Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed on Crete! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of the island’s most important sights.
The reconstructed palace of Knossos, near the island’s capital of Iraklio, gives visitors an idea of the splendour of the more than 3,500-year-old Minoan culture.
2. ARCHAIOLOGIKO MOUSEIO, IRAKLIO
The museum’s rich collection of art, ritual objects and everyday utensils, unearthed by archaeologists in Crete, are all beautifully exhibited and clearly explained.
Over 500 years of Venetian rule left their mark on Crete, and nowhere is this more evident than in Chania, Crete’s second largest city.
A particularly large number of Ottoman-era minarets soar above the city; and its harbour is the most picturesque in Crete.
5. FARANGI SAMARIAS
A hike through the Samaria Gorge, in the White Mountains, is an exciting adventure that combines physical challenge with great nature, and it finishes off with a ferry trip.
Many of the ruins of the former Roman capital are picturesquely scattered through an ancient olive grove.
7. PHAISTOS (FESTOS)
The Minoan palace of Phaistos lies in a scenic location on a hill overlooking a fertile plain between Mount Ida and the Asterousia Mountains.
The excavation of this small Minoan country town gives one a vivid impression of how the
island’s ordinary people lived more than 3,500 years ago.
9. MONI ARKADIOU
In a solitary location on a high plateau, this Renaissance monastery is a national shrine and symbol of Crete’s struggle for independence – hundreds of Cretans sacrificed their life here during a rebellion against Turkish rule.
10. AGIOS NIKOLAOS
The small, picturesque town in the east boasts a freshwater lake as a fishing port, an excellent museum and a former leper colony as an excursion destination.
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