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Points of Interest East Crete

Heraklion

Venetian Walls and Tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis

the Venetian walls around the city "Candia" (old city center of Heraklion) were built in the 16th century during the Venetian occupation of "Candia". The Venetian walls boast three well-preserved arch gates leading in and out of the city center. Visitors can pay their respects to a world-renowned writer on the Venetian Walls. The writer Nikos Kazantzakis, with the most famous of his works the "Zorba the Greek" and "Last Temptation of Christ", was excommunicated by the church for his writings and thus denied burial in a cemetery. The grave of Nikos Kazantzakis is located at the Martinengo Bastion, at the southwestern corner of the great walls.

Paleokastro beach

is a small settlement, located on the west coast of the Heraklion bay, at the northern side of Heraklion prefecture, in Crete. it is only 14Km western of Heraklion city. Palaiokastro lies at the base of the green valley formed by the Spiliotisa gorge surrounding hills facing to the east. Read more about Paliokastro Beach

At the eastern side of the beach of Paliokastro, there is a huge limestone rock on top of which one can clearly see the remaining part of a Venetian castle, it is believed to build uppon the acropolis of the ancient town Kytaeon.

Paliokastro is among the most beloved beaches of the inhabitants of Heraklion. it is a non-organized beach, with pebbles (smaller and large) and steep beach bed, into refreshing deep waters. The rocky seabed is ideal for fishing and snorkeling. On the rocks below the fort, large natural stairs are formed, where many visitors of Paliokastro beach have frequently been seen going up and diving. Paliokastro is easily accessible since the highway Heraklion – Chania passes nearby and there is a separate exit to Paliokastro.

25th of August Street

The most historical of streets in Heraklion city with neoclassical buildings, the Venetian Loggia and the church of Agios Titos, is the 25th August street (or Rouga Maistra - by its Venetian name). Some remarkable landmarks on the 25th August street can be seen/visited while walking down the pedestrian street towards the Venetian castle Koule at the sea. Starting from the top the route, the visitor can see the "lions Square" marked by the Morosini fountain, walking past the square on the right is the Venetian loggia, now hosting the mayor's office, and local authority administration offices. This is a two-story Venetian mansion completed in 1628, which used to be a meeting place for the nobles of Crete.

A few meters further down the street on the right hand the visitors can find the church of Agios Titos a beautiful building, with Byzantine origin which was rebuilt by the Venetians during the 16th century. At the front of the building, there is a spacious square, which accommodates a municipality run restaurant during the summer months. Opposite the square, and the church, on the other side off the road, the visitors can find the Theotokopoulou (El Greco) square and mini-park.

The Palace of Knossos

The palace of Knossos according to Greek mythology, was the dwelling of king Minos. King Minos, had Daedalus construct a large maze (Labyrinth) in which he intended to retain his son the minotaur. Knossos was built like a multi-story building and was covering an area of 20.000 Sq.m. Some of the preserved wall paintings keep their original colors up to date, showcasing the impressive painting technique that shows with vivid colors stories or thematic representations of the time. The palace is set around a large Central Court, an area used for public meetings. the visitors may visit the capital of Minoan Crete 5km south of Heraklion, at the Knossos avenue (a street named after the palace of Knossos)

Ag. Nikolaos

Port of Ag. Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is the name of a Crete prefecture (the rightmost on Crete island) with the larger town a coastal town with the same name Ag. Nikolaos, situated in the northern part of the Eastern Crete. The name of the city translates to Saint Nicholas. Agios Nikolaos is a common placename in Cyprus and Greece since Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors. Agios Nikolaos is accessible from the whole of Europe and the mainland through Nikos Kazantzakis airport at Heraklion (HER), as well as the daily bus services from Heraklion. From the port of Agios Nikolaos, just a short distance with a ferry ride is Spinalonga Island, an old Venetian fortress turned into an ex-leper colony, and nowadays abandoned and open to the public. Preview the sea traffic at the port of Agios Nikolaos, Marinetraffic

Platanus Tree krasi

Krasi is a village that is located at an altitude of 600 meters and belongs to the Municipality of Chersonissos. At the center of the village one huge plane tree with a trunk of 24 meters in diameter and 2400 years of age, spreads its branches. it is estimated that more than 10 people are required in order to "hug" the tree at its trunk. The plane tree is a whole ecosystem, with its wide foliage, it covers the square of the village in which the most central café is located at which the visitors are attracted by its beauty and the shade, during the summer months, finding a peaceful and quiet place to relax or take a break during their climb (or driving) upwards to the Lasithi Plateau. Near the tree at the central square of the village, there are beautiful arched water fountains. It is known that Nikos Kazantzakis, spent several summers in Krasi along with other people of art. You can find the exact location of the Planetree following this link. Enjoy your Visit!

Sunken City of Olous

Olous was the most powerful city-state near Lato, one of the greatest cities on the island, with a sanctuary, a harbor, and its own coinage. In ancient times, around the 2nd century AD, it was famous for its wooden statue of the goddess Artemis and Zeus which were worshipped. One kilometer east of Elounda, near the windmills on the peninsula of Spinalonga under the clear blue sea, rests sunken, the ancient city of Olous. On a day with dormant winds and waves, it is possible to see the ruins of the famous city under the water level, next to the chapel of Analysis. You can watch a short video of the area here.

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