Stroll Through the Scrolls of History in Stunning Crete with Cloud Tours | TravelResearchOnline

Stroll Through the Scrolls of History in Stunning Crete with Cloud Tours

Crete is one of the many roots of ancient Greece, and a one of the country’s cultural and historical treasures. From museums to ancient ruins to gorgeous natural landmarks, Crete has a site for everyone to immerse themselves in. Between its sun-drenched beaches and its role as the place where mighty Zeus grew up and eventually vanquished his jealous father Cronos, it’s no wonder Crete continues to bring in visitors by the thousands every year.

60-Second Geography

Crete, Greece

Knossos Palace

[/media-credit] Knossos Palace

 

Dikteon Cave

[/media-credit] Dikteon Cave

 

Samaria Gorge

[/media-credit] Samaria Gorge

  • Crete has been at the forefront of Greek history for millenia, second only to the city-states of Athens and Sparta. Believed by the ancient Greeks to be the birthplace of Zeus, Artemis, and Apollo, Crete held a distinct prestige among the Greek islands as the setting for many of the gods’ greatest exploits. Another civilization, the Minoans, were the first of the advanced civilizations to settle here, and the myth of the fearsome Minotaur is in reference to their people.
  • The climate of Crete is a combination of Mediterranean heat and humidity, and the the much drier North African arid temperatures. As a result the winters here are mild, and the summers warm and humid, much like the other Greek islands. Snowfall is not a common occurrence outside of the mountains, but in early 2004 the entire island was frosted with an icy sheet of snow. The temperatures in Crete from summer all the way through October stay consistent at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
  • The capital of Crete, Heraklion, is one of the premier destinations for any history enthusiast, especially those interested in learned more about the ancient Minoans. Besides being home to the remains of the Minoan Knossos Palace, Heraklion also has more recent pieces of architecture well worth the trip to see. From the stunning Venetian Castle with its impressive walls, to one of the many local churches or basilicas (including St. Mark’s Basilica, St, Minas Cathedral, and St. Titus Church), Heraklion is the perfect place to stroll and take in the awe-inspiring Mediterranean scenery.
  • One of the biggest draws in Heraklion is the Palace of Knossos, the ruins of the original Minoan structure thousands of years old. The palace has been supplemented over the years with new frescoes and murals, but the legend of the terrifying Minotaur that was said to roam the labyrinth within can never been replaced. The Palace layout includes marketplaces, staterooms, the apartments of the royal family, and more.
  • If you’re looking for a more modern and boutique getaway, then look no further than the chic town of Agios Nikolaos. This small Mediterannean town is perfect for the visitor looking to relax and do some shopping, with plenty of local coffee houses, charming shops, and rustic taverns. The town is also famous for its balmy beaches, with residents and visitors alike flocking to the water for the perfect coastal afternoon.
  • Once a leper colony, today the sprawling island fortress of Spinalonga is one of Crete’s most visited destinations. Thousands of visitors pace the island annually, eager to learn more about the history of the island, from its time as a refuge for Christians to serving as a home for those infected with leprosy until the mid-20th century. Visitors can also see the original 16th century salt evaporation pans, as well as the canal constructed specifically to ease trading and transportation between Spinalonga and Agios Nikolaos.
  • The sacred hiding place of the infant Zeus by his mother Rhea, Dikteon Cave his the future king of the gods from his jealous and fearful father, Cronos, who had eaten his other siblings before him. Over the centuries the cave was the center of worship for the ancient Greeks, and remnants of their altars and tools can be found in nearby museums. The cave is filled with stalactites and stalagmites, formed over thousands of years by slowly dripping water, all framing the chambers where it was believed Zeus lived as a child, including stone basins he drank from.
  • Any visitor to Crete cannot miss the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, the highlight of the 10 mile (16 kilometers) hiking trail. This trail can see anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 hikers every day, ranging from experienced hikers to complete novices eager to give the trail a try. The walls of the gorge can be as high as 1,640 feet (500 meters) and frame the winding river that carved them. The most popular times to tackle the gorge are in the spring and fall, when the bright wildflowers or the vibrant foliage give the hikers the most beautiful scenery to stroll through.
  • One of Crete’s most picturesque cities is Chania on the Western coast of Crete, with its beautiful remnants of both Turkish and Venetian architecture. This city is well known for its many wineries, and plenty are open to the public for tastings and tours on the traditional Greek winemaking process. But no visit to the beautiful town is complete without a stop to admire all of the beautiful architecture the Venetians left behind, including the Chania Municipal Agora (marketplace), the Chania Cathedral Trimartiti, and the Venetian port.
  • Once a humble fishing village, Elounda  has rapidly grown into a chic resort town thanks to visits from super celebrities ranging from action stars to pop idols. The village is filled with charming boutiques, shops, and delicious restaurants, the quality no less what you would expect for such high-class clientele. Despite all the glitz and glam of the resort atmosphere, you’ll still find friendly locals who will cheerfully take you out fishing with them or shopkeepers excited to recommend a book to you, proving one of the best selling points of Elounda is truly its people.

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Deluxe Crete and Rhodes

Porto Elounda: 4 days / 3 nights in a porto sea view room with daily breakfast & dinner, service fees and taxes. Included also is:

Sheraton Rhodes: 4 days / 3 nights in a superior sea view room with daily breakfast, service fees and taxes

Private roundtrip transfer to and from the hotel in both Crete and Rhodes

Greek Domestic Air and taxes included

Rates start at $1230 per person

First Class Crete and Santorini

Casa Delfino: 4 days / 3 nights in a double standard room with daily breakfast, service fees and taxes. Included also is:

Cliffside Suites: 4 days / 3 nights in a double superior room with caldera view including daily breakfast, service fees and taxes

Regular roundtrip transfer to and from the hotel in both Crete and Santorini

Hydrofoil included

Greek Domestic Air and taxes included

Rates start at $1290 per person

Deluxe Crete, Santorini and Mykonos

Porto Elounda: 4 days / 3 nights in a porto sea view room with daily breakfast & dinner, service fees and taxes. Included also is:

Astra Suites: 4 days / 3 nights in a junior suite with caldera view including daily breakfast, service fees and taxes

Myconian Ambassador: 4 days / 3 nights in a true blue sea view room with daily breakfast, service fees and taxes

Private roundtrip transfer to and from the hotel in Crete, Santorini and Mykonos

Hydrofoil included

Greek Domestic Air and taxes included

Rates start at $2175 per person

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