Some think of Greece, and immediately think of the rich and ancient history located here. Others, the first thing that pops into their mind is gorgeous scenery and beaches for miles. Well, while both are right, it doesn’t mean you have to pick one or the other. Crete serves up both on a silver platter. Nature and history are easy to find on this idyllic Isle. Considering the island is so small, no matter where your Crete flights from Thomas Cook Airlines plops you, you will be able to see any of these spots right away.
Well here is a fantastic fusion if we ever saw one. Venetian and Turkish influences are seen throughout the city of Chania. Savor the taste of the food and admire the architecture along the harbor. The Venetian port holds a lighthouse, one of the oldest in the world, and just down the way from the harbor is a grand 17th century Turkish Mosque, the Yiali Tzami. The Turkish influence is also seen as you walk the streets that are lined with traditional turkish baths, hammams.
Located on the eastern side of the island, Zakros is holder of the Minoan Palace. This is one of the last ones discovered in 1962. The Minoans were the rulers of this island around 2700 BC to 1420 BC. There is an array of artifacts to admire such as a cast in stone of a bull’s head. On display at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a gorgeous crystal-rock vase. While you’re here you can delve further into the history but visiting the tombs, cemeteries, and settlements.
This majestic mountain should certainly be on your list no matter what you’re interested in seeing while you’re here. It’s a beautiful site both from down below and up above. There’s the Dikteon Cave complex which boasts impressive stalagmites and stalagmites throughout the systems caverns. The mountain is most notable for being the birthplace of Zeus, and for this Greek myth alone, this spot is certainly worth a visit so you can be closer to the “God of Sky.”
Samaria National Park
Hike this spectacular national park for about 13 km. This hike isn’t really for faint of heart as it’s a bit challenging at points, but the ending is sure worth all your efforts. The gorge splits the mountains for a dramatic scene. This gorge is only open during the months of May through October, the summer months. Make sure you’re fit enough and you get an early start for this seven-hour or more long hike.
There are of course too many beautiful beaches to mention in a quick snippet, but let’s face it, if you’re on Crete, you’re going to the beach! If you want to see one of Europe’s top voted beaches, Elafonisi is the one to head to. Take it even further with one of the nicest beaches in the world, Balos Beach. Take yourself about the island and try to find some of the other hidden gems that flank every nook and cranny of this Greek Isle.