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Places of interest

 
The Famous
Minoan
Knossos Palace
 


Knossos Palace

5km south of Heraklion. It is impossible to visit Crete without touring the Palace of Knossos, the pre-eminent Minoan settlement and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Discovered in the late 1870s by Minos Kalokerinos, it was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans for 30 years and is linked through Cretan myths with King Minos, son of Zeus and Europa. Minos may have ruled in legend, but it now seems more likely ‘Minos’ was not a single king but the title given to the rulers of Knossos. The palace covers an area of 20,000 sq m and is so large and labyrinthine that scholars believe it was the inspiration for the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur


Phaistos (Festos)

Phaistos is located 62 km south of Heraklio. It was the second largest city of Minoan Crete and is built on a hill 100 m above sea level, in the fertile valley of Messara.  Since 1900, continuous archaeological excavations from the Italian Archaeological School, have brought to light the magnificent Minoan palace of Phaistos with its magnificent royal courts, great staircases, theatre, storerooms and the famous Phaistos disk.

Gortys


Gortys is located in the Messara Valley, near the village of Agioi Deka, 46 km south of Heraklio towards Timbaki. The Basilica of Agios Titos is one of the oldest and most important monuments of Christianity in Crete and was the seat of the first bishops of the Cretan Church. In the centre of Gortys was the temple of Pythios Apollon, the most important pre-Christian temple, built on the ruins of a Minoan settlement. The most important monuments of ancient Gortys are the ruins of the acropolis and the odeum.

 

 


Agia Triada

4 kms west from Phaistos are the ruins of the Royal Villa, the small Minoan Palace at Agia Triada. The Palace served as a summer residence for the King of Phaistos, and consists of two sections, one section stretching towards the north, the other towards the west.

Ideon Cave

The Ideon Cave is 55 km from Heraklio at an altitude of 1100 m on Mount Psiloritis. Here, in the sacred cave on the Nidha plateau, Rhea hid her son Zeus to save him from his father Kronos.  Archaelogical findings include bronze statuettes, bronze shields and offerings to Zeus, the father of all gods.  Nearby are two springs, Zothimos and Kanithos, that still keep their pre-Hellenic names.

Zakros

The palace of Zakros stands 45km to the east of the town of Sitia, in a sheltered bay on the eastern coast of Crete, oriented politically and commercially towards the major civilisations of the Middle East. It was brought to light by the great Greek archaeologist N. Platon in 1961. The total area of the palace, including ancillary buildings, is approximately 10,000 sq.m. The excavations have yielded over 10,000 objects, many of them considered unique, which are now on display in the Heraklio and Sitia museums.

Malia

The arcaeological site of Malia is located 3 km east of the village of Malia. The Palace of Malia, which covered an area of 7,500 sq.m., is the third largest Minoan palace and is considered the most "provincial" from an architectural point of view.  According to tradition the third son of Zeus and Europa, Sarpedon, ruled here.

 

 
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Don't Miss visiting Crete's Monasteries & Churches

 

Why Crete
The Area of Heraklion


Amazing combination of Minoan, Venetian, Turkish & Cretan architecture

Narrow streets, minarets, citadels, fishing harbour

Excellent shopping facilities including Cretan handicrafts, local herbs, clothes and hand-made leather goods

41 kilometres from the hotel

 



Amazing combination of Minoan, Venetian & Cretan architecture

 

DON'T MISS
Phaistos
The second largest city of Minoan Crete 62 km south of Heraklio.

 

 
 
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MELI PALACE
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Agia Varvara, Vrahassi Lassithi
GR - 72400 Crete
Tel. +30 28410 71502
Fax. +30 28410 71070

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