Crete: Places to Explore


  • Arkadi Monastery

  • Ayios Nikolaos

    Ayios Nikolaos is clustered on a peninsula alongside the gulf of Mirabello, a dramatic composition of bare mountains, islets, and deep blue sea. Behind the crowded harbor lies a natural curiosity,...

  • Elounda

    Traversing a steep hillside, a road with spectacular sea views runs north from Ayios Nikolaos around the Gulf of Mirabello to the village of Elounda and the stark peninsula that surrounds it. The...

  • Hania

    Hania surrendered its role of capital of Crete to Heraklion in 1971, but this elegant city of eucalyptus-lined avenues, miles of waterfront promenades, and shady, cobbled alleyways lined with...

  • Heraklion

    In Minoan times, Crete's largest city—the fifth-largest city in Greece—was a harbor for Knossos, the largest palace and effective power center of prehistoric Crete. The Bronze Age remains were...

  • Knossos

  • Lasithi Plateau

    The Lasithi plateau, 2,800 feet high and the biggest of the upland plains of Crete, lies behind a wall of barren mountains. Windmills still pump water for fields of potatoes and the apple and...

  • Matala

    Renowned in the 1960s as a stopover on the hippie trail across the eastern Mediterranean, Matala today is a small, low-key beach resort. The 2nd-century AD Roman tombs cut in the cliff side...

  • Palace of Mallia

  • Palace of Phaistos

  • Rethymnon

    Rethymnon is Crete's third-largest town, after Heraklion and Hania. The population (about 30,000) steadily increases as the town expands—a new quarter follows the coast to the east of the Old...

  • Vai

    The appeal of the surrounding, fertile coastal plain was not lost on the ancient Minoans, who left behind some of Crete's most enchanting ruins.

  • Vori

    Vori, the closest town to Phaistos and Ayia Triada, is a pleasant farming community of whitewashed houses on narrow lanes; you might enjoy stopping here for some refreshment at one of the cafés...

  • Vrisses

    This appealing old village is famous throughout Crete for its thick, creamy yogurt—best eaten with a large spoonful of honey on top—that is served in the cafés beneath the plane trees at the...


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