Excursions on Crete
1. From Heraklion to the burial caves of Matala Bay
According to the legend, Zeus is the Princess of Europe in the shape of a bull by his hump in this Bay on land. In the romantic fishing village you will find cafés and tavernas with hours-fresh fish. You will recall in this place long and always happy. From Heraklion go buses daily to Matala, which saline water therapeutic properties attributed to what attracts local.
2. In the footsteps of the Minotaur from Heraklion to Malia
Malia is a village with banana plantations and fertile fields, which has been a big boost in recent years thanks to its beautiful beaches. Shops and taverns line the streets to the sea, where you can eat well, listen to music and dance. 3 km after Malia branches left a street at the has walls of Minoan houses are visible. To reach it the Palace of Malia. The entire complex is well preserved and shows little signs of restoration. The construction is adopted for the 20th century before Christ in which was also a necropolis situated close to the sea.
3. Heraklion - Kalo Chorio - Gournia - Ierapetra
The blue-green water of this still undiscovered Oasis invites you to swim. It would be a sin not to stop here. the Minoan town of Gournia, on the slope of a hill, with cobbled streets and stair ways, leading to the great court in the Centre of the village is 8 km away. Gournia was a craftsman and trading town and had an important role because of its location. then, at 2 km Pachia Amos, the road at the narrowest point of Crete (13 km from the North to the South Coast) branches right to Ierapetra, from the "nymph of the South". (Continue straight at Pachia Amos, so come to Sitia - see trip No. 8).
Ierapetra is located on the Libyan Sea, Africa, in the midst of a fertile plain where bananas, grapes, melons, tomatoes and olives are grown. A Venetian Fort, an attractive Promenade and very beautiful beaches characterise the image of this city. One can undertake, if enough time is the return of Sitia.
4. Agios Nikolaos - Kritsa
5. From Kalo Chorio via Agios of Nikolaos to Lassithi
Going on, so you reach the most interesting point of the plain, the village of Psychro. Above the village is the cave "Dikteon Antron", the Sage after the birthplace of the father of the gods Zeus. Leave the car and climbs towards the steep stairs to the Grotto. To visit the cave, it is advisable to take a guide because it is poorly lit (with candles). You need approx. 2 hours for the climb from the car park. Footwear, possibly a sweater and a flashlight are recommended.
6. From Ierapetra to the donkey Island Gaidouronisi (Chrissi)
7. From Ierapetra to the monastery of Kapsas (Moni Kapsas)
At the first, situated above the road small monastery, you reach Kápsas on an impressive, advanced rock Street located. A strange spell dominates this place of solitude and silence. Below the monastery you will find lush semi-detached houses. Please keep in mind that you will be allowed to enter the monastery not in short pants.
8. From Ierapetra via Sitia to Vai Palm Bay
It continues about Sfaka, Mouliana and square. This is followed by Sitia, a pretty little town by the sea, the prototype of the peaceful Mediterranean port. All valleys to the sea is lowering and the coastal plain in the South of the town are planted with vines. Sitia was once a strong Venetian fortress. The Quai along under the trees, visit taverns and restaurants.
According to Sitia, then leave the road and continue in an easterly direction to Palekastro to the Palm forest of Vai (28 km). At Palekastro with its small, bent in the wind Holm, the road passes through barren land, descends to Vai a fringed with Palm trees, beautiful sandy beach. Here there are no shopping except for a refreshment kiosk – this magical place is so remote.
You can choose the return journey from Sitia to Ierapetra (93 km) Piskokefalon, Pressos and Lithines through a varied landscape. A landscape of mountains and hills that are decorative planted with vines and olive trees. This route, you are fascinated especially the villages glued to the slopes.
9. Rethymnon - Préveli - Plakias
One direction of Armeni, branches to 21 km turn right and reached the village of Koxarè through a vertical rock-soaked ravine. It runs until shortly before the Asomatos (31 km from Rethymnon). Here, the way divert to Plakias and Préveli, which choose the direction, according to Moni Préveli, the monastery of Préveli. Soon you will reach the river of Megalopotamos, on a picturesque Venetian bridge spans decorative.
Large olive groves, surrounded the abandoned old monastery, the road runs high over the Libyan Sea to the friendly views of the majestic main monastery, which preserves precious icons. Its monks will gladly show you these treasures. (have 37 km to laid back here). Back drive the road to Asomatos, but before that branch off towards Lefkogia and continue to Plakias. Here you will find an idyllic Bay before this humble village, to enjoy fresh fish from the grill and the well-known "Kakavia", a finely flavored fish soup under a tamarisk after the bath. It continues to Rethymnon then Margiou, Asomatos and Armeni.
10. Rethymnon - Agia Galini - Phaistos - Gortys
The road turns south after Matala and eastern reaching Gortys, which was earlier Greek or Roman capital of Crete. Her remains rest in the shade of ancient olive groves. Gortys got famous in ancient times by the record of his being. It was in the 5th century BC stone tablets carved (approx. 17,000 letters), which were built in the 1st century ad in the walls of the then built Odeums. The rights in ancient, Doric dialect, the lines were driven alternating normal, i.e. from left to right proceeding, and mirror image from right to left in the stone are written. The Temple of Apollo, the Odeum and Titus Basilica (the first Episcopal Church in Crete) are worth a visit.
11. Chania - Samaria-Schlucht
Back in Fournes you continue from here to Lakki. Villages, its whitewashed houses between slender cypress trees on the slopes of the mountains are built, the road leads past always further up in the "White Mountains" (Lefka Ori), until the views of the Omalos plateau opens (1.050 m o.s). Soon you reach Xyloskalo and from here begins the introduction to the 18 km-long Gorge.
At the kiosk of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT), you can enjoy a Greek coffee before descending. The eye glides from here down to the 1,000 m deep falling cliffs - a breathtaking view. The Canyon has an average width of 40 m. In some places it narrows but up to 2 m, where the dark side cliffs up to 600 m vertical rise. From entering Xyloskalo to Agia Roumeli, the exit of the Gorge, it takes approximately 6 hours. The effort of descent is rewarded by a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea. The return would be too tedious to Xyloskalo. It takes to Chora Sfakion - along the wild, indomitable Rocky therefore with the ship. Chora Sfakion, terraced built on the southern slopes of the mountains, has a picturesque harbour between crevices.
My Tip: Because this eventful trip difficult perform with your own car, it would be advisable organized to undertake it. All travel agencies in Chania offered him. They are brought up to Xyloskalo and then again picked up in Chora Sfakion. You can start the Tour "Samaria" but even by bus from Chania (5:00 am). - Don't forget food!
12. From Chania to Kastelli
The rising mountain landscape of the peninsula Rodopou crossing of Kolimbari on serpentines. Suddenly you can see Kastelli among themselves in the middle of the Gulf of Kissamos, framed by the peninsula of Tak and Rodopou, embraced by vast olive groves and vine gardens, from where excellent olive oil and delicious wine is produced.
Kastelli was called in ancient Kissamos, and served as a harbor of Polyrinia. Today, the town is a rural impression. From here, there are boat connections 1 x per week to Peloponnese. Kastelli is home to a small museum with historical finds of this region. South of the city, you can visit the ancient Polyrinia (6 km) on a hill that dominates the Valley. In a westerly direction, a detour of Platanos and the small settlement of Poros worth to Falasarna, which is surrounded by a beautiful landscape and beautiful beaches. Falasarna was lifted around by an earthquake several metres in the 5th century AD, so the old facility was no longer to use.
13. From Chania to Paleochora
We reach Paleochora, a small town on the deep blue sea of the Western South coast of Crete, with golden sandy beaches, and there is a built on the promontory, Venetian castle. Cafés are located on the main street of Paleochora. Eateries and taverns, in which the well-known and good wholesome red wine of the place will be served.
14. Sitia - Paläkastro - Ano Zakros - Kato Zakros
From Ano Zakros leads down a dirt road to the ruins of the Palace of Kato Zakros (approx. 8 km). Along the way, they pass through the Valley of the dead, which is embedded in a Gorge, whose cliffs dark caves that are a mysterious character give this place (in the Minoan period, there were burial grounds). Kato zakros is located at the end of the Valley to the sea, with the fourth largest Palace of the Minoan period. This port is one of the major transhipment points for trade with the then-known world was favored due to its location. The rich, well-preserved finds from this facility are housed in the archaeological museum in Heraklion.
Next to the palace ruins on the beach you will find for your physical well-being also a tavern, where you can enjoy, after a swim in the clean and clear waters of this Bay, on the way back.
The Palace of Knossos
The Palace of Knossos, the Pearl of the Minoan culture, which was the largest enclosed settlement of Europe at that time and the city-state of the legendary King Minos, and the Archeological Museum in Heraklion, where the phenomenal art treasures of all archeological sites of the island are kept. It would be a sacrilege not to visit these monuments of European history as Crete traveler.