» Greece, Crete – The Island of Sightseeing, Mountains and the Sea V
Greece, Crete – The Island of Sightseeing, Mountains and the Sea V
On this day, we planned to make a short trip to the Lefka Ori mountains. Bad weather prevented us from going there. Therefore, we decided to travel to Moni Preveli monastery instead.
The monastery is on Crete’s south coast. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The monastery is orthodox. Monks still live there and take care of it. It costs only about 2.50 € to enter. Women must enter with their legs covered to not to disturb monks while they are meditating. Fortunately, you don’t have to have your of clothes with. A monk who sits at the entrance gladly offers you a skirt.
During the WWII the monastery became famous. The monks hid some of the Allied troops (mostly Australians). They got stuck on the shore of Crete after the battle of Crete. A sculpture of an abbot holding a rifle and a soldier, both in life-size, was erected here. The soldiers were evacuated eventually by submarine at Palm beach which is nearby. There is a small museum displaying religious items inside the monastery. There are also holy robes on display. A small animal farm is also at the monastery. Monks raise various animals, domesticated and wild as well. Except for this, there are cats running all around. We only peaked inside a small chapel and the museum while there, which was bit of disappointment for me. I expected monks to tell us more on the monastery and their life there. On the other hand, there is beautiful vista of the sea. We truly enjoyed it.
Once we returned to our car the rain starte pouring. We rode couple of kilometers down unpaved road to Palm beach . There we were waiting until the rain would stop. Half an hour later it really did. We explored the beach as every guide book talks about it. Often it is implied that tourists do not behave appropriately and throw garbage all around. However, we didn’t notice any garbage and there were really only several tourists hanging around. Yet the latter could be also be the result of unfavorable weather.
The beach is near the river’s mouth. The river flows from inside the gorge and the mouth of the river is lined with palms and oleanders. There is also a tavern where you can buy some basic snacks. Apart from German tourists and some swans no one was present there. Therefore, we felt free to explore the beauties of this fabulous nook on Crete. We intended to go further along the coast yet the trail turned uphill all of a sudden. This resulted in us ending up on sharp cliffs attacked by wild waves of the sea.
As it seemed it would rain, we returned to the car and left for Agia Galini, a town where we would spend the following night at local camp. It was really great there which makes me to recommend it even for you. It is a clean place and staff is friendly (it is a small family company). There is some great Greek cuisine to be tasted at local restaurant (again – meals are prepared by the camp owners). If you wish, you can even take a swim in a small pool there.
We took a stroll along the beach upon the dinner. There we listened to the sea. In the town, there is not much to see actually. Being a small fishermen’s village where you could see mostly Greek fishermen. It has become a tourist destination since where old houses were replaced by concrete hotels. Mostly tourists looking for entertainment at bars and restaurants are those who you can see on town’s streets.
Exhausted after a long day, we returned back to the camp and lay inside our sleeping bags. We were looking forward to the following day for we planned to visit (Faistos) – one of the most important palaces on Crete.
You can learn more in the following article coming next Monday.
GPS: (Agia Galini) 35°05'49.2"N 24°41'18.5"E
Text and photos: Vojtěch Bližňák
Wondering if you will end up heading out to sea? Would you like to fly to Crete? This island is so famous that we will not talk about it now. But while you're here, we know of a great day trip. That you don't want to walk around the sights in the awful heat? Be calm, this trip will absolutely captivate you. We set off to Chrissi Island.
We left early in the morning the Agia Galini camp for Phaistos (Faistos) palais. It is considered the second most important Minoan palace (the first one is Knossos). The palace is situated on Kastri Hill which is in central area of the Mesara Plain. Up from there you can get beautiful vista of the Idi mountains.
The title suggests that Crete is island of several great tourist attractions. People who love culture, those who love history and nature or just laying on a beach will all enjoy a stay here. The history of Crete is, however, very colorful. Therefore, it would be a pity to spend your vacation just being lazy on a beach.
The next day’s morning we woke up while it was still being dark. Because we spent the night at a cottage, we quickly packed our things. At 6 o’clock we were already heading to Kato Zakros, another important Minoan palace. Unfortunately, the weather was not good. It rained all day. Yet this was no thing that would make us to loose our spirits. At around 8 o’clock we reached our destination. The information in the book guide said it the opening hours start at 8. However, right there we found out it would be at 10. Two hours of additional time meant we made use of them and walked along the coastline.
The last day before leaving Crete by plane we did want to spend in Heraklion. Most of all at the most famous Minoan palace of Knossos. At around 8 o’clock in the morning we left the camp of Sissi. About one hour later we were in front of our hotel. We parked the car and went for Knossos right away. This largest tourist attraction on Crete is only 5 kilometers to the south from Heraklion. Buses depart every twenty minutes for the palace and you pay 3 euro per ticket.
Santorini (Thira in Greek language) is a relatively small part of the Cyclades archipelago, with a width of only 6 km and a length of just over 25 km. Its area, however, strongly balances the geographical and geological location of the island and its rich history. Situated 220 km from Athens and 110 km from Crete, Thira has always been an important and often necessary stop on the route between these major shopping centers. As a result, traces of the largest Minoan settlement outside Crete have been preserved on the island.
The island of Mykonos is not big, it has an area of only about 100 km². And so the ideal way to travel the whole island is to rent a scooter, motorbike or quad bike. In addition to a varied nightlife, Mykonos is famous for its rugged coastline with beautiful beaches and a very pleasant climate. Today we will go to explore some of its most famous beaches.
Cosmopolitan Mykonos is an island in the Greek Cyclades archipelago in the Mediterranean. The world is known as the island of celebrities, creams and nightlife. Recently, however, it has come to the forefront of popularity and Czech travel agencies are beginning to offer it in their catalogs.
The longest European gorge of Samaria was another point of interest. The Samaria is located in Crete’s western half. The gorge is in the middle of the White Mountains (in Greek Lefka Ori). The gorge became a national park in 1962 when the inhabitants of Samaria village was displaced. It was situated in the middle of the gorge. Also, the gorge is a world biosphere reserve.
A delegate of the company we rented our car from had been already waiting for us once we arrived at the airport. It was apparent that there is some fierce competition among car rental companies. The way how they treat their customers is the consequence of the fierce competition. Once we had settled all documents we needed we get in our car and drove to the west. There are no official freeways so you don’t pay any toll.
We woke up to nice and shinny day. Nobody was on the beach we went to so we just laid around. I recommend you Camp Mithimna, the camp we stayed at. Its owner was very kind and helpful. After a short talk with him we left for Balos, the beach in the northwest on the Gramvousa peninsula.
After several articles on London we jump across Europe to the Mediterranean, actually to the east part of the sea. Today we will have a taste of sun after rains of London, and warm waters of the Sea of Crete.
Last week we have lured to you to our trip to Crete. This hilly island hides many things, no healthy tourist would miss that. Today we will take a look on one of the largest cities of Crete, Rethymno. First, we will talk about local cuisine. Next week will visit some landmarks.
After unveiling gourmet side of the Cretan city rise from the comfortable sitting in one of the local restaurants and we will explore the historical legacy left by several millennia of human habitation.
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One of the most popular holiday resorts in recent years has been Greek island of Samos, the birthplace of famous Pythagoras. What reason stands behind large numbers of tourists coming there between June and first half of September? There are actually couple of them!
Rhodes - a town on the island in the Aegean Sea. Whether it was the island according to one or an...
Greece is well-known with its antique history. The country is surrounded with many greater and sm...