Cosa vedere a Creta

What to see in Crete: the sea, history, nature and cities

Alone it would be enough to make history. Cretewith his a thousand kilometers of coastlineover 150 miles from the port of Athensis the largest and southernmost island of the Greece. Big in size – compared to the “small” ones Cyclades – certainly, but also for history, nature and archeology: there are many things to do and see in Crete which is one of the most successful cocktails of “Hellenic things”, able to fascinate the general public of traveling tourists, lovers of nice sea and of beautiful beaches, but also the admirers of the Hellenic cuisine and the secular history of Minoan civilization. The labyrinth more famous and fateful than literature? It is located here, a Knossosin the Minoan palace which, together with the Minotaurits terrible tenant, is one of the main attractions and legends of the island.

Arianna and its famous “common thread”? She was here before Theseus left her “in the lurch”, as we say today, crippling an ancient saying that is really Greek and refers to the ingratitude of the young prince who, saved in Crete from Ariannaseduced her and then got rid of her on the island of Naxos (hence, “in ace”). Icarus? She took off from that labyrinth, with her fragile wax wings, for that mad flight of hers too close to the sun.

What to see in Crete: from books to the sea

Moving from books and from school reminiscences, there are many things to see in Crete and check if, what has been studied on school books, corresponds to the truth. The answer? It is that in Crete there is much, much more and much more than the scholastic imaginary. Meanwhile, we come for the sea and the beautiful beachesso varied that, passing from the north coast to the south, it might seem to completely change the island, environment and landscape. Instead, the beauty of Crete is that all its beauties are there, distilled and collected, as in a compendium of everything the beauty of Greece. The north coast of the island is the most populated area and best known by tourists.

What to see in Crete

Here’s what to see in Crete: Heraklion to the rhythm of sirtaki

Heraklion is the capital of the island and main entry point: lively, busy cityit might seem daunting at first, but it has corners not to be missed, such as the harbor promenade, in between the Venetian arsenal and fortifications, with its melancholy taste, perfect for great farewells or a warm welcome back. Venetian, built in 1628, is also the fountain commissioned by the governor Francesco Morosini and today settled in Venizelos square.

Around its eight cisterns from which crystal clear water gushes, the coffee tables for hasty lunches and breaks, but on closer inspection, the monument hides an even longer history: the lions that adorn it are much older. Then in the evening it is nice to go up to the castle and stroll along the walls, remembering that Crete are also two of the most modern heroes of the Greece: on the one hand Eleutherios Venizelosfather of the country and politician, and on the other Nikos Kazantzakis – which is buried right in the walls of Heraklion – and who created “Zorba the Greek”And the mantra of his immortal sirtaki. The vital Alexis had to be, to all intents and purposes, Cretan with that courageous and vibrant motto of his: “I don’t believe in anything, I don’t hope for anything and I am free”.

What to see in Crete

The many things to see in Crete: the museum and the dolphins

It is however the archaeological museum of Heraklionwith its international profile, to be one of the things not to be missed in all Crete: many of the paintings recovered from the Minoan world and from the various palaces of the island are exhibited here. The minotaur was in fact not alone with Minos, the mythical king of Crete. The two had other brothers who lived in the residences of Festus, Mallia and Zakrosall archaeological sites that brought together the museum of Eleutherias square their treasures. That’s why the museum keeps the Phaistos disc with its still mysterious writing and famous frescoes such as that of taurocatapsia – literally take the bull by the horns and jump over it – which dates back to the 15th century BC and the dolphins that once adorned the halls of Minoan palaces.

What to see in Crete

What to see in Crete: palaces and cities

For those wishing to continue the journey to discover what to see in Crete and in the places of the Minoan civilization, things multiply, among the excavations of the palace of Knossos and Maliajust outside Heraklion – do not miss the discussed reconstructions made by the English archaeologist Arthur Evans – and then move on to Festusin the south of the island, ad Aghia Triadhaor to the super panoramic residence of Zakros in the extreme southeastern tip of the island. THE sites are open from sunrise to sunset and they are a perfect destination to take a break from the beaches, for example at dusk. Crete also has many other chapters of history to tell and wonders for its visitors to see. To browse them just go to reviews its citiesthe ones in the north are beautiful, those in the south are more intimate, little more than villages.

What to see in Crete

What to see in Crete: Hania and the northern capitals

Moving from west to east the first “capital” of clay is Haniàa crescent of poetry, overlooking the sea and dotted with small houses with a Venetian flavor that protect an intricate maze of pastel colored houses and narrow streets as white as the stone in which they are carved. Does it look like a painting? It is no coincidence that the El Greco painter. Here in the evening, in the taverns, the nostalgic sound of the bouzoki to blend in with the fumes of retsina, the powerful local wine. Half an hour to the east, still outlining the coast, that’s it Rhetymnon: it is worth leaving its center, albeit picturesque with a fortress and a wide beach, to go towards the mountains and add the Arkadhi monastery at the foot of the mountains Psiloritis.

The place went down in history, in 1866, as a point of strenuous resistance to the Turkish advance on the island. More and more to the east, bypassing the capital Heraklion, that’s it Agios Nikolaosor “Ag Nik” as the many English people who choose the island amicably call it, focusing mainly on its sandy golden shores east of the capital. “Ag Nik” has been able to resist even this type of modern peaceful and seaside invasion, they keep intact the taste of its historic center that winds around a salt lake, the Voulismeninow connected to the sea.

What to see in Crete

A small port for getting around

Many believe it bottomless and this is one of the main attractions of the town which also has a port that allows connections to the other islands. Those who visit “Ag nik” know that there are at least two other places not to be missed, a few kilometers north of the city: the Elounda beachfirst of all, and the fortified islet of Spinalonga. Near Aghios Nikolaos it is also possible to visit the Diktean cave with stalactites and stalagmites or venture into the mountains to enchanting Kritsa village, where traditional crafts such as leather goods, ceramics and hand-woven carpets are sold. On the way to Kritsaone of the things to see in Crete is the small 13th century church dedicated to Panagia Kera to admire the proud Byzantine frescoes.

What to see in Crete

What to see in Crete: the beautiful southern villages

If the north the island is dotted with pleasant large towns and beaches and gilded which also make it the favorite destination of “tour packages“More organized, the south is the kingdom of smaller villages that look more like the villages of Cyclades: fewer Venetian reminiscences and more white and simple houses. An example above all? On the southeast coast there is Loutrosperched on steep slopes that make it off limits to cars, is perhaps one of the most beautiful villages in the whole Greece. Surely the shortest: it takes less than 5 minutes, you can only get there by sea from Hora Sfakion and, besides, he would never want to leave. Also Matalain the center of the southern coast of Crete, is one of the most beautiful secrets of the island.

What to see in Crete

Not far away there is one of the most curious beaches, that of Moni Preveli, where the sea mixes with the fresh and sweet waters of a river, offering two types of baths and dips possible, but Matala also has its own history and another beautiful beach that has made the joy and fortune of many hippies than in the seventies, not only frequented it, preferring it to the more crowded pop northern coasts. No, they, the children of flowers and happiness here in Matala decided to come and live there. Obviously not in homes – what a foregone choice! – but, as the film tells us “My aunt, the hippie”, Filmed here, right in the caves that frame the crescent of a very fine beach and which were once dug by man to house a necropolis perhaps from the Roman era.

What to see in Crete

What to see in Crete: Ierapetra and the Aegean Caribbean

However, there are exceptions to the small villages in the south: moving east, Ierapetra it also has a large center with buildings perhaps not very Greek in style, which keeps a well-hidden secret and which is one of the things not to be missed on the whole island of Crete. It is she, theisland of Krissi where the sea is – if possible in all the blue ofAegean – even more crystalline with sandy and white bottoms, a true Caribbean paradise to Hellenic latitudes where you can make a day trip to its equipped beaches.

What to see in Crete

What to see in Crete: the Samaria gorge

There Samaria gorge it is the longest gorge in Europe located in the southern part of the prefecture. The gorge is located on the south side of Chania in largest uninhabited area in Europe and was declared National Park in 1962 to save endangered species such as the wild goats of Crete. The length of the throat reaches i eighteen kilometers and is accessible from the northern side of theOmalos plateau. The Samaria Gorge is a place of outstanding natural beauty that lies between the White Mountains and the Volakias mountain which ends on the seafront of the village of Agia Roumeli. At the bottom of the gorge, in fact, you can see the blue again. Because Crete always gives a surprise and a flattery to those who come to discover it.

What to see in Crete

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *