fortress by the sea” - at the Old Port’s entrance. Explore the café-lined Lions Square and the arched gallery of the celebrated loggia. And pause to sip tsikoudia, a grape-based brandy distilled in the hills. Alternatively, you might venture to the ancient Palace of Knossos, the famed site where Theseus is said to have slain the mighty Minotaur, or take in the splendid coastal scenery during a tour of the island’s traditional coastal villages.