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Crete

31/03/2015
The Palace of Knossos flourished during the Minoan period (2000-1350 BC) and was the most important socioeconomic and religious centre of Crete The Palace of Knossos flourished during the Minoan period (2000-1350 BC) and was the most important socioeconomic and religious centre of Crete
The largest Greek island, Crete is a feast for the senses: wild natural beauty and thousands of years of culture, history and exquisite cuisine
“Crete's mystery is extremely deep. Whoever sets foot on this island senses a mysterious force branching warmly and beneficently through his veins, sensing his soul begin to grow,” wrote Nikos Kazantzakis, Crete’s most celebrated author, in Report to Greco. Mystical, warm and welcoming, pure and generous, this island enchants everyone who visits it. 

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Crete captivates and seduces the senses with its impressive and majestic landscape, with its open-hearted and vivacious spirit, its rich history, its world-famous food and its hospitable people. Discover some of the region’s highlights righ

Chania 

The old town with its world-renowned Venetian lighthouse, the aristocratic suburb of Halepa, the Tabakaria (centre for leather production), the Neoria (arsenal) and Kum Kapi, populated with bars, cafes, restaurants and elegant hotels in beautiful buildings.
chania crete
EXOTIC FALASARNA AND BALOS
Two nearby excursions will take you to exotic destinations: Excursion 1 Chania-Falasarna: 58km and you’re in paradise. White sand between your toes, emerald water and magical sunsets. Endless beauty at one of the most stunning beaches in the Mediterranean, 3km long, north of which is ancient Falarsana. Excursion 2 Balo: 52km from Chania (or you can take a caique from Kissamo) and you find yourself in one of the most photographed beaches in Crete, the heavenly saltwater Balos lagoon. Relax in its shallow blue-green water, sink your feet into the luminescent sand made up of thousands of broken seashells. Across the way, two islets, Gramvousa and Agria Gramvousa, form a protective perimeter. To enjoy everything Chania has to offer, fly with Aegean airlines.
THE OLD TOWN, A TIMELESS MULTICULTURAL CENTRE
You’ll discover its secrets step by step. The alleys are full of surprises and every stroll is an experience. Stand next to the picture-perfect lighthouse at the port, a 16th-century Venetian construction. Walk among the impressive buildings: the Küçük Hasan mosque, the renovated Grand Arsenal, the Splanzia ruins and the Kum Kapi at Miaouli Beach. Get lost in the ambience of the aristocratic suburb of Halepa, with its neoclassical buildings that once hosted the consulates of the Great Powers. You’ll feel as if you’re in a different era: the school of “San Joseph”, the Russian church of Saint Mary Magdelene, the Palace of Prince George… Chania’s old town will sweep you off your feet.


Retymno

 
retymno venetian
The old town, a gem of a settlement with Venetian buildings, mosques, fountains, minarets, cobblestones lined with shops, cafes, bars and hotels. Explore Idaio Antro – one of the most important caves of Minoan worship.
THE VENETIAN PORT AND LIGHTHOUSE
At Nearchou Road you’ll encounter the picturesque Venetian harbour with its restored lighthouse, which was built between 1830-40. Behind the port is the 16th-century Venetian Loggia.


Heraklion

 
Heraklion port
The Venetian port, a lively city filled with sights, museums, restaurants, bars and hotels. Walk along the walls of the old city, and Morosini (Leondaria) Square, surrounded by important buildings: The Loggia (City Hall), Agios Titos and Armeria (armory).
THE WALLS OF THE OLD CITY
Walking along the walls, you will see how beautiful this city looks from this vantage point. You’ll pause in small shady parks and admire the genius of the famous Venetian architect, Michele Sanmicheli, who designed the walls and bastions more than 400 years ago. The Venetian walls demarcating today’s old town, an impressive feat of engineering, made Heraklion the best-fortified city in the Mediterranean.


‘MYTHICAL’ KNOSSOS

 knossos palace1
The master craftsman Daedalus built the labyrinth for the mythical King Minos in order to isolate the Minotaur, a creature that was half man, half bull. Theseus, son of the King of Athens, slew him and found his way out of the labyrinth with the help of Minos' daughter, Ariadne. The most important centre of the Minoan civilisation and one of the most popular archaeological sites in Greece, it is just 5km from Heraklion. It was the headquarters of King Minos and its complex architecture justifies the myth of the labyrinth. Thanks to Sir Arthur Evans’ restoration (the archaeologist who excavated Knossos) it is now one of the most fascinating sites in Greece, where you can experience exactly what life was like inside the palace. Admire the throne room, the heart of the palatial complex, which consists of the central court and the main chamber; the Processional Way decorated with frescoes, including the "Prince with the Lilies"; the Propylaea and the famous Bull’s Horns, one of the sacred symbols of Minoan religion. The royal apartments that consist of the hall of "Double Axes" and the "Apartments of the Queen" with its ‘’Dolphins’’ mural. The Palace of Knossos flourished during the Minoan period (2000-1350 BC) and was the most important socioeconomic and religious centre of Crete.


Ierapetra

The old town with its narrow alleyways, little harbour and famous Fortress of Kales, and the endless sandy beaches that surround it.
 
 
Ierapetra
Meaning Sacred Stone, Ierapetra is a sun-drenched, cheerful and welcoming town
Infinite beaches with golden sand, caressed by the warm Libyan winds. Here, life moves at a leisurely pace and summer lasts virtually all year long. The waterfront is teeming with fish tavernas, cafes and bars, and every night feels like a celebration. The old town with its narrow alleyways, the flowers decorating the patios… you’ll love every minute in this joyous town in southern Crete.


Agios Nikolaos

A cosmopolitan summer resort, with the mystical allure of Lake Vouliagmeni (which legend claims is bottomless), embraced by cafes and restaurants.
THE LAKE OF AGIOS NIKOLAOS: A DIVINE SIGHT
 Agios NIKOLAOS
This is where the goddesses Athena and Artemis bathed. And you’ll understand why: Lake Voulismeni at Agios Nikoloas looks like a still out of a movie. This is where – the locals will still tell you – the Germans sunk their weapons during their retreat from Crete in the Second World War. Another local legend claims that the lake is bottomless. Whatever you believe, you will lose yourself in its mystical beauty.
Sitia
The historic Kazarma fortress (Casa di arma) and its animated waterfront, lined with cafes, shops and restaurants.


Elounda

 
Elounda
A cosmopolitan paradise of sophisticated resorts and hotels, with private beaches, pools and piers. It has the highest concentration of Greece’s five-star resorts, and is the top destination for a luxurious holiday.
Extraordinary beauty, celebrity guests and elegant hotels make for a swanky holiday
If you’re looking for a private paradise, with glamour and five-star service, this microcosm of luxury will provide everything you need to make you feel like a VIP. It’s the destination of choice for presidents, sheiks, royalty and celebrities. One of the most beautiful areas in Crete is home to a series of luxury resorts, with private beaches, marinas and high standards of service. The surroundings are just as impressive. In the nearby town of Agios Nikolaos, the setting is mythical: a lake that legend says is bottomless. And in the distance sits Spinalonga, a rock-island myth, a fortress rich with history


Lasithi

 
lasithi vai
The palm forest at Vai but make sure you also find time the Diktean Antro cave, Spinalonga (with its fortress), Milatos cave and the Lassithi Plateau.


Psiloritis

psiloritis
The highest mountain in Crete. Ambitious hikers will climb to the top and be rewarded with an unforgettable view.
 
 
 

AGIA GALINI-PLAKIAS

Aghia Galini beach
AGIA GALINI: IN THE SHELTERED EMBRACE OF THE LIBYAN SEA
Once upon a time, this was Soulia, the port of the ancient city of Sivrytos in the foothills of Mt Psiloritis, before Saracens destroyed it in 640 AD. The modern village rises up a hill, affording panoramic views of the Libyan Sea. A bit further east lies Agia Galini’s gorgeous beach, popular with foreign tourists since 1960. It boasts a Blue Flag, awarded to especially clean and well-organised beaches. Cafes, restaurants and hotels cluster round it and boats are available to take you fishing or to explore the nearby sea-caves. Inland, the ancient sites of Phaistos, Agia Triada and Gortyna are star attractions.
 
 

HERSONISSOS

 hersonissos
Hersonissos was once the seaport of ancient Lyktos and later the seat of the bishop, which we know from ruins of the royal castle, believed to have been built in the 5th or 6th century AD. On the waterfront you’ll find the church of Agios Nikolaos, built in the 17th or 18th century AD. North of Limena Hersonissos you’ll see Megalo Horio, the bearberry forest with 3,000 bearberry, oak and carob trees and the settlements of Koutouloufari and Piskopiano, where a former oil refinery houses an Agricultural Museum.
DIVE INTO THE BLUE
Limenas Hersonissos, Malia beach and Stalis in between. The white sand and blue-green water lures travellers like a magnet. Be sure to go to the long stretch of beach at Anissaras (a stone’s throw from Hersonissos), Limanakia, Creta Maris, Sarantaris, and Analipsi.
MALIA PALACE
Visit the third largest Minoan palace in Crete. At 7,500 sq metres, it was first built in 1900 BC and, after a tumultuous history, permanently destroyed by a fire in 1450 BC.
LYCHNOSTATIS OPEN AIR MUSEUM
You’ll learn about Crete’s folk traditions and culture at the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum in Limani Hersonissos. Traditional Cretan farmer houses, a distillery, windmill, church, wine and olive presses, weaving workshops, a garden with medicinal plants and a folk art gallery – everything you need to get to know the real Crete.
PILLOW TALK
Luxurious hotels, sprawling resorts and rooms-to-let: Hersonissos and Malia have accommodation for every style and budget, whether on the beach, in the lively part of town, or quiet and secluded.
 
 
Source  discovergreece.com
 
 
 








Published in : Greek regions
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