Ancient sites in Crete
For those of you who have visited Crete, you will know there is much more to this beautiful Greek Island than white, sandy beaches. Although Crete is the perfect location for lazy days on the beach soaking up the sun, there is plenty more to see and do if you like culture, museums and visiting ancient sites. Here is a guide to Archaeological sites in Crete:
The resort of Chania has a few ancient ruins you can visit, the most important one being Aptera which was built on a site 15km from Chania. The city walls still stand today and reminiscent of Cyclopean walls of Tiryns and Mycenae. As well as the walls you can see the remains of a small temple of Demeter, a Roman Theatre and the enormous vaulted cisterns of the Roman period. It’s free entrance. Nearby is the ancient town of Falassarna which has remains of Cyclopean walls, tombs, house foundations, sculptures that are carved from rocks, and a throne. This is also free to get in. You can visit Kissamos Archaeological museum in Chania which holds treasures of local history from prehistoric times. There is a small fee to enter this museum.
The resort of Rethymnon has 3 building complexes of the Old Palace period with Tholos tombs of the Postpalatial period. You will also find a Minoan cemetery with tombs carved out of rocks at another site in Armeni. Rethymnon also hosts the Fortezza fortress of Rethymnon which is star shaped with 3 gates and 6 bastions. All these are free to enter.
Heraklion, is rich in ancient sites, so for all you culture vultures out there, stay around this area if you want to visit some of the ancient sites that Greece has to offer. For a fee, head to Aghia Trias where you will find ruins of a royal villa and a museum. 46km south of Heraklion is Gortys, which was the capital of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica.
5km of Heraklion is Knossos, where you will find the first palace of Knossos that was built around 1900BC. It costs around 6 Euros to enter where you will find places of worship, treasuries, workshops and storerooms, courts and a museum. 34km east of Heraklion you will find excavations of a palace similar to the ones of Knossos. Many of the objects on display in Heraklion’s Archaeological museum were found in Malia.
Guest post: Ervin Cenmurati is a expert travel adviser and freelance writer on anything about travel.