Logo: Agios Triada, Limnes
Image: Agios Nikolaos at night
AGIOS NIKOLAOS A beautiful, well known coastal resort (pictured above). Major tourist area, but well worth several visits. A very good place for a night out, not as crowded or bustling as Malia but there is still a lot going on. The lakeside tavernas are busy at night, but are a mite expensive.
NEAPOLI A provincial town, untouched by tourism, just a mile away from Latsida, and 2 miles from Limnes. Between the two. It has a long history, great charm, two museums, and an old Turkish quarter. It has a large church which is well worth visiting. There is a huge square which has many pavement cafenions, where it is very pleasant to drink coffee and watch the world go by. Neapoli has all that one could want in the way of utilities - large supermarkets, banks, a hospital and a cinema.It's also a great place to be at festival times when the town square becomes full of people dancing, listening to folk music, eating and generally enjoying themselves.
MALIA Tourist resort set in fertile plain beside the sea. Crowded in the high Summer, but much nicer in Spring and Autumn. Local bananas and potatoes grown here and sold at roadside stalls. If you are a keen cyclist, you can hire cycles and enjoy the coastal road cycling.
KNOSSOS The Minoan remains - well worth a visit. To avoid the heat of the day, go early morning, or after 3pm. Combine this with a trip around Heraklion. There are many other Minoan sites on the island, but this is the most famous. There is another near Malia, and others can be found listed in good guide books.
ELOUNDA Just East of Agios Nikolaos. A renowned resort and harbour with Spinalonga just off the coast. Many years ago the BBC filmed 'Who'll pay the Ferryman" here, and this is still exploited by some. The journey from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda is spectacular.
SPINALONGA A former leper colony. Boat trips to this island leave from Elounda or Agios Nikolaos. Visit to Kri Kri island and a swim near a lagoon can be combined in the boat trip. Kri Kri has a rare goat herd on the island, and you can circle the island on the boat, but you are not allowed to land.
PLAKA Further on from Elounda, a rocky beach and well known for its several fish restaurants.
IRAPETRA 'Capital' of Southern Crete. Well worth a visit. Make sure you visit the Turkish old town, mosque and museum. After your sightseeing relax on the beach and enjoy the beachside tavernas.
CHRISSI ISLAND If you like sandy beaches and turquoise waters, this is a must. This tropical uninhabited island is the most southernpoint of Europe, and is reached by boat from Irepetra.
KRITSA Lovely village about 10 miles from Agios Nikolaos, renowned for its lace making. Loads of shops selling laces, local carpets, and other local products. Go in Sept/Oct for bargain discounts when they try to get rid of their stocks. As part of your journey, visit the Panagia Kera, a beautiful church with some fine frescos.
MILATOS Local fishing village on the other side of the Latsida mountain. Its many waterside tavernas are great for Sunday lunch when all the locals are out socialising. Also good in the evenings, eating right by the rocky coastline. Whilst all the tavernas are good, our favourite is called, aptly, No Stress.
LASSITHI PLATEAU A fertile agricultural plateau high in the mountains, and can be reached by going through Neapoli, and taking the plateau road. This is a must for all who stay in Eastern Crete. Lots of irigation windmills on the plateau, about 250.
VRAHASSI Beautiful old village set amphitheatrically on the mountainside. Very close to Latsida. Has good tavernas here. Village has several churches, some very old.
MARKETS There are large street markets in Neapoli(Thursday) and Agios Nikolaos(Wednesday). Heraklion has a market on Saturdays.
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