Karfi

Top at Karfi

Minoan settlement Karfi on Lasithi plateau Karfi is a crucial Minoan village east of Diaselou tis Ampelou (Seli) which is placed at the borders of the areas of Heraklion and Lasithi. The village was constructed on the eastern section of the magnificent limestone outcropping and experts say it populated the entire level space amongst the highs Small and Big Koprana and housed around 3,500 residents. The title Karfi (Nail), is unusual and it was assigned afterward because its authentic historic title was ‘forgotten’. The village started in the period when the Minoans were pursued aside by the Dorian people who… learn more

Neapoli

Neapoli

Neapoli, one of the most beautiful cities on Crete with the ancient Dorian mountain town of Driros. Neapoli is one of the most beautiful cities – not only of the prefecture of Lasithi but on the whole of Crete. It is conveniently located in the middle of the lush, green Skafi basin on the Gulf of Mirabello and is still an important administrative seat of the region. From here it is only 21 miles (35 km) to the Lasithi Plateau, as well as a short distance to Aghios Nikolaos and Elounda on the Gulf of Mirabello or to Malia in… learn more

Aghios Ioannis Peninsula

Coastal section on the Agios Ioannis peninsula.

The wild and untapped Agios Ioannis peninsula. The triangular peninsula of Aghios Ioannis – north of Aghios Nikolaos and inland from Elounda – is surprisingly wild and not very crowded. Narrow streets are leading along secluded agricultural hamlets and small villages. The section of the main national road from Heraklion, which runs from Malia via Neapoli to Aghios Nikolaos, marks the southern boundary of the peninsula of Aghios Ioannis. If one follows the national main road, one first reach the gorge of Sellinari, where the travelers traditionally stop and pray to Saint George for a safe passage. This impressive road,… learn more

Olous

Olous

Olous, the sunken ancient city. One kilometer east of Elounda, near the windmills on the peninsula of Spinalonga under the clear blue sea, sleeps the sunken ancient city of Olous. In today’s place name of Elounda lives the ancient Greek term ‘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 Anlipsis. Olous was one of the approximately one hundred cities, which existed in Crete already in the Minoan age from approximately 3,000 to 900 BC. Olous became later the port… learn more

Arhanes, south of Heraklion

vineyard area south of Heraklion

Aqueduct, burial ground at Fourni, Arhanes, Minoan megaron of Vathypetro. Sightseeing south of Heraklion: Aqueduct of Heraklion If one drives from Heraklion via Knossos in the southern direction, one reach the Venetian bridge of Ayia Irini after about 4.2 miles (7 km), where the remains of an extraordinary aqueduct are visible, which once supplied Heraklion with fresh water. The aqueduct has a medieval or even ancient appearance, but is in reality not even two centuries old. It was built in the short time of the Egyptian administration of Crete in the years from 1832 to 1840. A little further, at… learn more

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

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

Matala

Matala

Matala, the hippy sandstone caves on the Libyan Sea. Location of Matala From the Palace of Festos there is a turn-off to Matala, which is 7 miles away. Before you reach Pitsidia after 4 miles and after another mile you will notice a dirt road which leads to the right to Kommos, the old port of Festos. This settlement flourished from the Neopalatial period to the Romans. During the excavations, a sacred complex with surrounding buildings were discovered, which dates back to the 1st century AD. The buildings in the southwest were probably warehouses or port facilities. 7 miles further… learn more

Lato

Lato

Lato, the best preserved mountain city of the Dorians on Crete. Location and history of Lato Just outside Kritsa, there is an asphalt road for about 2 1/2 miles to the archaeological site of Lato. Alternatively, the village of Chamilion, 2 1/2 miles west of Aghios Nikolaos on the signpost road to the Lasithi Plateau (and can be reached by bus or hired car), one can take a one hour hike in beautiful countryside along the signs to Lato. Lato was originally founded by the Dorians and existed until the classical age. The ruins are not much visited, as tourists… learn more