Leaving Heraklion, the capital of Crete, and heading northwest we find the small village of Fodele, famous as the birthplace of ‘El Greco’ the painter. The village is a cool oasis in the shade of the surrounding trees and the gurgling stream. Further west lays Chania, Crete’s second largest city and the former capital of the island. The town is divided into the old town within the Venetian city walls which is an attractive maze of narrow streets, old mansions and arcades, with mosques and minarets bearing witness to the Turkish influence and the carefully laid out new town which is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in Greece.
This “Little Venice of Crete” still has a wealth of Italian architecture.Get in touch with the Orient as you browse through the cross-shaped indoor market which is the ideal spot to find some unusual presents ans souvenirs. “Leather Street” is a great place to look for those leather bargains:bags, belts os made to measure shoes. Lunch can be enjoyed in one of the many waterfront tavernas which overlook the old Venetian harbor where the film “Zorba the Greek” was filmed. You will have free time to visit the Agora (old local market).
On our way back, a short a visit to Rethymnon will allow you to shop for antiques and knick-knacks in the narrow streets of the Old Town, to gaze up at the Turkish minarets and to stroll along the Venetian port down to the fortress and along the golgen sandy beach stretching into the distance. You’ll never believe one island could have such contrasting sights, and colors.
Leaving Heraklion, the capital of Crete, and heading to the west part to the island we drive for an hour and then make our first stop at the Monastery of Arkadi, just before entering Rethymnon town. Arkadi is the first eternal symbol of freedom and heroism, the most famous historical Monastery on Crete. the poignant history of Arcadi is reminder of Cretan defiance in the face of those who tried to subdue them. We continue onwards for relaxing stop at the one and only fresh water lake on Crete, Kournas.
Lake Kournas lies in a valley, in a beautiful area between the hills and the surrounding mountains and is reminiscent of a lake in the Alps. Here you can walk around the lake and see how the colour of the water changes according to the time of day, you can watch and feed ducks, you can have a refreshing swim in the shallow water and enjoy a meal in one of the numerous tavernas close by, enjoying the lovely views. The last stop will be the town of rethymnon, where you can observe a unique and exciting blend of Byzantine, Venetian, and Turkish cultures. The old town has remained almost unaltered for 800 years. A walk around the harbour or a coffee break by the seaside will be the end of a perfect day.
- Casual dress.
- Comfortable shoes.