This time we offer you another car route located in the Heraklion Prefecture. This is the route we have named "archaeological". We realize that seeing three large archaeological sites in one day is quite a challenge. However, these places are close to each other, so it is worth connecting these archaeological "dots" with each other. However, you should set off quite early.
As the starting point of the trip, we have designated the exit to road 97 from the Heraklion ring road . So, if your hotel is located in one of the towns near the capital of Crete, you should first get to this ring road and look for the above exit.
Gortyna , the former capital of Crete, goes first. Currently, the excavations in Gortyn are considered the most extensive in all of Greece. The path you will follow separates them into two parts. Tourists generally only go to the official part where the church of St. Titus, the amphitheater and the famous Gortinian tablets. After visiting this part, however, it is worth going to the other side of the road. There, among olive groves, you will find a very large further part of the former Gortyna. Here you will find the remains of the Apollo temple, Praetorium, Roman baths and temples dedicated to Egyptian deities. To get around this area you need to reserve a lot of time.
Another point on the archaeological route is the second largest Minoan palace in Crete: Phaistos (Festos). Smaller than the mythical Knossos, but still big enough to impress. This place is more intimate and less occupied by organized optional trips, which makes it fantastic to watch and photograph. Many people remember this palace as the most valuable archaeological site in Crete. This site also takes time, because the excavation area is relatively extensive.
The third point in the sequence is the small excavations in Agia Trida , compared to the previous sites. To this day, the purpose of this place has not been finally proven. There are many hypotheses: from the royal villa, through the summer residence of the prince or high-ranking official, to the villa of the landowner.
After seeing Agia Triada, we go towards the famous Matala . It is a coastal town. There will therefore be an opportunity to catch your breath on the beach located at the foot of the famous rock. Its caves in the 1970s were inhabited by hippies looking for meaning in life, while much earlier they had slightly different functions. Either way, you will have the opportunity to look at them.
After resting in Matala, lunch will be the perfect ending. You can choose one of the many taverns in Matala or visit one of the more original Estratorio Chrisopigi restaurants, located on the outskirts of Kamilari. It is located on the road leading to route 97. The choice is of course yours.
Finally, it remains to reach road 97, which will take you back to the starting point near Heraklion.
Today's tour will be useful for people who will be vacationing in the area of Makra Gialos, Analipsi or other places in the area of Ierapetra. They are the perfect starting point for a more detailed exploration of the eastern part of Crete. The route we propose leads through many interesting points, although the distances between them are not too large. For this reason, visiting places in the far east of the island should be combined into a larger whole.
We present another plan for a road trip around Crete. This is the third proposal, this time in the area of Lassithi Prefecture, with the starting point in Agios Nikolaos. We estimate its time consumption in the basic version at about half a day. As before, people who will implement such a plan (now or in the future) are encouraged to show off photos from each stage.