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.

Fajstos, Festos, Φαιστός, Phaistos

Due to the different transcriptions of the name of this place, which can be heard in various publications, we have given the best known above, but in the following text we use the Polish wording.

About 60 kilometers southwest of the capital of Crete - Heraklion are the ruins of the second largest ancient palace - Phaistos. Visiting the various Minoan palaces of Crete, it is impossible not to compare them with each other, and in the case of Phaistos comparing it with the most famous Minoan Knossos imposes itself. In our opinion, it falls on the plus side of the palace in Phaistos. Smaller than the mythical Knossos, but still big enough to make an impression, more intimate and less occupied by organized optional excursions, which makes him look fantastic and take photos. Unlike Knossos , which resembles a more perfectly organized archaeological amusement park, in Fajstos you can easily find the peace and quiet that you need when visiting places as old as this.

If someone is looking for literalism in reconstructed ancient buildings, such as in Knossos, he will not find it here. For, because of their lack, Fajstos leaves room for our imagination. In places like this one can literally feel "centuries that look at us".




The most valuable archaeological site

Many people from Crete holidays remember the palace in Phaistos as the most valuable archaeological site. Of course, on this island there are a lot of smaller and larger excavations, more or less important in different periods of history. It is not our goal to classify them in terms of meaning and validity, we only write about their feelings as people from childhood fascinated by archeology.




The ancient palace is located in a very attractive place. Built on the eastern slope of Mount Kastri, with a perfect view of the extensive valley of Messara and the mountain range with the highest mountain of Crete - Psiloritis. In ancient times, Phaistos ruled over this region of Crete and had its own port in nearby Kommos on the Libyan Sea.

Fajstos - panorama

What is particularly eye-catching when exploring the excavations is the monumental staircase that is the west entrance to the palace and the tiled central courtyard from which you can admire the view of the Psiloritis mountain range. It was here that the main door was located, on the sides of which the guards were probably in the recesses. Huge clay pots - pitos - formerly used to store oil, have now become the object of countless photographs.
The Palace in Fajstos was discovered in 1900 by Federico Halbherr, an Italian archaeologist but also a friend and adviser to Sir Arthur Evans - known as the discoverer of the Knossoss palace. Halbherr began excavations in Phaistos earlier than Evans in Knossos. It was thanks to him that the famous Gorton boards with written law, which can be seen today in Gortyna and the villa of Agia Triada , where a memorial plaque was erected in honor of the Italian explorer, also saw the light of day.

Ruins of the Second Palace

What appears to our eyes today after entering the area of ​​the Palace in Phaistos is primarily the ruins of the Second Palace built on the remains of the First. The first Palace was built around 1900 BC, but it was destroyed due to the earthquake that hit the area 200 years later. Today it is extremely difficult for archaeologists to recreate the images of both palaces, because their ruins overlap. An additional difficulty are the remains of several reconstructions and renovations of the Old Palace, which were made during this 200-year period of his reign.

Phaistos - stairs



Fortunately for us the builders of the second palace did not destroy the remains of the first, because it was he who provided more valuable finds: a mysterious and still unreadable"href =" / odkryiska-archeologiczne / strona_dysk-z-fajstos.html "> drive from Fajstos, lots of seals, stamps, clay tablets with linear writing A. However, the second palace did not provide any artifacts, which was quite a surprise for archaeologists. Perhaps the reason for this was its weakening role and meaning.One theory on this subject assumes that the second palace was never rebuilt for good, and the explosion of Thera on Santorini around 1450 BC again buried the fate of the palace in Phaistos and the remaining Minoan centers on the island, after attempts to rebuild and restore its role, eventually destroyed neighbor Gortyna.


How to get?


By far the easiest access is from Heraklion , so first you should follow the New National Road towards it. Moving from east to west, you should go around Heraklion bypass the city and exit from it at road 97 at the first exit outside the city. Then follow this road all the way to the south. Before Agia Deka, route 97 changes the direction clearly and from here it goes west. After about 7 km after Mires, follow the signs to the left from the road leading to Timpaki. After driving less than 2 km quite quite steep and winding road, we will get to a small car park where you can leave your car.

If your hotel is located in the western part of Crete, a better way of getting there will be the exit from the New National Road at the height of the city of Rethymnon . Take advantage of the central exit of the city beltway, follow the national road number 97 leading towards Spili and Timpaki. Guideposts for excavations look out for the village of Vori, located about 4.5 kilometers east of Timpaki.
You can enter the excavation area every day from 8 am to 6 pm. The admission ticket costs 8 €. It is worth combining visiting Fajstos with nearby Agia Triada , because the price of a shared ticket is extremely beneficial (old price 6 € - no current price).

Access map to Fajstos

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central
east

Interesting places on Crete

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

Knossos
Knossos

Knossos

Knossos is one of the flagship monuments visited by tourists, it is also the most popular place where organized trips go.

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Heraklion
Heraklion

Heraklion

Heraklion (Iraklion) is the largest city of Crete. With almost 140,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest Greek city.

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Margarites
Margarites

Margarites

Dozens of craft workshops located in this small mountain village make Margarites one of the four main centers where traditional Cretan ceramics are made.

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Heraklion - airport
Heraklion - airport

Heraklion - airport

International airport. Nikos Kazantzakis in Heraklion is currently the largest airport in Crete.

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Heraklion
Heraklion

Heraklion

Heraklion (Iraklion) is the largest city of Crete. With almost 140,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest Greek city.

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Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou

Moni Arkadiou

The date of the foundation of Moni Arkadiou (Arkadi) is not exactly known. According to tradition, the name of this church refers to the name of the Emperor Arkadiusz, who supposedly was to be its founder.

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Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou

Moni Arkadiou

The date of the foundation of Moni Arkadiou (Arkadi) is not exactly known. According to tradition, the name of this church refers to the name of the Emperor Arkadiusz, who supposedly was to be its founder.

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Rethymnon
Rethymnon

Rethymnon

Rethymnon with around 40,000 inhabitants are the third largest city of Crete. This place was populated already in the Minoan period. Historically, the city was an important commercial center.

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Thrapsano
Thrapsano

Thrapsano

Thrapsano is a small town inhabited by slightly over 2,500 people, the vast majority of which until recently maintained their activity as a potter.

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Skinaria
Skinaria

Skinaria

Skinaria is a small beach located along a small bay, whose outlet on both sides ends with a rocky coast. It is still a little-known place overlooked by mass tourism

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Skinaria
Skinaria

Skinaria

Skinaria is a small beach located along a small bay, whose outlet on both sides ends with a rocky coast. It is still a little-known place overlooked by mass tourism

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Jaskinia Idi
Jaskinia Idi

Jaskinia Idi

According to Greek mythology, Zeus hid (and perhaps even gave birth) in the Ida cave. This myth is the greatest asset of this cave, which is not as interesting and beautiful as the Dikte cave.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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more
Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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more
Plakias
Plakias

Plakias

Plakias is a perfect place for people who like to spend time hiking. In the area of the town and the surrounding area, there are several hiking trails that lead to interesting beaches.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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more
Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Gorge Kourtaliotiko
Gorge Kourtaliotiko

Gorge Kourtaliotiko

The Kourtaliotiko Gorge, also known as the Asomatos Gorge, is perhaps one of the most spectacular natural attractions available in the central part of Crete.

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Minoan Agia Triada
Minoan Agia Triada

Minoan Agia Triada

Agia Triada is a small Minoan archaeological site in the south of Crete, located near Timpaki, located on the western slope of the hill about 40 meters above sea level.

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Fajstos
Fajstos

Fajstos

Około 60 kilometrów na południowy zachód od stolicy Krety - Heraklionu znajdują się ruiny drugiego co do wielkości starożytnego pałacu - Fajstos.

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Melidoni Cave
Melidoni Cave

Melidoni Cave

Currently, Melidoni Cave (originally called Gerontospilios) is associated mainly with the tragic events that took place here in 1824.

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Koules Fortress
Koules Fortress

Koules Fortress

This fortress is a perfect example of Crete's multiculturalism. Located today in Greek hands, it was built by the Venetians, but is called a name taken from the Turkish language.

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Archeological museum
Archeological museum

Archeological museum

It is one of the most important and largest museums in Greece and one of the most important in Europe.

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Tylissos
Tylissos

Tylissos

Tylissos is one of the few places in Crete that has kept its name since ancient times.

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Damnoni
Damnoni

Damnoni

Plaża w Damnoni jest położona po sąsiedzku z Plakias - popularną turystyczną miejscowością

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Agios Pavlos
Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos is a small town located on the southern coast of Crete near Saktouria.

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Triopetra
Triopetra

Triopetra

Triopetra is located at the foot of the Siderotas mountain about 52 km south of Rethymno.

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Agia Galini
Agia Galini

Agia Galini

gia Galini (Αγία Γαλήνη) jest jednym z najpopularniejszych nadmorskich kurortów na południowym wybrzeżu Krety.

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Skinakas Observatory
Skinakas Observatory

Skinakas Observatory

The observatory is located at the top of the Skinakas mountain at an altitude of 1750 m. The idea for its construction was born in 1984.

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Armeni
Armeni

Armeni

The Late-Romanesque cemetery in Armeni is located on the outskirts of this town, located less than 10 km south of the center of Rethymno.

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Military Museum
Military Museum

Military Museum

The museum presents the dramatic history of Crete written over the last several hundred years.

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Argyroupolis
Argyroupolis

Argyroupolis

The modern settlement known as Argyroupolis was built on the site of the ancient city of Lappa (also called Lambi)

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Lentas
Lentas

Lentas

Lentas is a good idea for those who want to get away from villages steeped in industrial tourism.

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Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos
Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos

Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos

This ancient quarry, consisting of two parts by modern times, is called Λαβυρινθάκι and Λαβύρινθος.

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Archeological Museum in Eleftherna
Estiatorio Chrisopigi
Estiatorio Chrisopigi

Estiatorio Chrisopigi

If anyone of you is looking for a good restaurant near Matala and Kalamaki, then we would like to recommend estiório Chrisopigi.

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Gortyna
Gortyna

Gortyna

Gortyna is considered one of the most extensive excavations in Greece.

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Psiloritis - Timios Stavros
Psiloritis - Timios Stavros

Psiloritis - Timios Stavros

Psiloritis (Timios Stavros - Holy Cross) is the top of the highest mountain of Crete, rising to 2456 m above sea level.

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Rouvas Gorge
Rouvas Gorge

Rouvas Gorge

Rouvas Gorge is one of the most interesting places in this part of Crete. The interesting trail leads in a perfect way to the changing appearance of this gorge.

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Matala
Matala

Matala

Matala is one of the most popular towns not only of the southern coast but also of the whole of Crete. In the 1960s and 1970s, this small fishing village was a mecca for hippies.

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Monastery of Odigitrias
Monastery of Odigitrias

Monastery of Odigitrias

The Odigitrias Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries of southern Crete. Unfortunately, in terms of popularity, he is far from other Cretan monasteries.

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Kali Limenes
Kali Limenes

Kali Limenes

Kali Limenes (meaning Dobre Porty or Piękny Przystanie) is a coastal town located in the Asterousia Mountains on the southern coast of Crete.

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