Crete tourist guide

The best Polish website dedicated to the Greek island Crete and to a small extent of continental Greece. You will find useful information related to visiting Crete that goes beyond the offer of optional tours. On the website you will also find descriptions of the most interesting places that we visited by visiting this largest Greek island. The content complements the current news, photographs and recipes of Greek cuisine.

Elounda

Although Elounda seems to be a sleepy fishing town to this day, however, appearances should not fool you, because this town and its surroundings can boast of probably the largest number of hotels with the highest standards of service. Beautiful landscape and an amazing view of the Mirambello bay is the reason why Elounda was so quickly and greedily absorbed by modern mass tourism. In luxurious SPA resorts, the most famous guests from Greece and around the world spend their holidays. It was in this place that Lady Gaga, well-known Greek and European politicians and Russian businessmen, whose names are on the top positions of the list of people with the largest personal assets, rested. Unfortunately, this accumulation of fame and luxury has significantly affected the prices that apply in the area of ​​Elounda. Let us not kid ourselves, the rest in this place is reserved for people with properly thick wallets.

Luxury hotels in Elounda

History

After arriving in this town, the modern Cretan architecture seems to completely blur the centuries-old history of Elounda. This area of ​​the coast of Crete has been inhabited since Minoan times. In antiquity there was a very well-known city of Olous, about which Homer recalled in the epic. Ancient Olous was in a place called Poros. Currently, it is a narrow isthmus connecting the city of Elounda with the półolokytha peninsula. As a result of tectonic movements, the coast in this region of Crete has decreased significantly, which caused the destruction of this ancient city. Olous was sunk by the Mediterranean, and its ruins to this day can be seen through the waters of Mirambello Bay.

Olous was one of the most powerful and largest city-states. It had a port, and it minted its own coins and was an important center of worship. In ancient times, it was famous for the wooden statue of the goddess Artemis.

The reign of the Romans has definitely strengthened the city's position. Its strength is testified by the fact that in the fifth century in Olous there was a seat of the bishop. Currently, you can still admire the remains of the mosaic that was in this building.





In the 7th century, the city was invaded by Arab pirates in the Mediterranean. Olous was looted and largely destroyed. During this period, due to the inability to continue trading, the inhabitants of Olous abandoned their city and moved to the villages located inside the island. The fate of ancient Olous was sealed by a strong earthquake in 780 AD

It was not until the reign of the Venetians that Olous again appeared on the maps of that time. In 1376, the name Elonda (from the ancient Olound) is mentioned for the first time in documents. At the time, the Venetians were trading tycoons in the Mediterranean, so it is not surprising that they appreciated the high qualities of the natural port of Elounda. The Venetians significantly expanded the fortifications to protect the coast from the threat of still marauding pirates and from the Turks. It is during this period that a fortress is built on the island of Spinalonga. Strong fortifications armed with 35 cannons were such a perfect defense that the island remained in the possession of the Venetians until 1715, even though Crete was taken over by the Turks 70 years earlier.

During the Turkish occupation, Elounda did not develop as dynamically as before. Acquiring salt was still a good source of income and attracting workers from nearby villages such as Fourni. Newcomers usually settled in Pano Elounda and Kato Elounda. Just before the end of the Turkish occupation, Elounda had 681 inhabitants.

From 1913, after the unification of Crete with Greece, the number of inhabitants of this town began to grow dynamically. This trend continued in the following years, which translated into more than a two-fold increase in the number of inhabitants. In 1928 Elounda was inhabited by 1,500 people.

From 1928 until the outbreak of World War II, the British Imperial Airways seaplanes landed at Elounda to refuel before a further cruise.

During the Second World War, the German army occupied Elounda for strategic reasons to prevent any possible landing of the Allies.

The dynamic development of tourism in Elounda began in 1969, when the first large hotel was built.


A good place for a cruise

There are still many fishing boats moored in the port, but the vast majority of them are touriste "taxis" running between Elounda and Spinalonga. We recommend taking a cruise to this characteristic island with a very interesting history. Dozens of minutes spent at sea will help you regain your strength and rest from the heat. Ships depart from the marina located just off the main square of the city. The cost of the cruise is around 20 € per person. For a little less money, you can also take a boat from the town of Plaka. Unfortunately, the cruise from that port is much shorter.

We also recommend a walk (or a car ride) to the narrow isthmus connecting the city of Elounda with the półolokytha peninsula. There are windmill remains along the asphalt road.

Elounda - panorama from the road
Panorama on the Mirambellou Bay from the road leading to Elounda

How to get

Regardless of the direction you are going to go from, you must first go to Agios Nikolaos. After reaching this city on one of the first intersections, you have to turn left, and then start an arduous climb along a road that extends along a mountain slope that descends into the sea. If you are a driver, unfortunately, but you will miss a lot of attractive views of one of the most beautiful parts of Crete - the Mirabello bay.

Elounda map

west
central
east

Interesting places on Crete

↤ click the appropriate part of the island to change the bottom map

Malia
Malia

Malia

Information about one of the more known tourist cities of Crete, or about Malia. Description of attractions located in the city of Malia and a description of the specificity of this town.

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Kritsa
Kritsa

Kritsa

Kritsa is one of the largest villages in Crete. The village has a lot of shops with local crafts.

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Lasithi
Lasithi

Lasithi

The Lasithi Plateau is located about 70 kilometers from the capital of Crete - Heraklion. The average height at which the terrain of this plateau is located is 840 m above sea level.

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Dikte Cave
Dikte Cave

Dikte Cave

One of the tourist attractions eagerly visited by people spending their holidays in Crete is the Dikte (Psychro) cave. The main factors that attract people to this cave are a rich and varied dripstone robe and a close connection with mythology.

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Panagia Kera
Panagia Kera

Panagia Kera

Among the olive groves in the place called Logari, which is less than a kilometer from the village of Kritsa, there is a small Byzantine church of Panagia Kera from the 13th-14th centuries.

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Stalida
Stalida

Stalida

Stalida is located directly along the coast and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Crete, which definitely comes alive with the advent of the tourist season

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Gorge Ha
Gorge Ha

Gorge Ha

Most people crossing the route between Agios Nikolaos and Ierapetra will definitely notice the large crack which is marked by the mountain located east of this road. This majestic geological creation called Ha was probably created as a result of an earthquake.

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Xerokambos
Xerokambos

Xerokambos

Xerokambos is a small settlement in which you will find literally several taverns, and most of the buildings are single-storey and one-story houses. The big advantage of this beach is a gentle sandy descent to the sea.

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Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos (Άγιος Νικόλαος) is a small town with less than 20,000 inhabitants. permanent residents (according to statistical data from 2001). This city is the capital of the Lasithi nomos.

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Elounda
Elounda

Elounda

Although Elounda seems to be a sleepy fishing town to this day, however, appearances should not fool you, because this town and its surroundings can boast of probably the largest number of the best hotels.

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more
Elounda
Elounda

Elounda

Although Elounda seems to be a sleepy fishing town to this day, however, appearances should not fool you, because this town and its surroundings can boast of probably the largest number of the best hotels.

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more
Stalida
Stalida

Stalida

Stalida is located directly along the coast and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Crete, which definitely comes alive with the advent of the tourist season

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Lato
Lato

Lato

The ancient city of the LATO can be found near the charming village of Krista near Agios Nikolaos.

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Gournia
Gournia

Gournia

It is recognized that Gournia was inhabited between 3000 BC. 1,200 BC and is one of the few cities unearthed to a large extent.

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Zakros
Zakros

Zakros

Zakros is the fourth-largest Minoan palace in Crete in importance and size. This latest found, built on the east coast of the island is located in the village of Káto Zákros.

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zakros
zakros

zakros

Zakros is the fourth-largest Minoan palace in Crete in importance and size. This latest found, built on the east coast of the island is located in the village of Káto Zákros.

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Palace in Malia
Palace in Malia

Palace in Malia

The first palace was built around 1900 BC. in the place where there was a quite impressive settlement whose remains were later transformed into the central part of the city.

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Moni Toplou
Moni Toplou

Moni Toplou

Moni Toplou (Μονή Τοπλού) also called as The Great Monastery is one of the most beautiful and important monasteries in Crete.

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Moni Toplou
Moni Toplou

Moni Toplou

Moni Toplou (Μονή Τοπλού) also called as The Great Monastery is one of the most beautiful and important monasteries in Crete.

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Mochlos
Mochlos

Mochlos

Mochlos is a small town located roughly halfway between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.

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Vai
Vai

Vai

O Vai zrobiło się głośno, gdy w latach 70-tych na tle palmowego gaju nakręcono reklamę kokosowych batoników Bounty.

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Spinalonga
Spinalonga

Spinalonga

This inconspicuous little island located about 5 km from the center of Elounda is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Crete.

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Trypitos
Trypitos

Trypitos

When heavy equipment entered the promontory near Sitia, no one expected that this area contained the ruins of the Hellenic city.

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Richtis
Richtis

Richtis

The abundance of water and shade mean that even at the peak of the tourist season, this place is full of lush vegetation.

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Chamaizi
Chamaizi

Chamaizi

At the top of a cone-shaped hill called Souvloto Mouri, the remains of an unusual building with a unique oval shape were discovered.

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Moni Toplou Winery
Itanos
Itanos

Itanos

The ruins of the ancient city of Itanos are located at the eastern tip of Crete, less than 3 kilometers north of the famous palm beach of Vai. Although there are also nice beaches at Itanos, unlike its well-known neighbor, this place does not attract crowds. There are either accidental stray tourists or excavation enthusiasts here.

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Roussolakos
Roussolakos

Roussolakos

Just over 2 km from Palekastro, next to Chiona beach, there is a large archaeological site called Roussolakos

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Roussolakos
Roussolakos

Roussolakos

Just over 2 km from Palekastro, next to Chiona beach, there is a large archaeological site called Roussolakos

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Ierapetra
Ierapetra

Ierapetra

Ierapetra (Ιεράπετρα) is the fourth largest city of Crete and also the largest town located in the Lassithi prefecture.

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Diaskari - Green Beach
Diaskari - Green Beach

Diaskari - Green Beach

Diaskari Beach, also known as Green Beach, is less than 3 km from Makry Gialos.

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Koufonissi - cruise to the island
Koufonissi - cruise to the island

Koufonissi - cruise to the island

Koufonissi is a small island in the Libyan Sea, located just a stone's throw from the southern coast of Crete.

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Makry Gialos
Makry Gialos

Makry Gialos

Makry Gialos is one of the less-appreciated tourist destinations in Crete.

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Sitia
Sitia

Sitia

Less than 10,000 population of Sitia makes the city the smallest in Crete. Some even go a step further and say perversely that it is rather the largest village of Crete.

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Napoleon's house
Napoleon's house

Napoleon's house

Napoleon's house is one of the few typically tourist attractions in Ierapetra. About what could have happened here in the summer of 1798 and possibly how much in this legend is the truth we write in the article on the page below.

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Zakros and Kato Zakros
Zakros and Kato Zakros

Zakros and Kato Zakros

Zakros is a small town on the east coast of Crete, less than 40 km south-east of Sitia.

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gość PiotrWie: Dzisiaj zrobiło się tak ciepło że o 19 kupiliśmy lody na ulicy. A Rosjanie to się nawet kąpali ale nie wiem może są z Syberii
Andy Hatfield: Drove through it from rythmno to avios pavlos plakias and galini beautiful drive
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Piotrek | www.crete.pl : A u nas w Polsce na ten tydzień zapowiadane są dwa dni z temperaturami podchodzącymi pod 30'C. Na razie jednak póki co mamy bardzo silne wiatry, które podnoszą z ziemi pył i kurz :/
Piotrek | www.crete.pl : Super, że poprawili oznakowanie szlaku, bo wcześniej bywało z tym różnie. Podziwiam, że mimo takiej ilości wody udało Wam się dojść do wodospadu. Pamiętam, że miejscami nawet w czasie kiedy my byliśmy było dosyć ślisko. W szczególności na tych odcinkach gdzie szlak przechodził w błotnistą ścieżkę (niedaleko ruin dawnych młynów wodnych).
Iwona Strzałkowska-Warmuz: Ja w czerwcu
gość PiotrWie: Byliśmy dziś w wąwozie Richtis. Po deszczach jest wysoki poziom wody i pomiędzy mostem a wodospadem jest naprawdę trudno trzeba mocno kombinować by przekraczać strumień. Miejscami kamienie przeznaczone do tego są przykryte 10 centymetrową warstwą wody. Nawet dojście do mostu nie jest takie proste bo kilkudziesięciometrowymi odcinkami woda płynie całą szerokością i jest niebezpiecznie ślisko. (...)
gość PiotrWie: Było zimno - nasz gospodarz stwierdził że jeszcze nie serwował śniadania w kurtce. Ale od dziś się zdecydowanie ociepla i w przyszłym tygodniu ma być już ciepło.
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