Greece is famous for its numerous resorts, pristine beaches with turquoise sea surface, as well as picturesque islands, most of which unanimously recognize Crete. This is an amazing Island on the map of Greece, featuring a special hospitality, exotic nature, stunning cuisine and world famous attractions. It is called a small paradise on earth, and one day after visiting here, be sure to come back again. Do not fall in love with its charming coves and ancient architecture impossible. The entire island is shrouded in myths and ancient legends, to touch which can only be here. This also attracts Greece.
Crete consists of four polynomials: Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Lasithi, located on the map in the same order. Each of them attracts visitors to the island for its numerous caves, remains of ancient civilizations, castles, monasteries, beautiful lakes and gorges. This is the main attractions of Crete. The island has so many of them that see everything, even for a week of his stay may simply not enough. Therefore we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the most attractive and memorable of them, not ask that unforgivable.
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In search of the Minotaur and the labyrinth
The most active and large region of Crete is Heraklion. There is also the capital of the island of the same name, so named in honor of Hercules. The map is bordered by Mr. Rethymnon and Lasithi, and is washed by the Cretan and Libyan seas.
It is in this district is the famous Palace of Knossos - the center of the Minoan civilization, recognized at the time one of the most developed.
He was even dubbed the first skyscraper in the world as it existed prior to any construction, which had more than one floor. In addition, there were sewer flush, water and artificial lighting. Given that it built around 4000 BC, can be genuinely surprised at how it was done.
Unfortunately, the palace did not survive to the present day, and today we can see only the restored copy. However, the myths, which he shrouded, from year to year attracts crowds of visitors to it. They say that here lived King Minos, son of Zeus, here, allegedly, it was no less than the famous labyrinth of the Minotaur. It was the Minotaur or not is anyone's guess, but no mazes, certainly, has not done. Historians and archaeologists say that the palace was more than 1,300 rooms, it can accommodate 12 thousand. People, and a total area of 16 thousand square kilometers. Given that it had many blind alleys, hidden rooms and passageways, and the premises were located at different levels, to get lost in the palace during the time of its existence it was really scary.
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Attractions Grand Heraklion
Another attraction on the map of Crete - a medieval fortress Koules sea. The purpose of its construction - the protection of the area, fenced off the pier. Now it is in much of a tourist destination. But in the Turkish and Venetian times in a prison fortress, walk through narrow corridors where everyone can, paying 2 euros. In addition, you can climb to the roof of the fort and enjoy views of Heraklion there.
Strolling through the city, be sure to visit the Old Square and Heraklion Cornaro, which is the oldest in the region, a fountain and a Turkish pavilion, transformed into a cozy cafe. Another outstanding fountain located in the center of the square Venizelos, so find it on the map is not difficult, and it is called "Morosini". Four marble figures of lions support the bowl of the fountain, which was previously located the statue of Poseidon with a trident, destroyed by an earthquake. Pool fountain decorated with relief images of mythical creatures, dolphins and nymphs. The location is quite noisy, attractive for tourists and families with children, however a number full of small cafes with affordable prices, and Wi-Fi.
Tired of long tours and walks under the sun exhausting, should go to the park El Greco, who, by the way, is almost in the center of Heraklion, near the fountain said "Morosini". Here you do not meet pompous sculpture and outstanding attractions, but you can relax in the shade of the thick foliage and tall trees. Special show - the largest port in Crete. This is an important transport hub, connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. You can spend hours admiring the huge luxury yachts and white sailboats are moored off the coast.
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The ancient and mysterious Rethymnon
Moving to the west of Heraklion, Rethymno, we find ourselves in - one rich in sights of the city on the map of Crete. The most famous of them - the fortress Fortezza stored in its thick walls all the mysteries of history. Travellers say that the fact that around the whole castle and capture on camera types, which lie around, you will need more than one hour. The island, in particular Rethymno is rich in ancient churches, monasteries and mosques. Wishes to get acquainted with the religion of Crete can visit the monastery of Preveli with miraculous cross Ephraim Preveliyskogo and Church of St. John the Divine Cathedral, Rethymnon, Church of St. Nicholas in gorge Kottsifu, Arkadi Monastery, the Mosque of Ibrahim Khan, located in the Fortezza.
Geographically, Crete - Greece is, it is an integral part. Yet, walking through the streets of the cities of the island, it is impossible not to notice the influence exerted on him during the Turkish and Venetian rule. This first says style architecture. For example, in Rethymno it is a fountain, not inferior in its originality famous "Morosini" in Heraklion. Built in 1626 and designed in the style of masters of Venice, it has the form of three lions' heads, embedded in a marble wall, from which water flows and falls in small bodies of water fountain. And in Rethymnon has an old Venetian harbor, though small in size (5,250 square km.), But it still takes a small vessel and is popular with visitors and local people.
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The bright colors of the picturesque Chania
On the way to the most remote region of Crete - Chania recommend visiting Lake Kournas and admire its beauty. Here you will find not only a delightful mountains and nature, but also a variety of entertainment such as water bus, catamarans, many tavernas on the beach. Familiarity with the city of Chania should start with a walk through the Old Town, considered the most beautiful in the whole of Crete, waterfront and harbor.
Also to be included in the excursion program a unique monument of nature - the Samaria Gorge, considered the largest canyon in Europe.
In 1962 he was awarded the status of National Park. Today it can be found about 400 names of rare plants and animals that are rich island.
Other wealth of Crete - the fortress. In Chania were the ruins of an ancient fortress Aptera, which in its time was the development of trade port city. Today tourists can admire the remains of the theater and the legendary sanctuary of the Hellenistic period, when Greece was going through its most difficult period in history, the ruins of the necropolis, aqueducts and building of administration Roman times, the monastery of St. John the Evangelist, reminiscent of the Byzantine period. No less famous castle of Gramvousa, served as a haven for fighters for the liberation of Crete in 1825. Its height - 130 meters above sea level, and the length of the walls is 1 km away. Before the fortress can be reached by tour boat, then walk 850 meters walking trail.
At the sights do not end there. Botanical Gardens, Turkish Lighthouse, Cathedral of the Three Martyrs; small villages that have preserved ancient traditions that are so proud of Greece; Agora indoor market town, open in 1911; Eleftherios Venizelos Square - all attract visitors to the island of Crete, who chose his leisure center city of Chania. It is a quiet place on the map, complete attractions and beaches, but not occupied by tourists. Here nothing distracts and prevents enjoy your vacation.
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Homeland Zeus and thousands of mills
In the east of the island, too, is something to see. Rated Lassithi is very popular among tourists. Lured here attractions such as the Valley of thousands of windmills and the cave of Zeus. According to legend, the Olympic god worshiped all Greece, was born here. Now it is a place everyone can visit. It is situated at 1,050 meters above sea level on the northern slopes of Mount dictates. The road to the cave - not the easiest, so you should be patient and comfortable shoes. At the foot of the services offered by the local cab drivers, who can rent a donkey. Animals must be said, stubborn and self-willed, but because such a rise may take time, even more than a foot.
But breaking away and went up top, you will discover a grand view of the Lassithi Plateau - a spacious valley surrounded by high hills and mountains. The cave itself is unremarkable from the outside, but, once inside, freezes from its greatness. Everything looks mysterious and fantastic, like transfers from the real world into the world of Greek mythology. Stalagmites and stalactites create a whimsical vertical shapes, causing a pleasant shiver and incredible delight. And at the bottom of the cave there is a lake, which at one time archaeologists have found ancient gold jewelry, weapons, bronze statuettes. Today, the lake is full of coins left by tourists, throwing them to once again come back.
The Lassithi Plateau is still interesting because it is a well-known Valley of thousands of windmills. Earlier, they are counted as many as 7000. The locals use them to irrigate their land, getting water from the depths of the earth, but over time this method has outlived itself, and from 7000 only a few mills in order to attract tourists. Also on the map of Crete full of small picturesque villages like Anogia and Loutro. In the first you can admire handmade woven products of local craftsmen and fabrics with traditional Cretan motifs located near the cave Sfedoni with colored stalactites and stalagmites, which has more than 8 million. Years. Loutro village is beautiful that is completely isolated from the outside world, to reach it is on foot or by boat, however it is ideal for secluded relaxation and merge with nature.
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The natural wealth of the Greek Islands
Greece is known for a huge number of picturesque places, offering stunning views of the blue expanse of water and land harmonious reliefs. 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 of nature itself. Proof of this - Balos Bay. It is located on the northwest coast of Crete, where once crossed three seas: the Aegean, Ionian and Libyan. The water in the bay is poured 14 shades, from which the breathtaking splendor of everyone who is watching this picture.
Another fascinating and breathtaking place on the map - Lefka Ori White Mountains, from the height of which can be considered the unforgettable beauty of Crete. And to visit the most beautiful beach in Europe, it is enough to visit the island of Chrissi. The transparent waters of the Libyan Sea allow you to see colorful fish, even without a mask and a deep dive and a soft pink and white sand will make the holiday even more enjoyable. Greece - very hospitable and welcoming country. Visiting Crete, you will see for yourself and be sure to want to come back again, and that should be done.