Booking Confirmation Number

English (en-GB)

creteCrete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountainscapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture. Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!

Due to its geographical position between Africa, Europe, and Asia Minor and due to its mild climate, Crete became a center of culture as early as Neolithic times. The first prehistoric settlements appeared in Crete around 6000 BC while in 2600 BC settlers who knew how to craft bronze arrived in Crete. It was then that the illustrious course of the Minoan Civilization began, reaching its peak around 1950 BC with the erection of the imposing palaces in Knossos, Phaistos, and Malia.

History

Mythology has it that it was in a cave of Crete where the goddess Rhea hid the newborn Zeus. In that cave, Zeus was brought up by the nymphs while the demonical Kouretes would strike their shields loudly so that Cronus may not hear the crying of the baby Zeus and eat it. It was also to Crete that Zeus, disguised as a bull, took Europa so that they may enjoy their love together. Their union produced a son, Minos, who ruled Crete and turned it into a mighty island empire of the seas. In Minoan times, even Attica would pay a tribute tax to Crete, until Theseus, the Athenian prince, killed the Minotaur. The truth behind the myth is the existence of a mighty and wealthy kingdom and of a civilisation that is considered the most ancient one on the European continent.

Read more ...

heraklionHeraklion is the largest city of Crete and one of Greece’s major urban centers. Its development begun in the wake of the 9th century AD (in antiquity, Knossos was the island’s most important centre, followed by Gortyn). In later times, Heraklion came under Arabic, Venetian and Ottoman rule; its conquerors initially gave it the name Khandaq or Handak which was corrupted to Candia. During the 2004 Olympic Games, the city of Heraklion provided one of the venues for the football tournament.

Read more ...

knossosThe principal centre of the Minoan Civilisation Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilisation. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary king Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros. The site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times. The Linear B tablets (Mycenaean script) of the 14th century B.C. mention the city as ko-no-so.

Read more ...

ChaniaThe region of Chania (Haniá), on the western side of the island, is dominated by the impressive White Mountains (in Greek: Lefká Óri) and its famous National Park, which occupy the largest part of the region.The Prefecture of Chania provides tourist services and activities of all kinds, satisfying all the choices. The city of Chania maintains unaltered all of its characteristics, from the time of the Venetian Rule up until today.

Chania (also spelled: Haniá)is the capital city, a place where different civilizations have flourished throughout the centuries. Wandering around the Old Town’s maze-like alleys with the beautiful Venetian mansions, the fountains and the elaborate churches will help you discover well-preserved historical monuments.

Read more ...

faistosThe ruins of the city of Phaistos (or Festos) lie on a hill west of Mires on the way to Tumbaki. The older palace of Phaistos (1900 – 1700 B.C.) was built on embankments of Neolithic and Early Minoan periods (3000 – 2000 B.C.). This old palace, with basic features of Minoan architecture (paved yards, multi-gates, well-kept facades, skylights etc), had been destroyed and rebuilt twice. After another disaster around 1700 B.C. the ruins were leveled and on top of them a newer palace was built whose life lasted approximately up to 1450 B.C. In the western wing a huge chamber is of interest. It concerns a room supported by pillars and a triple pylon towards the central yard for the possible use of worship. In the same wing there are other rooms which are associated with worship.

Read more ...

RethimnoRethymno is located in the north end of the prefecture, built by the sea and is a city with many faces. Rethymno or Rithymna as it was once called has been inhabited since the Later Minoan III period. Nowadays, it keeps the elements inherited by its history (from antiquity up to now), preserving at the same time the characteristics of a modern city. You can reach Rethymno by boat from Piraeus or by plane from Athens to Chania and then drive 60 km to Rethymno. Bus services are daily and often to all Cretan areas while the north road network is convenient for a relaxing journey. Rethymno combines the conveniences of a large city with the beauty of an old town. Both elements will mesmerize you.,

Read more ...

MaliaMalia is a coastal town and a former municipality in the northeast corner of the Heraklion regional unit in Crete, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Hersonissos, of which it is a municipal unit. It lies 34 kilometres (21 miles) east of Heraklion, the Cretan capital city. The town (pop. 3,722 in 2001) was the seat of the municipality of Mália. The municipal unit also includes the villages of Mochos, Krasi, and Stalis, and has a total land area of 60.720 square kilometres (23.444 sq mi). The town is a tourist attraction, primarily for its significant archaeological site and nightlife. The Minoan town ruins lie three km east of the site and cover an area of approximately 1 square kilometre (0.4 sq mi). The original name for the town is not known

Read more ...