ELOUNDA One of Greece’s most exclusive summer destinations, Elounda has been the place to be since the mid-70s. With a multitude of luxury resorts to choose from, be prepared to be pampered, seriously pampered! The hotels here are themselves a reason to visit and we have two favorites which will meet even the highest of your expectations. But if you decide to leave your hotel to explore the nearby area you will discover the culture of the area. Start with the quaint neighboring fishing village of Plaka and the island of Spinaloga with its Venetian walls and used as a leper colony in the early 20thcentury. KNOSSOS Located just outside of Crete’s biggest city, Knossos was the seat of the Minoan civilization which ruled the Aegean for over a thousand years from 2500 to 1500BC. Knossos is a grand palatial complex with many of its main building intact. But it’s not the architecture that will impress you as much as the art. Some of the most amazing wall paintings still survive with their original colors that bear testament to how advanced the Minoan civilization was. And yet, it all was destroyed by a natural disaster, which many argue was the eruption of Santorini which triggered a tsunami that destroyed Knossos. CHANIA Chania is one of Crete’s most beautiful cities. A mosaic of cultures, tastes and history, Chania offers all one is looking for. Since the Minoans laid down the foundation of the city, everyone form the Romans, Arabs, Venetians and Turks have left their mark on the city evident from the many different neighborhoods of the old town; there is even a Jewish quarter and temple worth visiting. From Chania, you can visit the Gorge of Samaria a National Park great for hiking and taking in the natural beauty. If you are not up for hike then head to Falasarna on the western coast of the island for swimming and lounging at one of Crete’s the most spectacular beaches. Also not too far is the eco-tourism resort of Milia, unique in all of Greece for its approach to sustainable tourism and offering guests a genuine experience.
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