Crete Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Crete

Planning a short break to Crete? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Crete. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Crete. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Wineries

there are three wineries in the Peza area that are great to visit all within a day. Boutari Wines has an exhibition hall inside the Fantaxometoho Wine Estate situated on the road to the village of Mirita, about 8km from Heraklion. The exhibition hall is open 10am to 6pm and featurs guided tours of the underground cellars and production facilities as well as a multimedia show on wine making and sampling of wine and local dishes.

Minos Wines tasting hall is situated at Milliarakis Winery on the right hand side of the road close to the Peza village exit. Minos has an exhibition of old winery machines, a presentation on the history of wine in Crete and wine tasting. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and a cover charge applies.

Peza Union exhibition centre is located 2km past Peza village on the left hand side and features a film on wine and olive ouil production in several languages as well as a tour of old wine producing equipment. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 3pm. Visitors can also taste three wines accompanied by olive oil and traditional meze.

Entrance is free.

Star Beach Water Park

located in Herisonissos on the main road heading east. The waterpark caters for young and old with an internet cafe, fantastic restaurants, bunjee jumping, various bars and a DJ, swimming pool with a spring board, jacuzzi, pool tables and various watersport activities on the beach.

For children there is mini golf, a childrens swimming pool, the lazy river, henna tatooing, a grass area for relaxing and full toilet and shower facilities.

Falassara Beach

this lovely long sandy each has been voted best beach in Greece. Located in Falassara Bay, facilities at the beach include sun beds for hire, a good restaurant, hotel and some of the best sunsets in Crete.

Another beach that is also good to visit in Falassara is Long beach which is famos for its long white strech of sand.

Hersonissos

this small town located 26km east of Heraklion is Crete's most developed tourism area. If you have a car, Hersonissos is a great place to base yourself and travel to nearby villages such as Ano Hersonissos with its traditional Cretan architecture and some great local restaurants as well as Avdou which is a lovely traditional village.

Hersonissos itself has plenty to keep the visitor occupied with a number of hotels, restaurants, beaches and watersport facilities, souvenir shops and the best place for nightlife on the island with many bars and clubs.

Chania

this city is one of the most beautiful in Crete with its strange mix of Cretan people and architectual touches of Florence and Venice. Your first stop in Chania should be the waterfront harbour area where most activity is centred. Visit the Venetian Lighthouse, Maratime museum which offers superb insights to Crete's hstory and is open 10am to 2pm daily except Monday and also visit the old Roman and Turkish buildings.

Other museums in Chania worth visiting are the Archaeological Museum on Halidon Street which is open 8am to 5pm daily except Monday, Historical Archives which are open 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday and Byzantine Museum which is open 8:30am to 2pm daily except Monday.

Heraklion

the main city and business centre of Crete, Heraklion is a major cruise ship destination and the international airport is situated here. Shopping is very good here with plenty of designer shops on Daedalou Street and the wonderful local market held Saturdays on 1866 Street, that sells local produce.

The huge Archaeological Museum on Eleftherias Square is hugely impressive and has artifacts from several thousand years ago to modern times. Highlights include Roman sculptures, jewellery, wall painting, pottery and frescoes. Open daily 8am to 5pm in Summer and 8:30am to 5pm in Winter except Monday, opens at noon, December and January times are 8am to 3pm. Another good place to visit in Heraklion is the Natural History Museum located about 20 meters from the city centre. The nuseum features exhibits on Crete's fauna and flora as well as a lovely little cafe and relaxing horticultural garden. Open 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday and Sunday 10am to 6pm. Can be reached by bus or taxi.

Rogdia

a 30 minute bus ride from Heraklion will take you to the little town of Rogdia with its picturesque views of Heraklion, the mountains and the sea across to Dia Island.

Places of interest in Rogdia include the Venetian Villa built next to an ancient church and Savvathiania Monestery set high in the mountains with fantastic gardens and Byzantine murals. View the lovely old buildings on the narrow passag ways above main treet and eat at one of the two taverns on the beach or enjoy a fantastic cup of Greek coffee at Elliniko in the Kafeneia.

Sitia

if you want t get away from the crowds then head to one of the least touristy areas in Crete. Sitia has a long sandy beach which isgreat for swimming and has perfect windsurfing conditions.

Futher out in the Sitia Region you will find fascinating archaeological sites and old monastries such as Toplou. Visitors can also mountain trek and visit abandoned towns such as Ethia where you can see ancient buildings and archaeological finds.

There is a regular bus service to Sitia from both Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos.

Matala

one of the best known spots on Crete, Matala is built on the coast of the Messara Bay inside a picturesque inlet and was a small fishing village until the 60's.

The most fascinating attraction in Matala are the various caves, such as the artificial caves that were used as prehistoric places of worship and dwellings and carved into the norhern face of the coast. The caves also served as a hippie commune in the 60's. There are also lovely underwater caves that can be visited by boat.

Palace of Knossos

located about 25km from the centre of Heraklion, the palace is one of the major attractions in Crete. The magnificent sprawling palace was restored by Arthur Evans and is a Minoan Palace that was inhabited by this ancient civilization.

Visitors can also enjoy a drink or meal at one of the cafes and tavernas close to the entrance gate.

To get there by bus, go to the bus station near the harbour in Heraklion and look for the KNOSSOS ticket office.

Open daily 8am to 5pm in Summer and 8am to 3pm in Winter.

User Suggestions

Amaltheia - Local Interest

Amaltheia is a Cretan non-profit group organising cooking workshops, culinary and wine trips. The benefits of the activities are invested in local environmental projects. For more information in English you can contact Anna, 0030/6946871567

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