Heraklion is the capital of Crete, the largest island of Greece. The town is beautiful, full of fountains, churches and medieval streets. If you are a museum fan, you will find Archaeological, Historical, Natural History museums and the one dedicated to the Battle of Crete. Heading to the south you will find the palace of Knossos. The first European civilization was born here during the Minoan Period in 3,000 BC. The whole county of Heraklion offers picturesque villages, caves, canyons and mountain ranges.
The glorious town of Rethymno is full of Venetian and Ottoman elements. The symbol of the place, without a doubt, is the castle Fortezza. The old Venetian harbor has many attractions, such as the Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno, mosques and beautiful Venetian mansions. The coastline is full of life, due to the plethora of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Attractions you should visit in Rethymno are: Finikodasos (palmtree forest), Preveli beach, Preveli and Arkadi Monasteries. A retreat of the region is the village Margarites. It is full of workshops selling clay objects. From the central square of the village starts the E4 path along which you will see landscapes that will enchant you, while you can sip a cup of Greek coffee in one of the traditional cafes.
The city of Chania is the capital of the county and has many beautiful places to visit. Kournas lake has interesting flora and fauna. Do not miss Elafonissi with its turquoise waters and white/pink sand. Falaserna beach is an option for those seeking quiet and breathtaking sunsets. Balos (is also known as Gramvousa) is a famous spot, which gets very crowded during the summer. The ones who love nature can visit the renowned for its ecological importance, Samaria Gorge in the southern part of the county.
Maleme is located on the west side of the island. This was the place, where the battle of Crete happened in 1941. Today one can see the German cemetery which is an important monument of the war. Maleme is close to Platanias, which is a great cretan resort. You can have relaxing seaside holidays, or drive a few kilometers to enjoy other vivid parts of the island.
Agios Nikolaos is the ideal resort for every type of traveler, as it has beautiful beaches, attractions, tourist facilities and it’s close to other places like Elounda, Amoudara and Istro. Elounda is located in 10 km north from Agios Nikolaos. It has become very popular due to the combination of natural beauty, wonderful sea and tourist infrastructures. Amoudara is a long sandy beach, which is ideal for families travelling with kids since it has shallow waters. Just in front of the beach you can find water sport facilities, cafes, beach bar, restaurants and accommodation. You will see that many people choose this beach to ride the waves (windsurf, kitesurf etc).
Hersonissos is an important port, located in 25 km from Heraklion. The place gets very crowded in the summer. Tourists will find shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, while the small ones can enjoy a day at the aquarium. Good news for the golf lovers, as Hersonissos is the only place in Crete with a golf course. Next to Hersonissos, you will find Malia, where you will enjoy a beautiful sandy beach. Malia is also known for its intense nightlife during the summer.
Crete is well known for its diet that is based on olive oil, legumes, fruits, vegetables and wine. It’s worth to try some of the cretan dishes like lychnarakia (little pies), syglino (meat), snails in various recipies, goat meat and dako (dried bread with tomato, feta cheese, oregano and olive oil).