Explore Cretan

Cities

Iraklion (Heraklion or Herakleion) is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. Hania (or Chania) is the second biggest town in Crete and is well known for its scenic old town and harbor. Rethymnon is built between the two other large cities of Crete. The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, fountains etc. Agios Nikólaos  is the capital of the Lassithi province of Crete and is built around a picturesque lake at the north-western side of the Mirabello bay, the biggest bay in Crete.

Heraklion
Heraklion is the largest city of Crete with a population of about 200.000. Heraklion houses the public services and the major scientific centers of Crete, being the commercial center of the island with the main port and airport. From a scenic city with unique traditional Venetian and Ottoman monuments in early 1900s, as one of the most historical cities in the Mediterranean, Heraklion unfortunately turned into an ugly cement city, losing almost all of its aristocratic...
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Chania
Venice of the East" is regarded by many, and not unjustly, as the most beautiful city in Greece. The picturesque city of Chania is the second largest city of Crete, after Heraklion, with more than 60,000 residents. Fortunately it did not follow the same fate as the other cities of Crete, e.g. Heraklion, where the great Venetian and Ottoman monuments were destroyed for the sake of economic growth and "modernization". Instead, the Old Town and the Venetian Harbour have...
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Rethymnon
Rethymno is the most representative sample of a Cretan Renaissance city. Rethymnon is the third largest city of Crete with a population of about 30000, built on the site of ancient Rithymna (4-5th century BC). After the Byzantine era, Rethymnon was fortified and further strengthened by the Venetians. The old town is one of the nicest attractions for visitors to Crete, who have the ability to roam in the past. The town with the quaint streets and the beautiful...
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Agios Nikolaos
White washed houses and beautiful buildings in Agios Nikolaos have the sea as background. The lovely serene little town of Agios Nikolaos is the cosmopolitan capital of the prefecture of Lasithi with 20000 permanent residents. The town is built on the site Mandraki, on the west side of the Gulf of Mirabello, but the current name comes from the Byzantine church of Saint Nikolaos located west of the city. Here was the site of the Minoan "Lato pros Kamara", the seaport...
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Sitia city
Sitia is the easternmost city on Crete near the Cape Sidero, 64km from Agios Nikolaos. It is a city with about 10,000 residents, built on the west side of the bay of Sitia, on a warm and dry area. Sitia has the only airport in eastern Crete and the most important port, with ferries running to Piraeus, Milos, Rhodes, Kassos and Karpathos. There are frequent bus services to Ierapetra and Agios Nikolaos, and great efforts are being made to improve the road network linking it with the rest...
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Ierapetra
Ierapetra is located 30km south of Agios Nikolaos, in the narrowest part of Crete, and is the southernmost city of Greece. It is a modern city of 12,500 residents, who mainly deal with agriculture, as Ierapetra produces vast quantities of vegetables that are exported mainly to Europe. The city is also very well organized touristically with large and small hotels along its beaches, many facilities for eating and entertainment. Most cafés and taverns are located in the city's seafront...
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Kissamos Town
Kissamos (Kastelli) is a modern seaside town, 36km east of Chania, with population of 5000 people, whose economy is based mainly on agriculture – with its renowned olive oil and wine- plus tourism, and is still developing.The beauty of Kissamos is that it is a Greek town that has embraced tourism but not been spoilt by it. The visitor to Kissamos can experience local life and tradition, from the everyday to the special cultural events organized during the summer season. In recent...
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Paleochora Town
Paleochora is a small town located 77 km south of Chania, at the southwest coastline of Crete and it’s built on a small peninsula of 400m width and 700m length. The town is set along 11 km of coastline bordering the Libyan Sea. Paleochora is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Kalamydi. It is the capital town of the municipality of Pelekanos and its population was 2213 in the 2001 census. Paleochora's economy is based on tourism and agriculture (mainly tomatoes cultivated in glass...
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Malia Town
Malia is the most touristic town of Crete, located 35km east of Heraklion, on the outskirts of Mount Selena. Its name means “flat area”, because Malia is situated on a fertile plain. Indeed, it is famous throughout Greece for the delicious bananas grown in the greenhouses in the area. The valley has many springs and in the past was known for its windmills, used for watering the local potato crops. Many years ago, Malia was a small coastal village with few residents. Malia has...
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Elounda Town
Elounda is a place-name that is easy to pronounce, but difficult to describe. It is a place that can only be experienced personally, to live forever thereafter in your dreams. Elounda is located 10km north of Agios Nikolaos, near the northwest side of the bay of Mirabello. The area is a renowned tourist resort with luxurious hotels for the most expensive tastes. Each year Elounda hosts in utmost secrecy several Heads of States and celebrities of the international economic, political,...
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Hersonissos Town
Hersonissos is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Crete, located 28km east of Heraklion. Here you will find whatever you desire. During the day you can enjoy nice beaches or water parks, drink your coffee in the seaside road, visit the local archaeological sites, stroll in the villages of Ano Hersonissos, Piskopiano and Koutouloufari, trek in the gorges of Avdou valley, visit the cool Lassithi Plateau and much more. Similarly, during the night the choices for entertainment are too...
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Arhanes
Arhanes is a picturesque small town, built at an altitude of 380 meters [1280 ft] in the middle of a basin. It is run through by Kaeratos stream, dividing into two parts. Arhanes is 14 kilometers away from the city of Heraklion and only 7 kilometers from the Palace of Knossos. The greater area of Arhanes is most significant for its numerous archaeological sites. The colorful village has been prized by the European Union as model for residential development. You could visit the...
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Agia Galini Town
Agia Galini is a popular seaside resort, located 61km southeast of Rethymno and 68km southwest of Iraklion, on the southern shores of the valley of Amari. The name of Agia Galini means “Holy Tranquility” or “Holy Serenity” in Greek, implying that this place is very peaceful and the sea is always calm. The excellent pebbly beaches, the picturesque harbor and the traditional village attract thousands of tourists every year. Before the ‘60s and ‘70s, when it met a large tourism...
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Plakias town
Plakias is located 36km south of Rethymno, in the fertile valley formed at the exit of Kotsifos river, which has water all year round. Plakias was a small village in the late 19th century, which in recent decades has transformed to a popular resort. Especially, during the 60s beaches of Yialia, as the beachfront of the wider area is called, were a favorite destination for hippies. Now it’s a popular resort and a base for visiting the natural beauties of the region. Within short...
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Georgioupolis Town
Georgioupoli is a popular seaside resort located 38km east of Chania and 21km west of Rethymnon. It is a small coastal town, situated in a lush valley filled with rivers and springs. Locals, apart from tourism, deal with beekeeping and agriculture. The river Almiros crosses the town. Before the town, there is the Almiros marsh, where very important animal species are sheltered. One landmark of the village is the road and the square with the numerous eucalyptus and cypress trees. The square...
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Makrigialos Town
Makrigialos is located 58km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 23km east of Ierapetra. It is a large village, located near the exit of the lush canyon of Pefki. Being initially a humble harbor with no roads in the ‘50s, Makrigialos has faced a strong growth and has become the largest tourist destination in the region. It actually consists of two settlements, Makrigialos and Analipsi, which are now united. In the village you can find large and small hotels, taverns, restaurants, bar and cafes,...
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Anogia town
Anogia is located 36km west of Heraklion and 52km southeast of Rethymnon, at an altitude of 750m. It is built on three levels in the ridge of Armi, on Psiloritis Mt. Its name means a place built on high level. Anogia has particularly close relationships with Psiloritis Mt and its landscapes. The locals are mainly engaged in farming and are characterized by their hospitality. Here you can find genuine Cretans who still wear the traditional costumes. The residents of Anogia seems to...
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Neapolis Town
Neapolis is located about 54km east of Heraklion and 15km west of Agios Nikolaos, in a green valley with dense olive groves, from which the main street that connects Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos passes. It is a quiet town with many beautiful buildings, nice gardens, old churches and several attractions. Neapolis in the Venetian Era was a small village called Kares, which means Nut Trees in the Cretan dialect. The village was destroyed and rebuilt by the Venetians, who named it...
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Chora Sfakion Town
Chora Sfakíon or Sfakia is a town on the south coast of Chania. It is the capital of the remote and mountainous region of Sfakia, and is a small town of just 278 inhabitants (2001 census). It lies on the south coast near the end of the Imbros Gorge, 74 km south of Chania. It has two small harbours, where the ferry boats from Agia Roumeli dock, which in the summer bring the hikers from the Samaria Gorge to take buses back to the northern coast. From Chora Sfakion ferries also run to the...
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Tymbaki Town
Timbaki is a small town located 65km south of Heraklion, on the plain of Messara. It is positioned near the beach of the Kokkinos Pirgos, the ancient palace of Phaestus and the Minoan villa in Agia Triada. Its residents are mainly engaged in agriculture, as the area is full of olive groves and greenhouses. Indeed, the greenhouses are so many, that most of the vegetables are exported abroad on daily basis. The city has no special beauties to show, as most buildings are modern and...
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Spili town
Spili is located about 30km south of Rethymno, at an altitude of 430m, at the foot of Mount Vorizis, an offshoot of Psiloritis Mt. Its population is 800 inhabitants, but this number increases during the summer months. The villagers are mainly farmers, ranchers and merchants, but in recent years most young people deal with tourism. The village is a node for the south coasts and this makes its position particularly advantageous. Given the importance of its location, almost all basic...
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Arkalochori Town
Arkalohori is located 33km south of Heraklion city, near the center of Heraklion Prefecture, at an altitude of 400m. It is a small town, which is continuously growing and its inhabitants are mainly engaged in agriculture, commerce and the arts. The bazaar held every Saturday in the village center has its roots in the Ottoman period. Also in the exhibition center Arkalochori hosts annually the largest Agriculture and Trade Exhibition in Crete. The city is relatively new and...
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Mires town
The town of Mires is located 50km south of Heraklion in the heart of the fertile Mesara plain. Its name (means “shares” in Greek) is taken after the land shares that were offered by the Venetians to the settlers who came from the Peloponnese, when it fell to the Turks. A similar deal was done in the Lassithi Plateau, which’s name comes from the latin world Lasciti, ie the share of land. Mires is a modern small city that is growing constantly, while its residents are mainly...
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