Skip to content

Sightseeing in Crete Region

Historic Site
“Fortezza castle was build by the Venetians in the 16th century, and was captured by the Ottomans in 1646. There are great views over the sea and the city. There are mosques, art exhibitions and a small ancient style theater. My advice is to avoid the heat and go early in the evening (note that it closes at 19.30 or 20.00). Also note that during the summer concerts may take place which means that you may not get the chance to see the theater if it is not early enough.”
53 locals recommend
Historic Site
“The most important center of Minoan civilization, Knossos, is built on the hill of Kefalas, surrounded by olives, vineyards and cypresses, is located 5 km south of Heraklion and covers an area of about 15 sq. Km. The selection of the area was based on its strategic location and its natural advantages. It is located between the two rivers Vlihia and Kirata (today Katsambas), with easy access to the sea, but also to the interior of Crete. According to tradition, it was the seat of King Minos and the capital of his state. Knossos was an important city in antiquity, with a continuous life from the Neolithic to the 5th century AD. century and there was built the first important Minoan palace of Crete. This is the most important example of the Minoan civilization, which lived in its prime from 1700 to 1450 BC. The area of the palace of Knossos is connected with fascinating myths, such as the Labyrinth with Minotaur and Daedalus with Icarus. Even in later periods it plays an important role and develops particularly, as in the Hellenistic era.”
55 locals recommend
History Museum
“The Maritime Museum of Crete is housed at the Venetian Firka fortress, placed at the entrance of the old harbor in Chania. This location has historical importance because on December, 1st, 1913, the Greek flag was raised there and signaled the unification of Crete with the Greek state. The initial idea behind the museum was to build a place that would depict the Greek naval tradition and especially the naval history of Crete.”
17 locals recommend
Historic Site
“A fortress, a disease, an island: the Spinalonga. At the entrance of Elounda Bay you will see its impregnable fortress, which in the depths of the centuries have tried many to conquer: Venetians, Ottomans, refugees, rebels. Years later, he was conquered by a disease ... Here, from 1905 to 1957, the lepers of the whole of Greece were housed. A story inspired by Victoria's award-winning historic novel, "The Island". Today, you can still feel the mystery and the history of the rocky island in the atmosphere if you visit it with a boat or even swim.”
24 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“The Loggia was an essential public building in every Venetian city, and this institution was not absent even from Venice's colonies. For Candia, Loggia is considered to be one of the most elegant architectural monuments of the Venetian period, a representative example of the palladian style. During the Venetian period, Loggia was the official meeting place of sovereigns and nobility where they discussed various topics concerning economic, commercial, and political matters. It was also used as a place where people passed their time, something like a combination of a chamber and a gentlemen's club. The Loggia we see today is the fourth one; others that were built before this were abandoned due to their position, or were made obsolete by time. The last Loggia was built around 1628 by the ‘General Provisioner' Frangisko Morosini, known also by the homonymous fountain in the centre of the town. It is situated next to Armeria (the armoury where they used to keep guns and ammunition), and is a building of a rectangular type with two floors, with doric type columns on the ground floor and ionic ones on the first floor. At the corners of the building there were square columns. The space between the columns, on the ground floor, had a low parapet, while the middle was open and served as the main entrance leading onto 25th August St, known then by the name "Ruga Maistra". After the fall of the city to the Turks, Loggia lost its old identity and glamour. The new conqueror did not feel the need of such a building and had it made into the seat of the high finance officer, Tefterdar, and the secretary general, who was a Christian officer, responsible for the matters that concerned the Christians and the Turkish authorities. The Tefterdar also had jurisdiction over the "Armeria" (the storeroom where they used to keep their guns), now called "tzephanes". The Loggia's adventure continued even after the liberation from the Turks. The newly independent Cretan State proposed that the building could be used as an Archaeological Museum. After, an earthquake however, it was better considered that the building was not safe and the idea for housing a museum was abandoned. Later in 1904 it was regarded that the building was ready to fall and people started, unfortunately without any care, to demolish the first floor. The following year, the building was granted to the Town Hall, with the "Armeria" in order to house some of its services. Ten years will go by until the first stone will be placed officially for the restoration of Loggia. Maximillian Ongaro, who was also the curator of the architectural monuments of Venice, was in charge of the building work. Still though, the works were delayed. At the end of 1934 the "Armeria" was again handed back to the Town Hall to be used for municipal services. After some years, and following the end of the 2nd World War, the works for the restoration of Loggia and its connection, through an atrium, with the Armeria, started afresh. Today the first floor has been formed into a special hall for ceremonies and the weekly meetings of the Municipal Council and it has been accordingly furnished and decorated. The crowning of all these efforts was the awarding of the prize in 1987 from the international organization "Europa Nostra" for the most successful restoration of a historical building with a modern use in the Greek area.”
9 locals recommend
Church
“oplou Monastery (Greek: Μονή Τοπλού) is a 15th-century monastery located in a dry and barren area in the Lasithi regional unit, on the eastern part of the island of Crete in Greece. It is about 6 km (3.7 mi) north of the village of Palekastro and 85 km (53 mi) east of Agios Nikolaos. The monastery was originally called Panagia Akrotiriani (Virgin Mary of the Cape), after the nearby Sidero cape. Its current name literally means "with the cannonball", thus called by the Turks for the cannon and cannonballs (Turkish: top) it had in its possession for defensive purposes. History Toplou monastery is one of the most significant monasteries in Crete, dedicated to Panagia (Virgin Mary) and St. John the Theologian. It was founded around the mid 15th century, probably on the ruins of an earlier convent. The monastery was plundered by the knights of Malta in 1530 and shattered in 1612 by a strong earthquake. Due to its strategic position, the senate of the Republic of Venice, then ruler of Crete, decided to financially aid in rebuilding it. The monastery flourished until the surrender of eastern Crete to the Turks in 1646, after which it was abandoned for a long time. In 1704, it acquired special protection privileges from the Patriarch (i.e., stauropegic) and was re-inhabited. After its monks were slaughtered by Turks in 1821 during the Greek Revolution of Independence, Toplou was again deserted until 1828. In 1866, during the massive Cretan revolt against the Turks, it was once again devastated. During the German occupation of 1941-44, Toplou was providing shelter to resistance fighters and housed their wireless radio. When this was discovered by the Germans, the abbot and two monks were tortured and executed.”
9 locals recommend
Historic Site
“This place features some of the most interesting architectural, musical and artistic events in the city. Almost always something is happening, usually very interesting!”
1 local recommends
Historic Site
“The name Kazarma is derived from the Venetian Casa di Arma, which means barracksor armoury.Indeed, this was the barracks of the Venetian garrison, the army headquarters, of the fortified town of Sitia. The walls of Sitia, which reached as high uphill as the fortress, were built at the same time as the Kazarma, in the late Byzantine years. However, several earthquakes, the revolts of the locals against the Venetians and the raids of Barbarossa caused extensive damage to the walls and the fortress itself. The walls were actually demolished at some point by the Venetians; they had intended to rebuild them, but they never did. Fortunately, the Kazarma had a better fate; the Turks restored it and even made some additions to the construction, which are visible today. The domed lookout outposts on the battlements of the fortress are a typical example of these additions. Two stairways lead to the main, arched entrance, from where one enters a spacious courtyard. A keep sits solid on the other side of the courtyard, across the entrance, and two uneven platforms with steps lead to its entrance. A building of three rooms is located at the east side of the keep, while on the west side one can see the remains of a smaller room which may have been a kitchen. ”
3 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“Rethymnon - The Venetian Loggia the venetian loggia of rethymnon The Venetian Loggia, dating back to the 16th century is used as the archaeological museum's shop (books, models, jigsaw puzzles and cards). Loggia Shop Venetian Loggia On the corner of Arkadiou & Paleologou Street Open Monday to Friday 08.00-15.00 ”
2 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“The Kara Musa Pasha Mosque was named by the Turkish commander of the occupation of Rethymno naval operations and is the site of the Venetian monastery of St. Barbara. One of the most characteristic features is the covered dome fountain that served both ceremonial purposes and the water needs of the region.”
2 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
1 local recommends
Historic Site
5 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“Aptera is located about 15 km. away from the city of Chania and above Souda Bay, and during the Minoan period was one of the most important city-states of Crete. It is located on en extended plateau with altitude 200m and astonishing view of Souda Bay.”
1 local recommends