Knossos Palace is just five kilometers away from Iraklion, and it was the cradle of European civilization. According to Greek mythology there was the famous labyrinth with a Minotaur in it. It has beautiful frescoes and beautiful views of a hill full of olive trees.
It´s not the Caribbean, it´s Crete! Hehehe, in my opinion, one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. It is to the south west of the island of Crete and its crystal clear water, the amount of fish that run through your feet, the fact that you have to wade deep into the water for it to cover you and that it is a virgen beach (no buildings around) make it a magnificent beach. The beach consists of two sandy areas separated by a tongue of water that reaches the knees. A must-see if you go to Crete.
The Venetian port of Iraklion, has a strong Venetian feel from the XIV century, it's a large, commercial port (the second largest in Greece) and in the summer has many cruise ships that bring tourists to see the city and Knossos Palace.
It is located 70 km east of Iraklion, with a natural freshwater lake. It s a tourist city with luxury hotels. It has lively nightlife and there are beautiful beaches. Nearby is an island called Spinalonga which was the last leper colony in Europe until 1956
The Heraklion Venetian fortress dominates the port capital of the island of Crete. Since the 15th century the city has been dominated by the Venetians, and thus, it still shows its strength in the port today. The fort can be visited inside, but it's no big deal. It has a nice view of the city.
The Samaria Gorge is located near the town of Chania on the island of Crete. It is a natural park. It has 18 km of longitad. You can take a walk starting at OMALOS the White Mountains and ending at Agia Roumeli on a beautiful beach in the Libyan sea. This is the perfect place for people who enjoy walking!
In the centre of the island of Crete you will find Iraklion. It boasts both Turkish and Venetian monuments as well a very important archaeological museum. Nearby is the Palace of Knossos. It has plenty of nightlife.
The Lasithi Plateau is a huge gree plan that encompasses 800 meters, full also of many different cultures, and a row of mindmills. Several towns are located around the perimeter. Another surprise that the Dikteon Psychro (Dictea cave) is very nearby, a grotto that is gigantic with stalactites and stalagmites that penetrates the earth to depths unfathomable .. In the bowels of this cave was born Zeus, the god of gods. You have to leave the car and make a path to the cave 20 minutes of Dikti. In winter there is snow on the mountains and the best time is spring.
This town is 73 km from the city of Iraklion on the west side of the island. It is an old town, full of charm, with narrow streets. It has a very nice Venetian harbor and a sandy beach. The people are friendly.
Preveli has a golden sand beach and a gorge called Kourtaliotis, as they call it in the south of the city of Rethymnon on the island of Crete. You'll have to leave your car there and walk 20 minutes or take a boat to the south of the island. The river runs through the Kourtaliotis gorge there before emptying into the Libyan Sea. There is a beautiful forest of palm trees. The beach water is crystal clear.
Spinalonga is an island in the Gulf of Mirabello that is 70 km from Iraklion. It was a leper colony until 1956. There was a hospital, a church and houses of lepers. There are very touching stories that were written because it was difficult to be separated from families.
Dia is a nature reserve. This island is 45 minutes by boat north of Iraklion. There are no cars and no houses, and the water is so clear that you can see the bottom. I love MNI especially when there are no people.
Matala is 73 km from the city of Iraklion at the South of the Island. Nearby is the famous Minoan palace of Phaistos. This beach became fashionable in the 70s decades when the hippies came to live in the caves. One is actually still lost there.
Well known in the 70s by the hippies who came here, Matala is a great beach in the south of Crete, surrounded by the Libyan Sea. It's small with cliffs, carved niches and troglodyte caves that can be visited during the day. Be careful as the wind can be so unbearable and violent that it makes the beach inaccessible.
Walking around Crete offers a chance to learn about the past, with history on display in every corner. It seems incredible that something as quiet and beautiful as this church was, centuries ago, a site of conflict. Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims in turn made it a place of worship and demonstration of power; it not only had to survive religious disputes, but also numerous earthquakes and fires that left it in tatters. But it was rebuilt again and again, its architecture ever changing.
After many battles, in 1925 it finally fell into the hands of the Church of Crete, thus returning to the Orthodox Church. That same year, its minaret was destroyed, cementing the transformation. Another point to note is that during the Turkish invasions, the sacred relics that were sheltering in the church were moved to San Marco in Venice, where they can still be found today, except the skull of Saint Titos, which in 1966 was brought back to Crete, and rests in a silver case. To reach the church you can cross the courtyard of the Loggia, located next to the Morosini Fountain, a nice place full of vegetation.
Chersonissos is a town with many hotels, some being luxurious. It has beaches and the nightlife is very active. There are many restaurants and bars that many young people enjoy. It has a small port and is 26km from the city of Iraklion on the east of the island. There is a bus that goes every half hour to Iraklion. Nearby there is a Minoan palace at Mallia at 13km.