HERAKLION TOWN

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Places to visit if you stay in Heraklion town


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Agia Pelagia
Agia Pelagia is a small, quiet resort situated high on a peninsular with spectacular views accross the bay. It is know for its sandy beaches and calm sea and the stunning views. It is an excellent choice for those seeking a relaxing and lay back holiday. Popular resorts in the area are also Lygaria and Mathe.

Arhanes
This beautiful market town has won an award for being one of the best-kept towns in the European Union. Several sites of archaeological interest lie in the area.

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Arvi (87 Km from Heraklion)
Seaside village on the Libyan Sea, harbor of Viannos. In recent times, this was the first place on Crete where bananas were commercially cultivated; other agricultural produce is now also grown in the area.
7 km from Viannos is Keratokambos, a seaside settlement with clean beaches and scenic little taverns.
6 km further west is Tsoutsouras, another beautiful seaside settlement with picturesque bays.

Chani Kokkini
A beautiful seaside settlement with many hotels, restaurants and entertainment centers. Its main attractions are two sandy beaches, each gently shelving and equipped with sun loungers and a range of water sports.

When on the beach, you can see the ruins of an ancient settlement in the sea, which is believed by archaeologists to be the place where ships were built during Minoan times


Fodele
Heraklion Crete Fodele Fodele is a mountainous area. Both the old core of the settlement at the western slope of the small valley and the newer at the banks of the small river compose a very interesting structured environment, which in combination with the rich vegetation and the orange groves create a unique landscape for central Crete.

The village comprises an oasis of freshness, especially for the hot days of summer. The village's square offers itself for relaxation and gives the chance to visitors to enjoy their coffee or lunch next to the river underneath the perennial plane trees. A bit further down the square, at Archontico settlement there is Dominico Theotocopoulos Museum of Replicas, which is housed at the alleged birthplace of the great painter. At the same settlement there is the small Byzantine church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) (The presentation of the Virgin Mary), which is said to be the motive of Greco to get involved with hagiography. This church is built on the ruins of an older three-sectioned Byzantine church with wonderful frescos and sculptures.

Gazi
Just 7 Km away from Heraklion on the right side of the bank of Gazanos river, as the ancient Triton river is known. The area of Gazi has been inhabited since Minoan times and nowadays hosts the Municipality's headquarters at a newly built Town Hall situated at Platia Eleftherias. It is a resort with 12 settlements presenting residential booming maintaining the same time its individual cultural interest.


Ammoudara is one of the most organized beaches Heraklion county. The 5 Km long sandy beach is suitable for sports. In the summertime, it is most vibrant since it embraces thousands of tourists. There are taverns with traditional dishes, coffee shops, bars and clubs.

Three (3) Km after Gazi is Kavrochori settlement, which is popular for its vivid traditional character and picturesqueness. Narrow allies, old factories and stone built houses with 'ontas' and wooden staircase. It is worth mentioning the old olive press (Fabrika) of the village that is at least 200 years old.

Gouves
A village cut in two, due to the road, to Upper and Lower Gouves. The Lower part is next to the sea with amazing beaches, a developed tourist center, whereas the Upper are inland, among olive trees and vineyards.

Hersonissos
The most modern and well-organized tourist area in the county. During the summer, its beautiful beaches are full of tourists and there is a thriving nightlife in the bars and hotels. Days can been spent relaxing on the sandy and shingle beaches. There are plenty of tavemas for local and international specialities, a feast of fast food bars for snacks on the move restaurants, patisseries, cafe bars.
The independent city of Hersonissos once existed, harbor of the ancient city Lyttos. You can also visit the very interesting Lychnostatis Museum of Cretan Traditional Life and Folk Culture.

Kalessa
It is a small, picturesque village with a traditional settlement of stone built houses, on a hill. It bring back past times of 1900 with the old quarter and the narrow allies that give a sense of tranquility and simplicity. The traditional coffee shops serve tsikoudia (local strong alcoholic drink) and Cretan rusks with olives from the local production and wine made from the famous grapes of Kalessa.
At the square of the village there is Evagelismos church (Annunciation church), typical sample of the Venetian domination in Crete of 13th century. Another significant church is Ai Yiorgi church (St. George church), stone built which dates back to 1300.

Lendas (74 Km from Heraklion)
Seaside resort village which draws hundreds of tourists in the summer. Nearby lie the ruins of the ancient city of Lebena, which was sacred and a place of worship for the god Asclepius and Hygeia Sotira.

Malia
Malia has one of the best beaches on the north coast of Crete, a 2 Km stretch of excellent golden sand. It is on the whole a fun loving and lively resort for a hectic nightlife.
For those who appreciate the cultural history of Crete, visit the Minoan Palace in Old Malia in the upper part of the village with its narrow streets and traditional tavernas is ideal for romantics.
The monastery of Panagia Palatiani with beautiful frescoes, as well as the scenic village of Krasi, which was a favorite summer retreat for the young Kazantzakis and his friends and family are worth a visit.

Matala
One of Crete's most ancient cities, until the 1970’s this was a little-known fishing village. It then suddenly shot to fame on account of its large international hippy colony. The reputation gained in its heyday has taken years to live down.

Stalida (Stalis)
Stalida, sandwiched between Hersonissos and Malia, is a luxuriantly green, densely populated tourist resort with beautiful beaches and many hotel complexes. It seems to have something for all ages and tastes, though it's particularly good for beach lovers. Here you will find many taverns, bars and all sorts of entertainment. You may visit Mochos village with small traditional cafes. What is very popular in this area is the fair, which takes place on the 15 of August.

Zaros
One of the most beautiful provincial centres in the county, dominating the eastern slope of Mount Ida, Psiloritis with its plentiful water and the Votomos and Mati springs. Visitors can sit at picturesque tavernas, where they can fish trout from tanks and enjoy them within a few minutes.