Site Seeing

{#images_23.jpg}Spinalonga – 76 km
It is an islet at the entrance of the Elounta bay. In antiquity there was a fortress of the Olounites. In 1579 the Venetians built a mighty fortress there, which remained under their rule even after the Ottoman occupation of Crete in 1669. During the last years of the Ottoman occupation, it was a safe refuge of Ottoman families. In 1903, by law of the Cretan government, it was appointed as the place of stay for the lepers of Crete.

 {#images_24.jpg}Monastery of Arkadi – 80 km    
The actual Katholicon of this monastery was built in 1587, possibly over an earlier church of the 14th century. It was an extremely wealthy Monastery, where there was a center of copying Greek manuscripts and a workshop of church embroideries. The Monastery was of great strategic importance and it was burnt to the ground in 1866 during the Cretan revolution against the Turks

{#images_25.jpg}The Frangocastello Fortress – 160 km
In order to protect the small bay near by, from the pirates, it was decided, in 1371, to construct this fortress. It was barely used during the Venetian occupation, and on the eve of the Turkish attack, it was actually abandoned. In 1828 the Cretan rebels occupied the fortress and during the siege that followed, its towers were destroyed


{#images_26.jpg}Kournas – 110 km
Lake Kournas is one of only two lakes in Crete and covers a total area of about 160,000 square metres with a depth of up to 25 metres. The name is derived from the Arabic word for lake.



{#images_27.jpg}Agios Yakinthos , The Greek Saint Of Love
In the year 98 , 12 km south of Anogeia , in the mountainous region of Fourni , the 20 year-old Yakinthos became martyr for the common faith , his love to God. On july 3rd the Cretans celebrate Yakinthos , The cretan Saint of Love , in a very unique way. The chapel is built in the chape of Cretan mitato , a circular building made of flat stones without mortar 1200 m above sea level

 The Cave of Psychro – 70 km
The cave of Psychro is one of the most important cult places of Minoan Crete. The use of caves as cult places was one of the basic characteristics of the religious beliefs of the ancient Cretans. Cult practice probably begins


in the Early Minoan period (2800-2300 B.C.) - although in the antechamber are preserved traces of an even earlier occupation - but the most important finds date from the Middle Minoan period (1800 B.C.) and later, as it was used for many centuries,

until the Geometric (8th century B.C.) and the Orientalising-Archaic period (7th-6th century B.C.). The finds pro

ve that it was visited as late as the Roman period. Pilgrims dedicated many offerings, such as figurines of humans, gods, animals, double axes etc. The excavators and several scholars identif

y the cave as the famous "Diktaian Cave", where Zeus was born and brought up with the aid of Amaltheia and the Kourites, and which is connected with myths as this of the seer Epimenides who "slept" here, or the coupling of Zeus with Europa.

{#images_29.jpg}Lasithi Plateau – 55 km
Lasithi Plateau is well known for the thousands of white sailed windmills, 10 000 in all. This is how the plain used to be irrigated, a scenic way of supplying water designed by Venetian engineers in 1464. Although very few windmills are in use today, it still makes a splendid sight against the mountains.


Nida Plateau – 45 km
Mountain Ida is the highest mountain of Crete: 2456 m. Mt Ida used to be a holy mountain in Minoan Crete and many myths were strongly attached to it. In Idaion Antron (a big cave at 1495 m, 15min walk from Nida Plateau) Zeus was brought up by Kourites and Amaltheia ( a nymph). In the woods of Psiloritis also lived Daktyloi, a group of good demons. In christian years there was a stone-made church built on top of Psiloritis, the church of Holy Cross.

Kera – 75 km One km. before the village of Kritsa, in the site named "Logari" is the old Byzantine church of "Panagia Kera", with unique in technique and importance Byzantine frescoes (14th and 15th century). Its painted decoration, corresponding to four different periods of Byzantine art

Sfentoni Cave – 45 km
The cave has been used as a habitation site since Neolithic times. A series of excavations shows seasonal inhabitation during the Early Minoan Period and random use during the Roman Period. Finally, during the Turkish Occupation the cave was again used as a refuge.

{#images_48.jpg}Cemetery in Maleme – 166 km
Just outside the village of Maleme, you will see the sign on the right for the German Cemetery (Deutscher Soldaten Friedhof). The 4,465 men buried here fell in the Battle of Crete in May of 1941.

{#images_49.jpg}Matala – 70 km
Was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period, following the destruction of Kommos, and the port of Gortys during the Roman period when Gortys was proclaimed capital of Crete by the Romans. The Gortynians occupied Matala at 220 B.C. Ruins of the ancient city are still visible on the sea bed as the ancient city was sunk in the sea. The archaeological pick has unearthed some traces of the palaces built by the nobles from the ancient cities of Phaistos and Gortys. Owing to its exce p{#images_50.jpg}tional natural beauty, Matala became the meeting place of the "Flower Children" in 1968.  

Messara Plane – 45 km 
Messara plane and the Asterousia mountains to the South, and the Lasithi mountains to the East. To the west one can see the Messara gulf, while the imposing Mt. Idi or Psiloretis  towers over the site to the  North. Messara is the plain where Faistos and Gortys took place in the ancient times. Now days very important for the economy of Crete because is the place with the biggest production of olive oil. Also grapes , wine and vegetables are produced here.

Samaria Gorge – 192 km
Is said to be the longest gorge in Europe. Similarly, the gorge of Tripiti which runs west of the gorge of Samaria is about as long, but almost nobody knows it. The gorge of Samaria is situated in the National park of Samaria, in the White Mountains in West Crete. The park is supervised by the Department of Forestry and the gorge is generally open only from the beginning of May to the end of October. In winter, high water makes the gorge dangerous and impassable. It will also be closed on rainy days (too dangerous because of rock falls)