Thinking of taking your kids on holiday to Crete but not sure what there is to do whilst you’re there? if so, read on…
Among the Minoan palaces that were preserved, Knossos Palace is the largest. The Minoan civilization flourished in Europe during the period 2700 BC to 1450 BC. It is believed that Knossos was the center of the Minoan civilization and the home of King Minos and the place of origin of the mythical creature Minotaur. The monuments at the site also include The Little Palace, The Frescoes House, The Royal Villa and the Temple Tomb.
Samaria George in the prefecture of Chania in southwest Crete is probably the longest among the gorges in Europe. This National Park is blessed with magnificent fauna and flora. You have to take a 16-kilometer, 5- to 6-hour walk to enjoy the beautiful gorge, which starts from xyloskala and finishes at the Agia Roumeli, a small coastal village.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion is located on Xanthoudidou Street in the heart of the city. The exhibits on display at the museum belong to the 5,000 years from the Neolithic era to the Graeco-Roman period. The collection of Minoan art in the museum is one of the best in the world. The Museum which was closed for renovations during period 2006 – 2007 will become fully functional this year (2013).
Chania and Harbor
Chania, the beautiful old town, is located about 160 kilometers away from Heraklion to the northwest of Crete. The major attraction of Chania is the Venetian Harbor with its restaurants and cafes and the cobbled alleyways that are winding. Chania was the Cretan State’s capital during the period 1897 to 1907. You can also visit the Maritime museum and the Archaeological museum.
Lake Kournas, Ancient Lappa and Argiroupolis
Lake Kournas, located in between Rethymno and Chania, is the only freshwater lake in Crete. Several tavernas that serve Greek cuisine are available and you can also swim or hire pedaloes, especially in the summer time. The main attraction in Argiroupolis, a small village that lies a few kilometers away from the lake, are the waterfalls, the excavated Roman baths, aquaduct, etc. To explore Ancient Lappa, you can get a guide map from the Avocado and Herb shop in Argiroupoli.
The Dikteon Cave and Lassithi Plateau
The Lassithi Plateau, a large fertile area in the Diktian mountains, is famous for the white windmills that were traditionally used for irrigation purposes. Most of the windmills are just relics. The highest inhabited plateau in Greece is Lassithi plateau. Places of interest include Krassi village with its giant plane tree, the church of the Panayia in Mohos and the Dikteon Cave, Zeus’ birthplace.
Anogia village and Zoniana Cave
The Germans razed Anogia mountain village to the ground during World War II. In retaliation, the local fighters kidnapped German General Von Kreipe from this village before smuggling him to Africa. The village is also the birth place of Cretan musician Nikos Xilouris. Another nearby attraction is the Cave of Zoniana.
There are three more places that you should not miss out during your visit to Crete. These are Agios Nikolaos, the Lassithi prefect’s capital; Elounda and Spinalonga Island; and Loutro, the seaside village be reached only on foot or by boat.