Goes Ashore in Europe:
to see & things to do
its rugged snow-capped mountains fringed by beaches and harbors,
Crete was site of the first urban culture in Europe and the
mythological home of Zeus. Minoans settled here on the largest of
the Greek islands in the 3rd millennium BC and their legacy of art
and architecture strongly influenced the rest of Greece.
Strategically placed to control the rest of the Aegean, Crete is a
very fertile land with abundant rainfall and is a major supplier of
produce to Greece.
short walk from the pier will bring you to the old town. Once the
Venetian capital of Crete, massive 16th and 17th century city walls
surround it. The city’s main attractions are the rebuilt Knossos
Palace, considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of all
time, and the superb Archaeological Museum where the best of the
Knossos frescoes are housed. The partially reconstructed palace
offers a glimpse into the cultural life of the prehistoric Minoans.
Highlights include the Propylaea with wall frescoes, the Alabaster
throne in the Throne Room, the Royal Apartments with a sophisticated
ventilation system for comfort, the Grand Staircase, and
the other regions of Crete you’ll find tranquil panoramas and more
glimpses into antiquity. The Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint
George Selinaris is a romantic setting that attracts residents for
weddings. Neighboring islands dot Elounda Bay and provide a
picture-postcard scene. Agios Nikloaos, the most popular island
resort, is also known as the “Saint Tropez” of Crete.
Heraklion, souvenirs tend to be inexpensive reproductions of Minoan
artifacts. Unique items, these are things you won't likely see
elsewhere in Greece. The ceramic likenesses of the faience snake
goddess found at Knossos are supposedly authentic reproductions.
Nikolaos has a number of quaint shops near the picturesque harbor
and cafés are actually located on some of the boats.
There is a fair sand
beach east of Heraklion at Amnissos. Although Agios Nikolaos is a
popular tourist area, the nearby beaches are overcrowded and poor.
The best are to the north at Elounda and along the Sitia road at
Ammoudi and Almyros.
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Ports of Call