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.

Palace in Malia (Μάλια)

For some tourists visiting Crete, the name Malia is associated primarily with the most entertaining village on the northern coast of the island, to which every year the young English go to "play" all over. Meanwhile, just after the neighborhood of 3 kilometers from the center of this village there are ruins of the third largest Minoan palace. The Palace in Malia is located less than 40 km east of the capital of the island - Heraklion , among other tourist mecks: Stalida and Sisi.

Palace in Malia - a model

Sivadhi Hellenico

Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt, English vice admiral, hydrographer and geologist in the mid-nineteenth century, went on a vast journey around Crete, during which he began to conduct research in the field of geology, archeology, physical geography and the natural history of the island. The results of his work were published in 1865 in the two-volume edition of the book Travels and researches in Crete . Spratt noted in it that in the place called by locals as Sivadhi Hellenico there are traces of the ancient city: foundations, walls and a huge platform lined with limestone slabs. Initially, these remains were hidden a few meters below the red soil that covered the remains of ancient buildings. Accidental discovery of ancient remains was made by a shepherd who found thin fragments of gold in the surface layers of the earth. The rest were made by the inhabitants of the nearby village of Malia , who, judging by the fact that there are hidden treasures, began to dig. Unfortunately, their dedication has not been rewarded. They only found thin gold plates and scales, which were probably part of the statue of the local goddess.

It seems that Thomas Spratt had a happy hand, because thanks to him, the world heard not only about the ruins of the palace in Malia. Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of ancient Troy, used the map drawn by him. This additional markings drawn by Spratta's hand led Schliemann to the right place in which he found this mythical city.


In 1915, shortly after the completion of mining ruins in Tylissos, on the hill called Azymo arrives explorer local ruins, Greek archaeologist and one of the founders of the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Joseph Chatzidakis. The excavation works here and in a short time it finds the southern part of the west wing of the palace, as well as graves by the sea. Excavations, however, quickly withhold.
Work on the discovery of the Palace in Malia is resumed in 1922 by the French School of Archeology from Athens and continues with only small interruptions to this day.
As with many discoveries, the original name of this place remains a mystery, while the one used by the contemporaries has been borrowed from the nearby town of Malia.

The history of palaces

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. Very little is known about this palace, although some fragments of the floors and its walls have been preserved and encountered during works carried out in the younger buildings. This palace survived until 1700 BC when it was destroyed, and in its place the Second Palace was built, in many respects similar to the first one. It is its ruins that you can admire today, its end was laid in 1450 BC, when all the Minoan centers in Crete were destroyed.


At the time of its magnificence, the palace covered an area of ​​7,500 sq m and according to myths its ruler was Sarpedon, the brother of Minos ruler of Knossos . A characteristic feature of the palace was a central, large courtyard surrounded by theater, sanctuaries, royal rooms, workshops and, of course, warehouses, fragments of which can be seen. The great pitchers formerly used for storage will also impress the visitors. The ones in this palace are really impressive.

After entering the excavation area, the roofs attracted by the archaeologists covered some of the most important ruins, thus protecting them from the sun and rain. Visiting the palace is best started from a small museum, which is located atentering the archaeological site. In addition to photos and small finds, the most interesting is the model recreating the image of the palace from the time of its greatest splendor. Unfortunately, you will not find here the most valuable items found in the palace, such as the golden pendant with bees, because they are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion , and few of them in Agios Nikolaos .

Pendant with bees

Near the entrance there are rows of round stone structures called kouloures . Formerly covered, they served as granaries in which grain was stored. The large central palace courtyard was 48 x 23 meters high and was surrounded by storage rooms and roofed colonnades. In the middle there was an altar to offer animal sacrifices and other ritual activities.
In the two-storey western wing of the palace, which was the largest and most important part, the kernos were discovered. It is a round stone object with a diameter of 90 cm with a hollow large hollow in the middle and another 34 small ones arranged around it. Probably this vessel was used for ritual purposes, to ensure good harvest - in small hollows fruit and seeds were placed from the first harvest, the large central was filled with some liquid.

How to get

Excavations are located about 3km east of the center of Malia . Following the Nowa Droga Narodowa towards this village, you have to take the Old National Road. The most convenient convention will be the one located more or less at the height of Stalida . Leaving behind the entertainment part of Malia, one must look for clear turn signals indicating a side road leading directly to the palace.
The car can be left on a fairly large car park in front of the entrance. The admission ticket costs 6 €.
Excavations are open in the summer months (June-October) from Tuesday to Sunday from 8-15. In the winter months you can enter between 8.30 and 15.

Malia access map

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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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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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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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Moni Kpasa
Moni Kpasa

Moni Kpasa

Moni Kapsa Monastery is one of the most interesting monasteries in Crete. Its massive buildings were erected on rocky, gray slopes surrounding the nearby Pervolakia Gorge.

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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.

Knossos - concrete excavations

Knossos - concrete excavations

Knossos is one of the flagship monuments visited by tourists, it is also the most popular place where organized trips go. One of the more characteristic elements associated with the Knossos Palace is the red columns. Although they are currently made of concrete, they were originally made of cypress trunk.

Excavations at Trypitos

Excavations at Trypitos

When, in 1960, heavy building equipment entered the small headland of Trypitos next to Sitia, no-one expected the land to hide the ruins of the ancient Hellenic city. To this day, this area is still being examined by archaeologists, and the found treasures feed the resources of the Archaeological Museum in Sitia. These niche excavations located just off the road to Vai are a must stop for any archeology enthusiast.

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