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.

Minojska Agia Triada (Αγία Τριάδα)
and the Byzantine church of Agios Georgios (Άγιος Γεώργιος)

Agia Triada - sign

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. To inquisitive tourists, the Christian name (Holy Trinity) of the Minoan position may seem at least strange, but this is only an expression of the ignorance of Italian archaeologists who were the first to discover this place. Not knowing what they found, they borrowed the name from a nearby abandoned village and gave it to excavations. The original name is still unknown. The first excavations were carried out at the beginning of the 19th century.

The Hagia Triada, as are sometimes called these ruins, is located a few kilometers from the famous palace of Phaistos , but unlike it, it is not that big or so old. The outdoor area is relatively small and only measures approximately 135 x 135 meters. The earliest traces of settlement in Agia Triada come from the end of the Neolithic period, the village grows over time and at the beginning of the Bronze Age there was already quite a large human place. Proof of this are the funeral rooms from this period and two graves, which according to the then customs were used for collective burials.

Agia Triada - panorama of excavations





The story of Agia Triada

Agia Triada was also inhabited during the whole period of Mid-Merica (2000-1600 BC), unfortunately it is not known whether it played an important role then. Its importance grew only when around 1550 BC a so-called "royal villa" was created here. At the same time, at the time, the second palace in Fajstos was rebuilt on the ruins of the first one. The significance of the Villa was far smaller than its monumental neighbor, and in addition to the function it performed, many hypotheses arose. According to one of them, it was a summer residence for the prince of Phaistos or other high-ranking officials. Another version assumes that the villa belonged to an independent landowner. Apparently, this hypothesis is most likely.

It seems that the theory about the purpose of the villa as a summer residence for the ruler, does not find support in the findings themselves and the architectural layout of the ruins, which puts a big question mark about its destination.

Agia Triada - the interior of the alleged palace




Could it actually be the summer residence? A large number of warehouses in relation to the total size of the villa, finding a large number of plates with the script and seals suggest, rather, that the building was mainly used for storing and recording agricultural products such as wheat, barley, figs, wine and oil. This doubt also appears in other so-called palaces. The not very functional and not very ergonomic arrangement of rooms rather excluded the use of some of these buildings as the seat of the ruler. Perhaps, therefore, the name "palaces" that Evans gave such buildings is not accurate, which was also questioned from the very beginning by historians and archaeologists.

What turned out to be surprising for Italian archaeologists working at Agia Triada are very rich finds (artifacts). A-letter plates, clay stamps for securing documents, wall paintings, stone carved vases, ritons, a famous sarcophagus showing funeral rites, 29-kilo pieces of bronze used in commercial transactions. In the city itself located north of the villa, the remains of an ancient city sewer, shops, houses from different periods were discovered. Agia Triada was not a building on the scale of Knossos or Fajstos , but nevertheless had apartments, skylights, chapels, warehouses, staircases, porticos and courtyards.



"Sarcophagus A very famous sarcophagus found in Agia Triada currently exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion

The end of Agia Triada puts the same cataclysm which contributed to the collapse of the other Minoan centers in 1450 BC. The buildings were rebuilt only by the Mykene, putting Megaron, probably the seat of the Mycenaean ruler of the region and probably a sanctuary. However, these buildings were much smaller than those built by the Minoans.

In subsequent years, Agia Triada gets under the control of Venetians and Turks. The Turks contributed to the final destruction of the settlement in 1897, when they attacked the village and murdered all its inhabitants.

Agia Traida is located just 3 km from Fajstos so it is worth to use this neighborly location and combine sightseeing of both places, especially that combined tickets are offered, the cost of which is lower than for tickets purchased separately. When planning a tour you should keep in mind the short opening time of Agia Triada, because excavations can be visited only until 3 pm. A quiet and beautiful location among trees is an additional advantage, and for lovers of all kinds of excavations it may be tempting that Agia Triada is visited much less often than monumental neighbor in Fajstos. This is a guarantee that we will not encounter organized tours.

Agios Georgios

At the end, take a look at the Byzantine church of Agios Georgios located on a nearby hill. It comes from the Venetian period and was built in 1302. Inside the church there are pretty well preserved frescoes from the fourteenth century.

Agios Georgios


How to get?

Coming from Heraklion , in the western part of the beltway, take the road number 97 leading towards the village of Agia Deka. When you reach this town, turn west and follow the roads around the town of Timbaki. Excavations are located a short distance from the excavations in Gortyn.
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 . Wake up from the central exit of the beltway of this city, follow the national road number 97 leading towards Spili and Timabki. Guideposts for excavations should be looked at at the height of the village of Vori, located about 4.5 kilometers east of Timbaki.
You can leave your car in the parking lot located just off the road. On the excavation area you come down a fairly steep concrete stairs. The cost of tickets is 4 €.

Agia Triada - access map

west
central
east

Interesting places on Crete

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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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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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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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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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Vathipetro
Vathipetro

Vathipetro

In addition to the famous grand palaces on the island in the Minoan period, a number of smaller residences were created. One of the most important examples is the Vathipetro discovered about 5 km north of Archanes, on the southeastern slope of Mount Juchtas in the central part of Crete.

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A graveyard in Armeni

A graveyard in 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. If you spend your holidays in this area, it is worth coming to this interesting archaeological site. Although it was discovered in 1969 by Yiannis Tzedakis, excavations are still carried out to this day.

Tylissos

Tylissos

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