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.

Aptera - a city without wings

Sirens vs Muses

The name "Aptera" means no more than "without wings" and is a direct reference to the music duel, which was legendary, for which the Muses were challenged by the Sirens who were half-women and half-birds at the time. They did not have anyone in their territory who would be a worthy opponent in their singing and music. However, the duel with the Muses lost, and crushed by the result of the competition, they threw their wings and feathers to Soudha Bay. According to legends, today we can admire them as islands located at the mouth of the bay.





Little known Aptera

Aptera is a city whose history dates back to at least a thousand years before our era. In the peak period, about 20,000 lived in it. people, of which only 1/5 were free people, mainly: merchants, ship owners and landowners. The rest of the city's population were slaves. Sea trade and a vast network of connections with the main ports in the Mediterranean have determined the wealth and successes of this city. The strategic position on the elevation towering over the Soudha Bay gave the residents a clear sense of security, because no foreign ship could safely get to the city. The only greater threat was for Aphera the belligerent Lappian people living in the area of ​​the present city of Rethymnon .



Aptera was destroyed in 700 as a result of an earthquake. Other sources report the Arab invasion in 832 as the cause of the city's fall. At this point the hearing about the Apothecary stops completely, it was not until 1834 that the English explorer Robert Pashley came across her footsteps. Archaeological works in this area are relatively little advanced. One of the most important discoveries was made during excavations carried out in 1958, when it was discovered, among others, temple dedicated to Demeter. However, most of Apher's treasures are still hidden underground and waiting for government subsidies that will allow archaeologists to resume work.

Aptera - View of the White Mountains
The ancient walls of Aphera against the background of the White Mountains panorama

Watching the remnants of Aptera, it is worth noting the distance between the ruins of the city gate and the right excavations, because it gives a good idea of ​​how big the city was at the peak of its heyday. It is also worth considering how many treasures still hide the fields inside the walls. A lot of urban walls and huge Roman cisterns are impressive, the sizes of which overwhelm even today. An additional advantage of this place is the beautiful panorama that stretches from Aphera to the White Mountains and the bay of Souda.

Aptera - View of the White Mountains
Columns of a Roman house knocked down by an earthquake

Access to the excavations

Aptera is located a few kilometers east of Chania in front of the sea fortress Souda. Driving along the New National Road from Chania to Rethymnon, you have to take the side road on the right. This road should lead to the town of Metohi (Μετόχι). You can enter the excavation area in two ways: leave the car along the road next to the old city gates or go a little further under the main entrance, where there is a small gravel parking lot. Excavations are open from 8.30 to 15.00 except Mondays. The admission fee is 2 €.

Access map to the aptery

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Interesting places on Crete

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Falasarna
Falasarna

Falasarna

W 2002 roku Falasarna zdobyła tytuł najlepszej plaży w Grecji. Wyróżnienie to nie jest bynajmniej przypadkowe, gdyż miejsce to jak na standardy Krety jest naprawdę unikalne.

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Elafonisi
Elafonisi

Elafonisi

Elafonisi is a small island located at the end of the southwestern edge of Crete. A characteristic feature of Elafonisi is the shallow lagoon connecting it with Crete.

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Elafonisi
Elafonisi

Elafonisi

Elafonisi is a small island located at the end of the southwestern edge of Crete. A characteristic feature of Elafonisi is the shallow lagoon connecting it with Crete.

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Chania Airport
Chania Airport

Chania Airport

This is the second largest airport (IATA code: CHQ) in Crete. In 2010, the airport in Chania served a total of over 1.65 million passengers.

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Chania - Xania
Chania - Xania

Chania - Xania

Chania (Χανιά) is the second largest (after Heraklion) city of Crete. The biggest advantage of Chania is the area of the Old Town and the beautiful Venetian Harbor.

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Aptera
Aptera

Aptera

Aptera is a city whose history dates back to at least a thousand years before our era. In the peak period, about 20,000 lived in it. people, of which only 1/5 were free people.

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Chania - Xania
Chania - Xania

Chania - Xania

Chania (Χανιά) is the second largest (after Heraklion) city of Crete. The biggest advantage of Chania is the area of ​​the Old Town and the beautiful Venetian Harbor.

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Sfakia
Sfakia

Sfakia

The genesis of the name of this poviat will not surprise anybody who will break the road from the Imbros gorge to Hora Sfakion.

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Frangokastello
Frangokastello

Frangokastello

Frangokastello is a small fortress that was built by the Venetians over four years from 1371. Initially, the castle was named after Saint Nikitas.

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Hrisoskalitissas
Hrisoskalitissas

Hrisoskalitissas

(Χρυσοσκαλίτισσα) The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Golden Step from the 17th century is the westernmost church building of this type.

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Hrisoskalitissas
Hrisoskalitissas

Hrisoskalitissas

(Χρυσοσκαλίτισσα) The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Golden Step from the 17th century is the westernmost church building of this type.

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The Omalos plateau
The Omalos plateau

The Omalos plateau

Omalos is a perfect starting point for exploring the Samaria Gorge. Located over 1,100 m above sea level extends over an area of 25 km2. Its size corresponds more or less to the size of the Lasithi Plateau.

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Kournas
Kournas

Kournas

Located 47 km from the city of Chania, it is the only freshwater lake in Crete. Its area is about 580 thousand. sqm. and the maximum depth is about 45 meters

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The Omalos plateau
The Omalos plateau

The Omalos plateau

Omalos is a perfect starting point for exploring the Samaria Gorge. Located over 1,100 m above sea level extends over an area of 25 km2. Its size corresponds more or less to the size of the Lasithi Plateau.

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Aradena
Aradena

Aradena

The steel crossing, which in the central part is separated from the ground by nearly 150 m, is at the leading position of the places where the longest bungee jumps are made.

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Chania - Xania
Chania - Xania

Chania - Xania

Chania (Χανιά) is the second largest (after Heraklion) city of Crete. The biggest advantage of Chania is the area of the Old Town and the beautiful Venetian Harbor.

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Sfakia
Sfakia

Sfakia

The genesis of the name of this poviat will not surprise anybody who will break the road from the Imbros gorge to Hora Sfakion. Word

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Chania Airport
Chania Airport

Chania Airport

This is the second largest airport (IATA code: CHQ) in Crete. In 2010, the airport in Chania served a total of over 1.65 million passengers.

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Chora Sfakion
Chora Sfakion

Chora Sfakion

Chora Sfakion is an extremely picturesque mountain village of the mountainous and wild Sfakia region

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Loutro
Loutro

Loutro

Loutro is famous for the fact that you can get to it only from the sea or walk on the mountain trail, because there is no other road here.

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Stavros
Stavros

Stavros

Stavros used to be a small fishing village. Today, it is primarily a tourist destination, but in a positive sense.

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Bear's Cave
Bear's Cave

Bear's Cave

The cave is less than 1 km from Moni Gouvernetou Monastery. You will reach it using the pedestrian trail that has been marked out along the slope of the Avlaki Gorge.

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Balos Lagoon
Balos Lagoon

Balos Lagoon

Balos is one of Crete's flagship beaches if not all of Greece. We can assure you that the landscapes you see during your trip to Balos will remain with you for a very long time.

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Moni Katholiko
Moni Katholiko

Moni Katholiko

Moni Katholiko is probably the oldest and most spectacular monastery in Crete. It is located 20 km north-east of Chania.

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Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery

Agia Triada Monastery

The Orthodox monastery of Agia Triada, located on the northern part of the Akrotiri peninsula, is one of the most beautiful and richest monasteries in Crete.

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Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery

Agia Triada Monastery

The Orthodox monastery of Agia Triada, located on the northern part of the Akrotiri peninsula, is one of the most beautiful and richest monasteries in Crete.

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Gouverneto Monastery
Gouverneto Monastery

Gouverneto Monastery

Gouverneto Monastery is probably the oldest active Greek Catholic monastery located on the Akrotiri peninsula near Chania.

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Imbros
Imbros

Imbros

The length of the trail leading through this place is about 8 kilometers and the difference in altitude is about 600m.

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Agia Roumeli
Agia Roumeli

Agia Roumeli

Agia Roumeli znajduje się na południowym wybrzeżu Prefektury Chania, pomiędzy miejscowościami Chora Sfakion i Paleochora.

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Souda
Souda

Souda

Until the early nineties, this place was known only to few tourists and local residents.

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Paleochora
Paleochora

Paleochora

Paleochora is a quite well-organized tourist town, with a beautiful large sandy beach

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Lissos
Lissos

Lissos

Ruiny starożytnego miasta Lissos znajdują się około 3,5 km od miejscowości Sougia na południowym wybrzeżu Krety.

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Samaria
Samaria

Samaria

Samaria is one of the most important tourist attractions located in the western part of Crete.

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Glyka Nera
Glyka Nera

Glyka Nera

Glyka Nera is one of the most spectacular beaches in Crete.

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Sougia
Sougia

Sougia

Sougia is a small town located in the southwest of Crete.

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Falasarna (excavations)
Falasarna (excavations)

Falasarna (excavations)

On the north-western coast of Crete, at the foot of the Gramovous peninsula, there are ruins of the ancient port of Korikos, later known as Falassarna.

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Krios
Krios

Krios

Krios Beach is located about 9 km west of Paleochora and it is also the last beach on this stretch of the southern coast

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Agia Sofia
Agia Sofia

Agia Sofia

Between the villages of Topolia and Koutsamatados there is an interesting cave known as Agia Sofia

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Milia
Milia

Milia

Milia is an authentic mountain settlement, which most probably dates from about the seventeenth century.

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Potamida
Potamida

Potamida

On the edge of the village of Potamida grows a complex of clay mounds called Komolithi (Komolithoi)

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Grammeno
Grammeno

Grammeno

Grammeno (Γραμμένο) is a beach that can be counted among one of the best and most beautiful beaches in this part of Crete.

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Polirynia
Polirynia

Polirynia

Polyrinia was one of the most important city-states of western Crete during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. It was built amphitheater on a steep hill, rising to a height of 481 meters above sea level

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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.

Excavations at Chamaizi

Excavations at Chamaizi

11 km from the city of Sitia, near the modern village of Chamaizi, there is a small archaeological site. At the top of a cone-shaped hill called Souvloto Mouri, the remains of an unusual building with a unique oval shape were discovered. Despite its small size, it is one of the most important discoveries that comes from the Central Minoan period. So far, it is the only oval building from Crete in this period.

Tylissos

Tylissos

Tylissos is one of the few places in Crete that has kept its name since ancient times. Between 1200 and 1000 BC, many settlements were abandoned by their inhabitants, who founded new villages in more inaccessible areas. Tylissos is an exception because it was inhabited all the time, thanks to which cultural continuity was maintained and the development of the religious center took place.

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