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Heraklion Places of interest



The Old Port
Is on the left side of the modern port. During the Venetian period, it was an important commercial and military centre.
 
The Koules Fortress
A ‘must see’ in Heraklion town. It was built to protect the Venetian port from raids. Remains of the carved lions of Saint Mark can be seen. On the top, an outdoor theatre is used for summer festivals.
 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

Knossos Palace
5km south of Heraklion. It is impossible to visit Crete without touring the Palace of Knossos, the pre-eminent Minoan settlement and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Discovered in the late 1870s by Minos Kalokerinos, it was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans for 30 years and is linked through Cretan myths with King Minos, son of Zeus and Europa. Minos may have ruled in legend, but it now seems more likely ‘Minos’ was not a single king but the title given to the rulers of Knossos. The palace covers an area of 20,000 sq m and is so large and labyrinthine that scholars believe it was the inspiration for the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

Phaistos (Festos)
62 km south of Heraklio. The second largest city of Minoan Crete is built on a hill 100 m above sea level, in the fertile valley of Messara.  Since 1900, continuous archaeological excavations from the Italian Archaeological School, have brought to light the magnificent Minoan Palace with its royal courts, great staircases, theatre, storerooms and the famous Phaistos disk.
 
Gortys
Messara Valley, near Agioi Deka, 46 km south of Heraklio.
The Basilica of Agios Titos is one of the oldest and most important monuments of Christianity in Crete and was the seat of the first bishops of the Cretan Church. The most important monuments of ancient Gortys are the ruins of the acropolis and the odeum.

 
Agia Triada
4 kms west of Phaistos
Visit the ruins of the Royal Villa, the small Minoan Palace at Agia Triada. The Palace served as a summer residence for the King of Phaistos.
 
Ideon Cave
55 km from Heraklio at an altitude of 1498m on Mount Psiloritis.
The sacred cave on the Nidha plateau, Rhea hid her son Zeus to save him from his father Kronos.   Archaelogical findings include bronze statuettes, bronze shields and offerings to Zeus, the father of all gods.  Nearby are two springs, Zominthos and Kanithos, that keep their pre-Hellenic names.
 
Zakros
45km east of Sitia.
The palace was unearthed by the Greek archaeologist N. Platon in 1961. The total area of the palace, including ancillary buildings, is approx. 10,000 sq.m. Over 10,000 objects, many of them considered unique, are now on display in the Heraklio and Sitia museums.
 
Malia
3 km east of Malia. The Palace of Malia, which covered an area of 7,500 sq.m., is the third largest Minoan palace and is considered the most "provincial" from an architectural point of view.  According to tradition the third son of Zeus and Europa, Sarpedon, ruled here.
 

 
Rates & Reservations
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Book Online
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Centrally located to visit Crete's Monasteries & Churches

 

Why Crete
The Area of Heraklion


Amazing combination of Minoan, Venetian, Turkish & Cretan architecture

Narrow streets, minarets, citadels, fishing harbour

Excellent shopping facilities including Cretan handicrafts, local herbs, clothes and hand-made leather goods

Just 19 kilometres from the hotel

Centrally located to explore all of Crete

 



Amazing combination of Minoan, Venetian & Cretan architecture

 

AMIRANDES
GRECOTEL EXCLUSIVE RESORT


GR-71 110
Heraklion, Crete Greece
Tel: +30 28970 41103
reservations.am@grecotel.com

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