Crete Greece Greece is famous for its numerous resorts,the cleanest beaches with turquoise sea surface, as well as the picturesque islands, the main one of which is unanimously recognized by Crete. This is an amazing island on the map of Greece, featuring a special hospitality, exotic nature, stunning cuisine and world famous sights. He is called a small paradise on earth and, once visiting here, will certainly return again. Do not fall in love with its cozy bays and ancient architecture is impossible. The whole island is shrouded in myths and ancient legends that can only be touched here. This is what Greece is attracted to. Crete consists of four nomas: Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, Lasithi, located on the map in the same order. Each of them attracts guests of the island with its numerous caves, remnants of ancient civilizations, fortresses, monasteries, picturesque lakes and gorges. This is the main attraction of Crete. There are so many on the island that you can simply not have time to inspect everything even for a week of your stay. Therefore, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the most attractive and memorable ones, which it is inexcusable not to ask.

In search of the Minotaur and its labyrinth

The most active and large region of Crete is theHeraklion. Here is the eponymous capital of the island, named after Hercules himself. On the map, it borders on Rethymno and Lasithi, and is washed by the Cretan and Libyan seas. It is in this district that the famous Knossos palace is located - the center of the Minoan civilization, recognized at that time as one of the most developed. He was even dubbed the first skyscraper in the world, because before him there was no building that had more than one floor. In addition, it had a sewage system with a flush, a water pipe and artificial lighting. Given that it was built about 4000 years BC, you can sincerely wonder how it was possible to do so. Unfortunately, the palace did not live up to our days, and today we can only see its restored copy. However, the myths with which it is wrapped, from year to year attract crowds of visitors to it. They say that King Minos, the son of Zeus himself, dwelt here, supposedly there was an equally famous labyrinth of the Minotaur. Was the Minotaur or not, it remains only to guess, but without labyrinths, for sure, there was not. Historians and archaeologists say that there were more than 1,300 rooms in the palace, it could accommodate 12,000 people, and its total area was 16,000 square kilometers. Given that it had many dead ends, secret halls and passages, and the premises were located at different levels, it was really scary to get lost in the palace during its existence. maze of the minotaur

Attractions of the great Heraklion

Another attraction on the map of Crete -medieval sea fortress Kules. The purpose of its construction is to protect the area, fenced off by a mole. Now it is mostly a tourist object. But in the Turkish and Venetian times in the fortress was a prison, walk through the narrow corridors of which anyone can, paying for it 2 euros. In addition, you can climb to the roof of the fort and admire the view of Heraklion from there. Walking around the city, be sure to visit Old Heraklion and Kornaru Square, where the oldest fountain in the region and a Turkish gazebo, turned into a cozy cafe. Another outstanding fountain is in the center of Venizelos Square, so it is not difficult to find it on the map, but it is called "Morosini". Four marble figures of lions support the bowl of the fountain, where a statue of Poseidon with a trident was previously located, destroyed by an earthquake. The pool of the fountain is decorated with relief images of mythical creatures, dolphins and nymphs. The place is quite noisy, attractive for tourists and couples with children, nevertheless there are a number of small cafes with democratic prices and Wi-Fi nearby. Tired of long excursions and walks under the debilitating sun, one should go to the park of El Greco, which, incidentally, is located practically in the center of Heraklion, not far from the mentioned "Morosini" fountain. Here you will not meet pompous sculptures and outstanding sights, but you can relax in the shade of dense greenery and tall trees. A separate sight is the largest port in Crete. This is an important transport hub linking Asia, Africa and Europe. You can admire for hours the huge luxury yachts and white sailboats moored off the coast.

Ancient and mysterious Rethymnon

Moving west from Heraklion, we find ourselves inRethymno is another rich city on the map of Crete. The most famous of them is the fortress of Fortezza, which keeps in its thick walls all the secrets of history. Travelers say that it takes more than one hour to get around the whole fortress and to capture on the camera the species that stretched around. The island, and in particular Rethymno, is rich in ancient cathedrals, monasteries, mosques. Those who wish to get acquainted with the religion of Crete can visit the Preveli Monastery with the miraculous cross of Ephraim Preveliisky and the Church of St. John the Theologian, the Cathedral in Rethymnon, the Church of St. Nicholas in the Kottsifu Gorge, the Arkadi Monastery, the Ibrahim Khan Mosque in the fortress of Fortezza. Geographically, Crete is Greece, its inseparable part. But still, strolling through the streets of the island's cities, it is not possible not to notice the influence exerted on him during the Turkish and Venetian rule. This is primarily the style of architecture. For example, in Rethymnon there is a fountain, not inferior in origin to the famous "Morosini" in Heraklion. Created in 1626 and executed in the style of the masters of Venice, it has the appearance of three lion's heads built into the marble wall, from which water flows and enters the small fountains. And in Rethymnon there is an Old Venetian harbor, though small in size (5250 km sq.), But still accepting small vessels and is popular among visitors and local people. city ​​of hanya

Bright colors of picturesque Chania

On the way to the most remote region of Crete - Chaniawe recommend to visit Lake Kournas and admire its beauties. Here you will not only enjoy the beautiful mountains and nature, but also various entertainments, such as a river tram, catamarans, numerous taverns on the shore. A close acquaintance with the city of Chania is worth starting with a walk through the Old Town, recognized as the most beautiful on Crete, the embankment and the harbor. Also it is necessary to include in the excursion program a unique nature monument - the Samaria Gorge, which is considered the largest canyon in Europe. In 1962 he was awarded the status of National Park. Today, here you can find about 400 names of rare plants and animals that the island is rich in. Another wealth of Crete is the fortress. In Chania remained the ruins of the ancient fortress of Aptera, which at one time was a developed trading port city. Today tourists can admire the remains of the theater and the sanctuary of the legendary Hellenistic era, when Greece experienced its most difficult period in history, the ruins of the necropolis, the aqueducts and the building of the rector's office of Roman times, the monastery of St. John the Theologian, reminiscent of the Byzantine period. Equally famous is the Gramvousa fortress, which served as a haven for fighters for the liberation of Crete in 1825. Its height is 130 meters above sea level, and the length of the walls is 1 km. The fortress can be reached by excursion boat, after which you can walk 850 meters on foot. At this point of interest does not end there. The Botanical Garden, the Turkish Lighthouse, the Cathedral of the Three Martyrs; small villages that have preserved the ancient traditions that Greece is so proud of; The covered city market of Agora, opened as far back as 1911; the area of ​​Eleftherios Venizelos - all this attracts the guests of the island of Crete, who chose the city of Chania as their holiday center. This is a quiet place on the map full of attractions and beaches, but not occupied by tourists. Here, nothing distracts and does not interfere with enjoying rest. critical homeland of Zeus

The homeland of Zeus and thousands of mills

In the east of the island, too, there is something to see. Nom Lassithi is very popular among tourists. Attracted here are attractions such as the Valley of thousands of windmills and the cave of Zeus. According to legend, the Olympic god, who was worshiped by all of Greece, was born here. Now this place can be visited by all comers. It is located at an altitude of 1050 m above sea level on the northern slope of Mount Dikti. The road to the cave is not the easiest, so you should have patience and comfortable shoes. At the foot of the mountain local cabs offer their services, from which one can rent a donkey. Animals, I must say, stubborn and self-willed, and therefore such a rise can take even more time than walking. But having overcome the distance and climbing upwards, you will have a grand view on the Lassithi Plateau - a spacious valley surrounded by high hills and mountains. The cave itself is not noticeable from the outside, however, having got inside, you stop from its greatness. Everything looks mysterious and fantastic, as if it is transferred from the real world into the world of ancient Greek myths. Stalagmites and stalactites create bizarre vertical figures, which cause a pleasant tremor and unthinkable delight. And at the bottom of the cave there is a lake in which once ancient archeologists have found ancient gold ornaments, weapons, bronze figurines. Today in the lake is full of coins left by tourists throwing them in order to once again come back here. What is more interesting is the plateau of Lassithi, so this is the well-known Valley of thousands of windmills. Earlier there were as many as 7,000 of them. The local people irrigated their lands with their help, extracting water from the depths of the earth, but over time this method became obsolete and out of 7000 mills there were only a few to attract tourists. Also on the map of Crete are full of small picturesque villages, such as Anogia and Loutro. In the first you can admire the hand-woven woven products of local craftsmen and fabrics with traditional Cretan motifs, next is the Cave of Spedia with colored stalactites and stalagmites, which is more than 8 million years old. The village of Loutro is beautiful because it is completely isolated from the outside world, you can only reach it by foot or by boat, nevertheless it is ideal for a secluded holiday and a fusion with nature. bay balos

Natural wealth of the Greek island

Greece is famous for the huge number of picturesquecorners, from where amazing views of the blue surface of the water and harmonious reliefs of the land open. The leader in the number of such places is undoubtedly Crete. On the map of the island you can find dozens and hundreds of bays, coves, beaches, lakes, mountains, confirming that the most beautiful sights were created by nature itself. Proof of this - Bay Balos. It is located on the northwestern coast of Crete, where three seas meet simultaneously: the Aegean, Libyan and Ionian. The water in the bay shimmers in 14 shades, from the splendor of which the spirit captures everyone who watches this picture. Another fascinating and breathtaking place on the map is the White Mountains of Lefka Ori, from whose height you can see the unforgettable beauties of Crete. And to visit the most beautiful beach in Europe, it is enough to visit the island of Chrissi. Transparent waters of the Libyan Sea allow you to see colorful fish even without a mask and a deep dip, and soft white and pink sand will make the rest even more pleasant. Greece is a very hospitable and hospitable country. Visiting Crete, you will see for yourself and will definitely want to come back here again, which should be done.