What to See in Crete

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    What to see in Crete

    Crete Attractions

    Steeped in mythology, legends and a fascinating history and boasting more attractions than any other Greek

    Island, sightseeing on Crete takes travellers through the ages and into the rich mythology of ancient Greece.

    With so many places of historical interest it can be hard to decide what to see and do on Crete; highlightsinclude the impressive Palace of Knossos, the Cave of Zeus - located on the slopes of Mount Ida, where Rhea

    hid baby Zeus from Cronos - the Monastery of Arkadi just south of Rethymno, the remains of Gortyna 28 miles

    (45km) from Heraklion, and the Palace complex of Phaistos in the south, which was destroyed by an earthquakein the late Bronze Age and later rebuilt. The Archaeological Museum and Historical Museum of Crete in

    Heraklion are also worth a visit - the artefacts will astound you.

    The sun-drenched, sandy beaches on Crete aren't too shabby either and the surrounding scenery is breathtaking

    with beautiful mountains and gorges in the Samaria Gorge National Park in Chania that any hiker will simplyadore. On the east of the island, the tiny town of Sitia is worth a peek for its picturesque port, making a great

    place to stop for a lunch.

    Heraklion Archaeological Museum

    A visit to the Minoan palace at Knossos should be complemented with a visit to the wonderful ArchaeologicalMuseum in

    Historical Museum of Crete

    This museum deals with Crete's more modern history and highlights the islanders' long battle for independence

    from the

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    The Palace of Knossos

    The Minoan palace at Knossos, covering an area of 215,278 square feet (20,000 sq metres), is one of the world's

    greatest

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    Things to see and do with kids in Crete

    Crete Kids Attractions

    With beautiful sandy beaches and miles of coastline, don't be fooled into thinking the beach is all

    there is for kids on holiday in Crete; look a little further and you'll find there is plenty to keep the

    children entertained.

    Kids and adults alike will love taking a pirate ship cruise for the day from Rethymno, enjoy

    splashing around in the Limnoupolis Water Park in Chania, or have a ball taking part in sometraditional water activities like jet skiing, snorkelling, waterskiing and banana boat rides at Star

    Beach Water Park in Hersonissos. A day-trip to the small island of Spinalonga, just north of Crete,

    to explore the fortress of the former leper colony, is a must for those interested in this sort of

    history and kids tend to find the place fascinating and spooky as all the buildings and streets are

    empty and abandoned. Kids might not be interested in all the historical sites, but tell them the

    story of the labyrinth and legendary Minotaur who is said to have lived in Knossos Palace, and

    they'll be captivated by this majestic attraction for hours. At any rate, some children love nothing

    more than an exciting ruin to explore and can let their imaginations run wild in these ancient,

    atmospheric places.

    When the weather is grey and outdoor activities with the children are not an option, parents

    staying in some of the larger hotels can make use of the kid's clubs which offer mini discos,

    indoor playgrounds, scavenger hunts and more, and are a good way for kids to make friends and

    stay happy during bad weather.

    Crete Aquarium

    Featuring a wonderful array of marine life, the Crete Aquarium features a fantastic variety of reptiles too, suchas

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    Lido Water Park

    A must for all families on vacation in Kos, especially with young children, Lido Waterpark provides wonderfulgames,

    Limnoupolis Water Park

    A fantastic place to take the kids during the heat of summer while on holiday in Crete, the Limnoupolis Water

    Park offers

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    Crete Day Trips

    Gortyna

    Gortyna is both a municipality in Greece and an archaeological site on Crete which was once the capital Roman

    city on

    Monastery of Arkdhi

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    Situated about 14 miles (23km) south of Rethymnon, the Monastery of Arkdhi is something of a nationalCretan

    Phaistos

    South of Heraklion lies Crete's second most important Minoan archaeological site, the Palace complex of

    Phaistos, considered

    The Samaria Gorge

    The Samaria Gorge National Park in the White Mountains of western Crete is said to be one of the mostsplendid scenic

    ShoppingKiosks selling everything from food and snacks to cigarettes and postcards abound on Crete andmany of these are open 24 hours a day. The best shopping areas are the Kasavetis shopping centre in

    Hersonissos, the market on 1866 Street in Heraklion, and Chania's covered Market, or Agora, on Odos HatziMichali Yannari, where local produce such as chestnuts, bread, olives and honey are sold. Popular souvenirs

    include embroideries, hand carved wooden items, jewellery, and leather goods. If travelling within Europe,other good buys include Cretan honey, wine, or some delicious local cheeses, which are renowned all over

    Greece. For those who enjoy clothes shopping on holiday there are many shops to choose from on Crete and

    some designer labels to peruse.

    If you're a keen bargain-hunter then October is a great month to be on Crete because as the end of tourist seasonapproaches shopkeepers are eager to sell their wares and there are many sales. Some holidaymakers complain of

    there being too many touts and aggressive salesmen promoting their wares on the island during the peak-season.

    Generally a firm 'no' will suffice. Visitors in winter may find that some of the shops and restaurants are closed

    or have reduced opening hours.

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