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Explore Crete

The Island of Crete has many interesting places that are well worth exploring, including Mallia Archaeological site, Knossos Palace, Agios Nikolaos, Heraklion and Tylissos Archaeological site.

Explore Crete
Tourist Information for Crete.

Crete is the largest island in Greece, it has a 1,000 kilometre long coastline and has numerous sandy beaches, bays, coves and peninsulas, there are three mountain ranges in Crete, the White Mountains in the West, the Mountain of Idi in the middle of the island and the Dikti Mountain in the East.

The Island of Crete has a rich history that dates back to the Neolithic times, however it is more known for the Minoan civilization, the Minoan civilization flourished in Crete from 2600 B.C. to 1100 B.C. art and science flourished during the Mionan civilization. The Mionan civilization suddenly vanished due to a huge tidal wave caused by a volcanic eruption in the Thira Volcano, the island was later occupied by many others like Dorians, Roman, Arabs, Byzantine, Venetians and Turkish.

Today Crete is divided into four areas, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi, these areas have a number of towns and villages, all the places in Crete are good for touring and make a perfect place for spending your holiday with family and friends. Some of the Interesting places to visit in Crete include the Palace of Knossos, also known as the landmark of Minoan Civilisation, Knossos Palace was the largest construction in the area, it was a five storeyed building with about 1500 rooms, Knossos Palace is also connected to the legend of Knossos Labyrinth.

Knossos Palace is a must see place in Crete, the ruins of Phaistos are also worth a visit, Phaistos was the most powerful and wealthy city during the Minoan civilization, Phaistos is situated in southern Crete, about an hours drive South of Heraklion. Another interesting place to visit is Lasithi Plateau which has about 10,000 windmills, these windmills were used during the Venetian period, they were designed in 1464 by Venetian engineers for the purpose of irrigation.

The town of Agios Nikolaos is the most famous tourist place in Crete, Agios Nikolaos is built around the biggest bay of Crete, the Merabello bay and is well connected to all nearby villages and towns by bus, car and boat, Hersonissos is another beautiful tourist place that has a number of sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife.

Sports and leisure activities are in abundance in Crete, for those who love water sports it is the perfect place to be, there is snorkeling, scuba diving and river treks. Canyoning is an interesting activity in Crete, mainly because Crete has the maximum number of canyons in Greece, some of these are still unexplored, there are canyoning tours that cross the canyons, some of these are a simple walk through the canyons and some require some basic training in rappelling.

Spring and autumn are the best months to visit Crete, during spring the hills and valleys of Crete are flourishing with flowers, the scenic beauty is so mesmerising that spring walking tours are organised to enjoy the spring.

For those who are interested in history there are a number of archaeological sites and museums to see in Crete, the Historical Archive and Museum in Crete has all the information related to the history of the island and has the second largest archives in Greece after the General Archives of the Greek State. A room in the museum is also dedicated to Eleftherios Venizelos, Eleftherios Venizelos was elected the Prime Minister of Greece several times.

The Kazantzakis Museum in Iráklion is dedicated to the famous Cretan author Kazantzakis, it has the personal belongings of the author, his letters, documents, photographs, pictures of his theatrical work, etc. The Folk Art Museum of Agios Nikolaos displays masterpieces in embroidery and hand woven work that are typical to the culture of Crete, there is also a Marine Museum that is situated in Rethymno, this museum has a great collection of shells, vertebrates, sponges and fishes.

Among the archaeological sites, a number of them in Heraklion, a few of them worth that are worth visiting include Gortys Archaeological site, the Agia Triada Archaeological site, Gournia Archaeological site, Tylissos Archaeological site and the Mallia Archaeological site.

For food lovers there are delicious Cretan specialties to enjoy, Cretan wine is the traditional drink of Crete and is quite famous. The nightlife in the towns is quite vibrant and there is a good variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, the seafood in Crete is very tasty and is cooked in Cretan olive oil.

You can travel to Crete by air and sea, there are number of flights to Heraklion Airport and Chania Airport, JMC Airlines, Monarch, Air 2000, Britannia, Air tours, Virgin Sun and Flight line are some of the regular airlines that fly to Crete from the UK, British Airways has two direct flights to Crete from the UK, most flights takes about 4 hours.

For those who wish to travel by sea, the Anek Lines and the Minoan Lines sail regularly from Piraeous in Athens to Crete, however there are no ferries that sail directly to Crete from Italy, you will need to travel from Italy via Greece to reach Crete. Those who wish to visit Crete by cars, there is provision for that too, cars can be brought to Crete for 6 months, you can travel from Athens by car, from there your car is ferried to Crete.

All this makes Crete one of the best holiday destinations, in fact there is something for everyone in Crete, whether you are on a relaxed vacation with family or on an adventure tour with friends, Crete has lots to offer.


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The seafront promenade at Sitia

Heraclion Harbour

Matala coastline

Plakias

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