Crete – a perfect mixture of old and new

crete map

Crete, the most southern of all Greek islands, is indeed a wonder that you should not miss seeing. The combination of ancient sites that amaze even the biggest skeptics about ancient civilization and culture with the new and modern buildings that are built and equipped with top of the line technology is something that is indeed fascinating.

Visiting the island of Crete

If you visit Crete you will surely not be bored and you will always have something new to visit. Even if you might not have an out bursting passion for historic or mythical sites and you are young and wild, you should also visit Crete because the nightlife here offers many choices in nightspots clubs, bars and pubs scattered all over the island in Hersonissos, Iraklion and Chania. You will surely spend nights to remember. You should also try the accommodations that Crete hotels in these cities offer.

The splendor of Crete is given by its ancient sites and the mythological load that each of them carries. One of these places is Knossos, home of the famous labyrinth, a site where a strange ancient atmosphere still persists. It often leads its visitors astray. Its corridors, some now in ruin, can be quite tricky and can easily separate you from your companions. The inhabitant of this labyrinth is said to have once been the Minotaur, half man, half bull, offspring of Queen Pasiphae and a royal bull which she was cursed into loving. To the south lie “The Horns of Consecration”, a name that was given to them by Evans, which announces the presence of a great palace. Knossos presided over a heavily populated city which had over 100,000 inhabitants – a huge number by ancient standards.

Another one of the wonders of Crete, located in the northeastern part of the island, is the modern town of Elounda which lies on the shores of the Gulf of Korthos, also known as Elounda’s Lagoon. This lagoon contains the remains of the sunken city of Olos, remains that can be seen beneath the waves when the water is calm and clear. This lagoon is also said to have been, and by some believers it still is, home of the mermaid goddess Britomartis, the daughter of Carme and Zeus. Other things are in store for curious visitors. Tucked away from the public behind a low wall of stones there is a large and very beautiful Byzantine mosaic, all that remains of the basilica of Olous which once stood on the site.

The Cave of St. Sophia is another site worth seeing that is located just south of Chania, an ancient refuge for saints and rebels. Access to the cave is up a steep rock staircase. Inside you can find marvelous stalagmite formations and a small chapel. Apart from all that, you can find remains from Neolithic and Minoan times.

A city that is often excluded from tours, but is made so at their expense, is the city of Gortyna, a vast ancient city on Crete. There is a lot of sightseeing you can do in this city in which you should include visiting the Temple of Pythian Apollo and the Basilica of St Titus behind which lies the unusual evergreen plane tree. This is the place where it is said that Zeus and Europa mated. Here you can also visit the building containing the 6th century Law Code of Gotryn, the longest ancient inscription of the Greek world. The inscription is written in boustrophedon, a certain type of writing that goes left to right in one line and right to left the upcoming line, requiring the reader to read backwards half the time.

After a day of walking in Crete and visiting Crete ruins and monuments, the tourist will most likely want to rest. Crete hotels are the modern part of Greece. They daily welcome tourists from all over the world amazing with the available facilities and quality services as well as with the contemporary architecture which is in perfect harmony with the “ancient” sites.

Crete apartments are proof of the Greek’s hospitality and attention to visitors, demonstrating a permanent interest in modern development as well as in protecting the local traditional values. In fact, Greece is a tourist attraction especially because it shares with the world its wonderful mysterious past as well as its prosperous and fresh present. It offers wonderful sites of what its grandiose past was and it also offers Crete hotels with up to date amenities, modern structural design and unforgettable views. The options are numerous and they include internet access, car rental and tempting hotel packages, not to mention good positioning near great restaurants and shops. The criteria for choosing one of the many Crete hotels can be different according to your budget and wishes regarding the location or the available services. Although the offers are diverse, you can choose easily because Internet websites provide future tourists with all the necessary information. One can even book an accommodation in one of the Crete hotels by going online and visiting sites which make available informative data. So, don’t waste time anymore and start searching for Crete hotels that can satisfy your demands while visiting Greece’s most beautiful sites.

There are a large number of sites filled with history and myths that should be visited when going to Crete. It is recommended to at least once visit this amazing island that offers a various selection of present day civilization buildings represented by hotels, clubs and restaurants in contrast with the old ruins.

About Crete – Explore Crete

Minoan Crete

History of Crete


Sports & Activities in Crete

Greece Index