Let’s suppose that you ‘ve just landed in Crete and specifically in the beautiful city of Heraklion. Well, let’s also say that you’ve got some time, you have saved some money and a strong motivation to travel around Crete, urges you to do a small and quick research on the places that worth a visit. Where would you go and what cities would you visit?
Crete is one of the most popular islands and a worldwide top holiday destination. Crete is an island that will astonish you while its people’s hospitality and positive mood will definitely create the best memories and experiences! If you’re into architecture, get ready to get astonished by the Venetian influenced cities that follow below! (The Venetian architecture is actually quite visible to the eye from the first moment since, historically, after the Arabs and Byzantines, Crete was conquered by Venetians in 1252 and was given to Turks in 1669).
In the itinerary that follows, I’ve prepared a few suggestions that would definitely steal your heart, whether you’re travelling to Crete during winter or summer! Well, in this case travelling during summer is strongly recommended! Let’s start!
As previously mentioned, you’ve just landed in the beautiful city of Heraklion, which is gonna be the starting point of this 3-day itinerary! Heraklion, also known as Iraklio, is a port city and the capital of the Greek island of Crete. It’s mainly known for the Palace of Knossos, located just outside the city. The huge archaeological site is definitely worth a visit and it dates back thousands of years to the Minoan civilization.
The ‘old town'' areas of the city, established from the medieval times, nowadays offer visitors some fantastic walks in the heart of the city. In the heart of the city there are many monuments dating to the Middle Ages, a period in which Heraklion witnessed great prosperity. City squares and pedestrian walkways filled with a youthful energy, raki (the local drink), ouzo, gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels are awaiting to be discovered!
Having a car (you can actually find multiple rental spots around the capital) makes it super easy to travel from Heraklion to the majestic city of Rethymno, which is only a few kilometers away! Upon your arrival to Rethymno, it is recommended to wander through the narrow alleys of the old town, a seaside neighborhood that dates back to the 11th century. Here you'll find prime examples of Venetian Renaissance architecture along with splashes of Turkish influence spread throughout the city. The food and shopping options in old town are seemingly endless…The streets are so charming, the locals are so kind and the food is so good. Case in point, Rethymno’s old town is simply beautiful.
Only a couple hours driving away from Rethymno, the impressive city of Chania should definitely be added to your agenda as your next stop! Chania, (pronounced in greek Haniá) is a place where different civilisations have flourished throughout the centuries. Nowadays, it is the second largest city of Crete after Heraklion and it is divided in two parts; the old and new city. It is considered to be probably one of the most beautiful and most picturesque cities of Greece; unique maze-like alleys, beautiful Venetian mansions, fountains, churches and well preserved historical monuments can be found all over the city center!
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