Crete: Places to Explore
- Arkadi Monastery
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,...
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 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...
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...
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...
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 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...
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, 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...
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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