Peninsula of Spinalonga

Peninsula of Spinalonga

Walks, hiking and sandy beaches on the peninsula of Spinalonga. In general, the island in front of Elounda is called ‘Peninsula of Spinalonga’ (meaning ‘long thorn’). Among the locals it is called ‘Kolikitha’, also to clearly distinguish it from the fortress island of Spinalonga. Actually ‘Kolikitha’ is no longer a peninsula, since, at the end of the 19th century, French engineers laid a small canal for boats through the marshy isthmus and built a bridge over it. Kolikitha Beach In the east you can reach almost the Kolikitha beach by a passable path by car. Near a small church, there … learn more

Gournia

Gournia

Gournia, the best preserved city of the Minoans. History Gournia, which is situated in a saddle between two low hills along the highway from Aghios Nikolaos to Ierapetra, is the best preserved city of the Minoans on the whole of Crete. The original name of this Minoan city is not known and the present name comes from small, ancient hallows, which belonged to the houses of the settlement. It is not to determine when Gournia was originally founded and only the ruins tell us the story. From the graves of Mochlos, however, we know that as early as the 3rd … learn more

Knossos

Palace of Knossos

Knossos, the largest Minoan palace. Knossos is located about 3 miles south of Heraklion on a flat, largely artificially constructed hill, which was known in ancient times under the name ‘Tselepi’ or ‘Kefala’. There is by far the largest of the Minoan palaces found so far. History The area was settled at least since the Neolithic period around 6,000 BC. By the end of this period around 3,000 BC it was a larger settlement in a lush area on fertile soil, which was described by the poet Pindar as an ‘abundance of trees’. The few remains from the Protopalatial period … learn more

Panayia Kera church

Panayia Kera Church

Old Byzantine Panayia Kera church at Kritsa History The Panayia Kera church is a three-aisled and dome-shaped church, with fantastic Byzantine frescoes. It is located along the road from Aghios Nikolaos about 1/2 mile before Kritsa. The excursion is then also very practical with the adjoining, ancient Doric mountain town of Lato. The church was constructed in three sections and the present center nave with the dome hall was built in the 12th century. The construction of the dome is unique in Crete since it clearly shows the Venetian influence. On the other hand, the southern nave, consecrated to Saint … learn more