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According to Mythology, Crete was the place where Zeus grew up. He was especially worshipped on the island, and king Minos was considered his son. The island has many myths surrounding it: here, the Minotaur was defeated by Theseus; Daedalus and Icarus worked here; the first great civilization of Greece started on Crete. It is called the Minoan, after its most famous king, Minos. There is a theory that Minos actually was several kings. The Minoan period started sometime around the 3rd Millennium BC and ended in the 15th century, probably because of natural disasters like earthquakes.
Until this day, we do not know if Knossos was the palace of the kings or the sacred place for the priesthood. What is certain, though, is that the Minoans ruled the seas. Findings from the Minoan civilizations have been found all over Greece, in Egypt, today's Turkey, Italy and there are even theories about the Bahamas. When the Minoan civilization ended, the people immigrated to other islands. Scopelos people, for example, take pride in having Minoan origins.
In 67 BC Crete became a Roman province, and stayed so for over 400 years. It was then incorporated into the Byzantine Empire. Later on Arabs, Venetians and Turks were to rule the island. In 1913 the island was liberated and took part in the Balkan Wars, the two world wars, and during the Second World War it was occupied by the Germans.
is a must for those interested in ancient history. This was the centre of the Minoan Civilization, the court of King Minos
and the place where the Minotaur
was kept in the famous labyrinth
. Knossos is usually called a palace, but the truth is that we still do not know if it was a palace or some sort of centre for the high priests.
you can visit the old port, the archaeological museum
, the market and a mosque from the Turkish rule. Gortinos used to be Crete's capital during the Roman times.
Kodikas tis Gortynas (Gortynas code
) is a place for sightseeing, as well as the Basilica
of Agios Titos
is a beautiful village worth a visit, and Elounda
is a well known summer resort. If you rent a car you should go to the villages in the Amari valley. You'll get a breathtaking view at the 2500m high mountain Psiloritis.
if the capital of the island with much to see, even though the town itself is not exactly pretty. There is an archaeological museum and Knossos is situated just outside the town.
is the second largest town, and is very graphic with its Venetian and Turkish architecture, wooden balconies and Venetian Castle La Fortezza
. There is a museum dedicated to the blood bath of 1866. There are many fish taverns here since many fishermen live and work here. The abandoned monastery Arkadi
holds a tragic history. Many Cretan families sought refuge here during the Turkish rule, but died when the ammunition hidden in the monastery exploded.
is considered the most beautiful town of the island. Whether you rent a vehicle or take the bus, you should definitely try to visit the mountain villages.
The best beach on Crete is Elafonisos
according to many people. It is good for families with children and the surroundings are beautiful. Matala
used to be a hippie resort and is a beach with many caves, and is not recommended for families., Xerokambos
are quiet beaches. In general, you should watch out for sea urchins and jelly fish, especially in September and October.
AMIRADES GRECOTEL EXECUTIVE RESORT 5*
Exclusive beachside resort that promise Crete’s most inspiring features: beautiful architecture, warm hospitality, excellent cuisine and stunning land and seascapes.
Just 20 minutes from Heraklion Airport, the Resort also offers good sea links and is just a short drive from attractions including the
Palace of Knossos and Crete Golf Club.
OUT OF THE BLUE, Capsis Elite Resort 5*
Luxurious & environmentally-friendly beach hotel in Crete complex on a 167.000 m2 private peninsula with 5 Hotels / concepts of different design and character. Private All-Suite Hotel with the largest variety of individually decorated suites, pool-maisonettes and private pool-villas. Unique location in Crete as the hotel is surrounded by the sea, is situated only 25 minutes away from the airport and the city of Heraklion and strategically located in the middle of the island to access all the archaeological and cultural locations.
ELOUNDA BEACH RESORT 5*
As the first hotel on Crete’s northeast coast, this resort is considered one of Greece's finest. Adults can enjoy the peace and quiet of acclaimed spa Espace Vitalité Chenot or a quiet meal at one of nine world-class restaurants. Crete's cultural offerings are nearby but many guests hardly leave the property after entering the oasis of this exclusive resort.