Flights to Crete

Budget and low cost cheap Flights to Crete

Flight and travel information: International airlines fly direct to Heraklion airport. During the holiday season Charter flights and low budget flights have direct flights Crete in Heraklion and Chania airports .

General information:Crete (Kriti) is the largest of Greece's islands, and the most important one historically; it is also the southernmost part of Europe, and the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean. Famous for its ancient Minoan- civilization, Crete can provide modern excitements in penetrating mountains and remote villages and discovering barely known beaches.
It is a beautiful island of large plateaux and high mountains, such as Mount Idi, the White Mountains (Lefka Ori), and Mount Dikte, all over 7,000 ft. The climate is mild, the vegetation luxuriant. Despite their sometimes fierce appearance, the Cretans are perhaps the most hospitable members of a hospitable nation.
From Athens, Crete is I hourr by air, 5-10. hrs by super fast ferries and car-ferry. The main road through Heraklion (Iraklion) and Rethimnon from Canea (Khania) to Ayios Nikolaos is good. This cannot be said of all the others the mountain roads particularly, although being improved, have some very bad stretches.
Accommodation is mainly in and around Heraklion, where you will find modern beach colonies like in most holiday resorts of Crete. Ayios Nikolaos, too, has smart hotels as well as the simpler kind, and there are unpretentious inns elsewhere Other places in Crete ideal for holidays are Chania and Rethymno, the small towns and villages like Agia Galini, Ierapetra, Matala the upmarket resorts of Elounda and many others. Even the smallest place has its taverna, where you can eat simply and well. The local wine is pleasant, the fruit and cheeses are excellent.

Our knowledge of Crete's extraordinary Minoan civilization owes much to Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist, who excavated the ancient Palace of Knossos, 3 miles from modern Heraklion. The exceptionally well-restored site displays the royal chambers and their brilliant frescoes, the theatre, traces of a remarkable drainage system, and the labyrinthine corridors around which grew the legend of the bull-headed Minotaur.

The administrative capital of the island is Chania, which has a small museum of archaeological treasures from western Crete. But the largest town and main port is Heraklion, the Candia of medieval times. It has retained much of its Venetian and Turkish character. The Venetians fortified it in the early 13th cent. as their chief Mediterranean stronghold and naval base. There are noteworthy Venetian and Byzantine churches, especially the Cathedral of Ayios Minas, which has four ikons attributed to Michael Damaskinos, a Cretan painter reputed to have been the first teacher of that other great Cretan - El Greco. The archaeological museum, which has twenty-three halls, is the largest in Greece and holds an incomparable collection from the early Cretan and Minoan civilizations.

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Heraklion is the base for the main sightseeing trips. The historic Monastery of Arkadi is a short bus ride. Some 28 miles from Heraklion lies the site of Gortys or Gortinos, the ancient Roman capital and chief port during Dorian times. About 6 m. beyond it is the excavated site of the Minoan city of Phaestus, which its rival Gortyn overran and destroyed. A smaller Minoan structure, perhaps the villa of a nobleman, is at nearby Ayia Triada.

Travelling E. from Heraklion across the Lassithi Plateau, you can see the characteristic Cretan windmills, used to drive irrigation pumps, which are scattered over the area by the thousand. Along this road 43 m. away is Ayios Nikolaos, a charming seaside town on the spectacular Mirabella Gulf, where there is fine swimming and underwater fishing. Within walking distance from Ayios Nikolaos are the ruins of Minoan Gournia, complete enough to reveal its streets and houses, the agora and the palace.

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