Crete – Hersonissos
Hersonissos is one of the most popular resorts in Crete. In ancient times, it was a famous trading center that printed its gold coins with the image of Athena and Apollo. This resort is famous for its excellent shopping, incredibly vibrant nightlife. Large hotel chains such as Maris, Aldemar, Grecotel, Sbokos are located here. Young people and people with average incomes can choose inexpensive, modest city hotels for their holidays. The resort provides opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities. Nearby are the water parks “Water City” and “Aquaplus”, and in 2006 the magnificent Cretan Aquarium was opened, where all the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean is represented.
Crete – Panormo
Panormo is a coastal town nestled between two mountains by the sea. In recent years, it has become a magnificent resort, about 40 min. drive from the center of Heraklion, 20 km. from Rethymno.
Crete – Rethymno
75 km west of Heraklion is the city of Rethymnon – the third largest city after Heraklion and Chania. Located in the center of the island, the city of Rethymno is one of the largest centers of tourism in Crete. Of the historical monuments, the Great Gate is interesting, surviving from the Venetian fortifications of 1540-1570. Rimondi Fountain – a monument of the XVII century, the Venetian fortress of Fortezza, built in 1574 on a hill, offering a magnificent view of the sea and the city. Of the monuments of the Ottoman period, there was a mosque near the Big Gate and another mosque with a minaret. At the city cemetery is the grave of a Russian soldier who was killed on the land of Crete in 1905. The Rethymnon region combines the peaceful beauty of the northern and southern sea coasts with the majestic beauty of the Levka Ori and Ida mountain ranges. If you cross them then you can visit the mountain villages and get on the white sandy coast of the Libyan Sea (southern coast). On the same bank stands the famous monastery of Preveli. According to legend, there used to be a small church of St. John the Theologian on the site of the monastery, and ascetics lived around in the caves. Nothing concrete is known about the foundation of the monastery. Only on the bell of the Church of John the Baptist, the date 1594 was preserved, indicating that the monastery existed under the Venetians and was called “the monastery of the theologian of the big river.” The monastery is notable for its small museum and beautiful views of the Libyan Sea. Not far from the monastery of Preveli is the no less interesting monastery of Arkadi. Built in the 16th century in a unique location. Its history is connected with the period of the national liberation struggle against Turkish rule.
Crete – Lassity
Lassithi is the eastern part of the island, the greenest compared to the area of Heraklion, with a population of about 70 thousand people. The interpretation of the origin of the name of this area is very interesting. “ Lassithi “ is the ancient Greek word “ lastos “ – densely overgrown. The main part of the population is engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. In the south of the region (the city of Ierapetra) the largest number of sunny days per year and the least amount of precipitation falls.
The Lassithi area is home to the famous Vai Palm Forest, where the Bounty commercial was filmed. Of the historical monuments, the following are of interest:
- Guria is one of the most remarkable excavations of the Minoan period 1550-1450. BC.;
- Kato Zakroje – famous Minoan palace of the palatial period;
- Lato or Etera – the ruins of an ancient city founded in the 7th century BC;
- Church of Our Lady of Kera with murals of the XIV-XV centuries; Toplou Monastery, the construction of which dates back to the 15th century. AD, where frescoes of the 14th century and valuable icons have been preserved.
In addition to historical and archaeological sites, there are a lot of interesting places, such as the Lassithi Plateau, the island of Spinalonga, Cretan mountain villages and wonderful sandy beaches.
Elounda . The current name – Elounda – has been preserved since the pre-Greek period – Olus – a city that connected the peninsula with the main island. In ancient times, Zeus of Crete, Ares and Artemis Vritomartis were worshiped here. In the ancient city of Olus, 11 types of coins were printed, most of which depicted Artemis Vritomartis on one side, and Zeus of Crete on the other side. Nowadays, Elounda is the most famous tourist resort in the eastern part of Crete with a wide variety of hotels.
Crete – Malia
Malia is a small town located 34 km east of Heraklion. In ancient times, it was the trading center of the Minoan civilization, where the brother of Minos, Sarpidon, ruled. During the excavations (which can still be visited in our time), the famous golden image of the Minoan bees was found. Malia today is one of the most famous tourist centers of eastern Crete. During the day it is quiet and calm, and at dusk the resort turns into a noisy, party place, especially popular among young Englishmen and Scandinavians. Here, in special greenhouses, a unique Greek variety of small sweet bananas is grown.