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#About the Most Beautiful City in Crete

The city of Chania is considered the crown jewel of Crete and one of the most beautiful cities on the island. It was not for no reason that it was chosen as the set of the film "Zorba the Greek." The city combines elements from Greece, Turkey, Venice and even a little taste of the Middle East. Tiled roofs alongside white domes, Turkish balconies overlooking Mediterranean lanes, a cross and church bells alongside the minarets of the mosques and the crescent.

Chania is located in western Crete, in the most interesting and beautiful part of the island. Dating from the end of the 19th century to 1971, Chania served as the capital of Crete. It was after this that Heraklion took the title. Chania is also the second largest city on the island and many come to enjoy its beauty. This is a popular city where crowds spend the tourist season, but despite the stress, it is pleasant and relaxed.

It is recommended to visit its ancient quarter, located at the Venetian harbor. At the port itself you can see sights such as the Venetian Lighthouse and Firkas Fortress‬. The town has its own Maritime Museum and a successful archaeological museum. If you are interested in weapons, be sure to visit the Venetian weapons warehouses on the ship.

Chania's modern section of the city is an excellent place to take a stroll. There are many pleasant parks to enjoy, a pastoral break from the tour and some family entertainment. The new quarter of the city also has an indoor market, with delicious foods and beverage stalls, and local products such as hand-woven baskets.

Apart from the colorful market in the new part of Chania, the docks at the harbor lend themselves to a romantic night out. If you are in search of a good dinner, you can sit at one of the taverns or choose from the many cafés in the city. Those interested can click on the tag "Must-eat places" and choose where to eat, and enjoy an excellent meal.


The Venetian Chania was built in 1252 on the ruins of the Minoan city of Kydonia. Remains of the Venetian wall from the past still surround the ancient city of Chania.

Over the years it has been fortified by local residents to protect the locals against pirate attacks. This wall has even enhanced the city's charm and beauty.

Many conquerors came and went. Over the centuries, a fascinating mix of Venetian structures were built in the ancient city of Chania, alongside equally impressive Turkish construction. Greek style was not neglected, and the Venetian, Turkish and Greek mix created a mosaic of influences and styles through this special city.

Hints and shadows left from past wars, including those of World War II, were not erased. Chania was often bombed during the war and was badly damaged. Luckily for us, there are enough preserved areas in the city, allowing us to wander the narrow, long streets and see medieval architecture.

Today, Chania's ancient, graceful and crumbling quarter, with its romantic harbor and colorful, slightly shaky houses, is one of the most pleasant and picturesque places on the island of Crete.


Many restaurants are located on Chalidon Street in Chania, as well as numerous jewelry stores.

A Closer Look at the City of Chania:


Beautiful Chania from Above:

#About Crete's Deep Canyon

Samaria is a narrow, deep canyon that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The canyon, located at the southwest area of the island, is a particularly impressive national park, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.

There are a number of trails at different levels of difficulty. Generally, the duration of walking in the canyon is about 6 hours on average. The ground is rocky, and in spring and fall there are beautiful flowers and walking here is great fun.

Incidentally, the Greeks claim that the canyon is the deepest in Europe. This is a debate, of course, as well as the claim that the 16-kilometer canyon makes it the longest canyon in Europe.

The channel begins in the White Mountain region, at the edge of the Umlus Plateau. The walk for the first 6 kilometers is in a wide channel, followed by the abandoned village of Samaria. From there the narrow section of the canyon begins. Here follows a section that separates only 3.5 meters between the cliffs that rise to a height of 300 meters. After a long walk in the canyon one arrives at the Iron Gates, a place where there are no gates and no locks, making it difficult to understand where the name originated… From this point, the canyon opens up to a wide valley where the remains of the ancient village Agia Roumeli and the beach are located. The trail ends after an additional two kilometers.


Get an early start in the morning to complete the route. Later, the canyon gets crowded.

Those who do not arrive on an organized trip must travel to Umlus, an hours drive, a bus is available three times a day from Chania.

Do not forget to take good walking shoes, water, a sleeping bag, a hat, and food. Some also need warm clothes.

The mountains are covered with thick snow from November to May.

The trip to the canyon is permitted during the months of May to October, though it is chiefly recommended during the spring months - it can get quite crowded in the summer. The bonus is a wonderful flowering of wildflowers.

By the way, during the spring for floods- these can cause sudden danger in the canyons in Crete.

Sleeping in the canyon is forbidden.

A Trip in the Canyon:


A Closer Look:


Another Look:

Chania Old Venetian Harbor
Chania ‪Old Venetian Harbor‬
#About the Ancient Port of the Beautiful City of Chania

The Chania Old Venetian Harbor is a picturesque port that has all the clichés about Greek islands and friendly locals.

One glance at the glorious Chania Harbor and one can see the intermixing of generations and rulers, lifestyles and architectures. Though many tourists visit this spot, the harbor maintains its Mediterranean spark, mixing Greek influences with Turkish and Italian.

Here at the harbor, the famous movie "Zorba the Greek" was filmed. Between the docked ships and the jetty, in the background of the graceful and shabby buildings, the Greek cinema managed to catch film lovers, and makes the Greek Islands some of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.

If your time is limited, visit the Venetian observation tower on the west side of the harbor. See the unique combination of Venetian houses, European-style tiled roofs, Turkish-Ottoman wooden balconies, church towers, and mosques. You cannot see the Jewish synagogue, the "Tree of Life," but this is a symbol of the Jewish community that once lived on this island until the Holocaust in 1944.

What you can see from here are the variety of surrounding sites. From the Firkas Fortress and the crescent-shaped pier, to the multi-domed Janissaries Mosque. Across from here was built the Venetian Lighthouse at the end of the jetty.

#What to do at the Port?

Around you there are a number of interesting sites to visit. Click on our logo and you will see. Then, for those who have time, there is the beautiful old port of Chania with the colorful houses surrounding it, a variety of taverns and restaurants, bars and cozy cafes. Sit back and enjoy the breeze and sea smell, along with local delicacies and something to drink. Take time, you're in Greece!

You will enhance your experience if you find time to wander through the harbor alleys. At day and at night, this is a magical glimpse into the history and architecture of the island, the Old City and the people who make it so pleasant.

Between the variety of stores in the harbor alleys, you can enjoy a little local shopping. Sold here are all sorts of things: leather goods, clothes, shoes, local cosmetics and souvenirs for tourists. Enjoy!

A Closer Look at the Ancient Port and Chania:


Visit the Venetian Port of Chania:

Knossos Palace
Knossos Palace
#About the Famous Palace of the Minoan Civilization

Knossos Palace is a large archaeological site that is located a few kilometers south of Heraklion. It was built in the ancient city of Knossos, generally known as the central city in the Minoan culture of the Bronze Age.

The construction of the palace began about 4,000 years ago, however after approximately 300 years the original palace was destroyed. A much more magnificent palace was built upon its ruins, which was also destroyed around the year 1450 BC. This occurred during a violent earthquake, which hit not only the island of Crete but also the island of Santorini.

Before it was destroyed, this palace covered an area of about two square kilometers. It was developed around the famous legend of the labyrinth built by King Minos. The labyrinth was built to hold the Minotaur - a human being with the head of an ox born to the king's wife. In this labyrinth, the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned and from there the two took off to the sky.

#The Legend of Icarus and Daedalus in the Heavens

One of the most famous legends in Greek mythology took place in this palace. It is the story of Icarus.

According to Greek mythology, Icarus was the only son to Daedalus. He was a reckless, clumsy child, whose father was an artist and an inventor. When King Minos of Crete asked him to build the labyrinth, a maze designed to hide from the world and hold the monstrous Minotaur, the son of Minus's wife, Daedalus did so willingly. He managed to create a labyrinth form which the Minotaur could not escape.

However, once Dedalus finished building the labyrinth, he was surprised when King Minos imprisoned him and Icarus in a tower so that no one would discover the secrets of the labyrinth.

Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape from the tower and decided to flee the island of Crete. But the island was surrounded by ships and guards, so the two decided to make wings of birds' feathers, which were connected by wires of wax.

Before they began to fly, the father warned Icarus not to fly close to the sun, for fear that the hot sun would dissolve his wings. But when they began to fly, the impulsive Icarus was excited by the flight and began to rise up, forgetting his father's warnings. As Daedalus feared, the heat of the sun quickly melted the wax of his wings, and Icarus fell down from the sky, plummeting into the sea to his death.

Since then, the story of Icarus has been a warning sign for people, not to be reckless adventurers who take unnecessary risks, forgetting all precautions.

#The Antiquities of Knossos

Knossos Palace is the most important site of the many remains in Crete. The Minoan civilization developed and flourished on the island of Crete during the Bronze Age, and has remnants worthy of exploration.

Knossos probably served as the political and commercial center of Minoan culture. The antiquities that remain to this day provide an exciting site for the island's visitors.

At the beginning of the last century, the archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered this vast palace. In March 1900, barely a month after he began the excavations, he uncovered the throne hall where Evans then found King Minos' original throne.

Later on during the excavations, the palace, shaped like a complex labyrinth, was discovered, with halls and living rooms alongside warehouses and workshops where former craftsmen, jewelers, and potters, worked in the past.

The walls of the palace that Evans discovered were covered with paintings depicting life in Crete during the Late Bronze Age. These impressive frescoes, like most of the important artifacts discovered here at Knossos, were transferred to the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, which contains the world's largest collection of Minoan art.

Apart from exciting and important archaeological discoveries, Evans did something else for which he was less appreciated. He began to reconstruct the palace and created a great deal of controversy over this activity. With great creativity and imagination, he literally rebuilt many parts of the palace. The construction was done with concrete, which is now considered a serious alteration to the findings.

In addition, Evans brought painters artists who "renovated" the frescoes discovered on the walls of the palace. In so doing, it made the place much more impressive and colorful but significantly damaged its authenticity.

It is important to note that renewal of the painting is not a reconstruction of it, at least not according to today's accepted standards. There are also some scholars who claim that some of the renewed paintings were not accurate in the original subjects that were painted on the wall.


The palace can be reached by bus departing from Heraklion every 15 minutes.

A Closer Look at Knossos Palace:


The Original Structure:


Must See in Crete

Lake Kournas
Lake Kournas
#About the Lake in the Valley

Halfway between Rethymno and Chania, a few kilometers from the town of Georgioupolis, lies Lake Kournas, known as the Hidden Lake. It is a small lake, with clear, sweet water enclosed by hills and the high mountains.

This picturesque lake is a perfect place for a picnic and one of the most pastoral in the island. On its shore are some successful taverns with local food and ducks that can even be fed. It is the only lake in Crete surrounded by mountains.

It is a relatively isolated, hidden lake, located 60 kilometers from the city of Rethymno in a closed valley. This is a great place to spend a few hours of rest, swimming, sailing and good Greek food.

The entertainment here is reminiscent of the past. One can take a swim in the clear water, sunbathe or take an hour's walk around the lake. If you like, you can rent a pedal boat and go sailing on the lake.

A Closer Look at Lake Kournas:


An Aerial View:


A Family Video:

Lasithi Plateau
Lasithi Plateau
#About Crete's agricultural and magical landscape

Lasithi Plateau, or the Lasithi Valley, is a beautiful region and one of the top tourist destinations for visitors. This plateau is famous for its dozens of windmills that are spread around. These are water pumps with wings, which granted the valley its name and ruins of more than 10,000 mills that were used for watering the fields.

Lasithi is an incredibly fertile green agricultural valley, with a carpet of densely cultivated fields. The real beauty happens in spring, when the flower rugs cover the valley and surround the snowy peaks of the high Dikti Mountains.

At the Dikti Mountains around the valley there are historical sites, like the Dikti cave, where according to Greek mythology, Zeus was born.

The Plateau has a few towns that have maintained their traditional lifestyles more or less. Some have ancient treasures, such as the village of Kera, which has a church from the Byzantine period, covered in frescoes from the 11th century.

The area is known for its Venetian windmills that have survived since the 15th century. Today only a few remain, maintain their classical look, with wings and white clothes that remind visitors of the romantic past.

These mills were used to pump water from under the ground, to water the fields and to grind wheat.

Every season here has its own charm. During fall the trees crouch from the burden of apples and ripe pears. During the spectacular spring bloom, the fields are green and full of blossoms.

A Closer Look at the Lasithi Plateau:

Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou
#About the Monastery That Did Not Surrender to the Turks

The Moni Arkadiou Monastery was established during the Venetian reign on the island. Its facade is built in the Baroque style and contains quite interesting artwork. It is located approximately 25 kilometers south of Rethymno.

The importance of the monastery is mainly historical. In 1866 Greek rebels were barricaded here, trying to expel the Ottomans from Crete.

This was at the end of the failed revolt. The monastery served as a fortress where 150 Greek rebels and their families barricaded themselves. When the rebels, headed by their leader Abbott Gabriel, saw the Turks succeeding in conquering the monastery and beginning to slaughter them and their families, they preferred to blow up the building and sacrifice themselves, rather than fall into the hands of the Ottomans.

Since then, the monastery has been a Greek symbol of heroism and freedom. Though the rebellion against the Ottomans failed, years later the island of Crete was liberated and became once more a part of Greece.

The gunpowder warehouse on the northern side of the monastery complex is worth the visit. This was where the heroic explosion of the rebels took place. There is also a small museum where you can see memorabilia from the historical event, such as clothes with the blood of the victims that are still visible.

In addition to its history, the monastery is a nice and well-kept area that will also interest visitors not interested in church sightseeing. However, a visit to the impressive church from 1587 in the courtyard of the monastery is still very enjoyable.

A Closer Look:

#About the Island of Lepers, Sofia's Island

Spinalonga means "long thorn" in Greek. It is located in the Mirabello Bay of Crete, which for many years served as a leper colony. Leprosy patients were removed in ancient times from the healthy community, so that other people would not become infected by the terrible disease.

Once a week, the local priest would sail to the leper colony from the village of Elounda on the northeastern tip of the island, to ease the suffering of the sick who longed for their families. It was at this island that they withered until they died of the incurable disease.

The Island, then known as the "Island of the Living Dead," served as a leper colony until 1953. Victoria Hyslop's best-selling novel "The Island" gave the island character and life in the face of its difficult history. In doing do it also turned the island into one of Crete's most famous attractions.

Upon reaching the island, one comes through the "gate of the condemned" - the entrance gate from the sea, through which the new lepers entered the island. Above it is written in Roman an ancient inscription that was so suited to the sad settlement: "May God preserve you."

Many of the tourists who come to see the remnants of the lepers' village also turn their attention to the dead in the cemetery where the lepers of the island were buried. The cemetery is divided by the classes: While the poor were buried under the cobblestone floors, thrown into a pit without so much as a funeral, the high-born lepers were granted their own graves.

#What Can be Seen at Spinalonga?

At the center of the small island of Spinalonga stands a hill, atop which stands an ancient fortress. The Venetians built the fortress and its surrounding walls, atop the solid rock of the island in 1579. Later on, the Ottomans came into power and ruled the island, and it was used, among other purposes, for smuggling. When the island became part of Greece in 1903, the Greek government established the leper colony.

Look carefully at the guard towers of the citadel and you will see that they have small openings in the bottom, which enabled the guards to relieve themselves, without abandoning their posts…

A Closer Look:


A View from Above:


Heraklion Archeological Museum
Heraklion Archeological museum
#About Crete's Archeology Museum

The Heraklion Archeological Museum is a great archeological museum, hosting many treasures and remains of old civilizations, near Hellenistic and Roman exhibits from later periods.

Here you can see the Phaistos Disk, which has symbols that no one has been able to decipher yet.

At a different area of the museum, you can see a replica of a 4,000-year-old carriage with 4 wheels. This is the earliest proof for the use of the wheel on the Island of Crete.

The museum features beautiful Minoan figurines. Pay attention to the statues of snake goddesses from the Minoan period, and an acrobatic statue of a bull, all made of gold and ivory.

There are also findings that were discovered at the Minoan harbor of Kato Zakros. These findings are very important to researchers, as they are proof of the trade relations between Crete, Phoenicia, and Egypt. There is jewelry from Egypt and ivory artifacts from Syria.

Also, pay attention the frescoes found in the ruins of Knossos. Among these, you can find the "Prince of Lilies" wearing a crown of feathers. There are also frescoes of dolphins, acrobats riding bulls, and elegant women.

A Closer Look at the Heraklion Archeological Museum:

Crete Aquarium
#About Crete's Aquarium

The Crete Aquarium in Hersonissos is an aquarium that represents aquatic life around Crete.

This is a fantastic attraction for kids and parents alike. There are sea turtles, octopuses, lobsters, all kinds of fish and organisms, in all colors and sizes.

Don't be surprised about finding an impressive reptile display. With children you are also welcome to join in the daily feedings here.

A Closer Look:


Another Look:


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.