Where to go in Crete.

Enjoy your holidays in Crete. Rent a car and explore the island! 

Rent a car in Crete and explore the island.

Crete.. Crete is the largest and the most populous of the Greek islands with a coastline of 1050 km. Natural wild beauty, amazing beaches, thousands years of culture and history, amazing mediterranean cuisine and hospitable people makes it a must visit destination.

Crete is an island with numerous destinations and thousands of vibrant images so we will help you with some destinations you can combine with your Venus rental car.

Rethymno - Kournas lake - Elafonissi beach

 

 

Rent a car in Crete

 

Rent a car in Rethymno and start your road trip from there.  Discover the old town of Rethymno, a real gem of a settlement on the island, with its Venetian buildings, mosques, minarets, fountains, cobblestone alleys lined with shops, cafes, bars and hotels and the beach road which is full of palm trees which gives you the feeling of being in a real tropical area. 

Continue your tour going west.Make a stop to Kournas lake, the only freshwater lake in Crete.Walk around the lake, whose colours change according to the time of day, swim or ride a water boat on the waters of the lake or watch the ducks and feed them.

After your break at the lake you will keep driving to the west- south part of the island to Elafonissi! You will drive about 2 hours to get to Elafonissi.  What characterizes the area of Elafonissi and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.

 

Photos:

1 Rethymno old town 

2 Elafonissi 

3 Rethymno beach road

4 Kournas lake

 

Chania old town- seitan limania beach - Falassarna beach

Rent a car in Chania

Rent a car from Venus car rental in Chania and start this great day trip.Start your tour going norteast. You pass Chordaki and then Akropoli village, follow the signs of seitan limania to the end. There begins a steep but short to walk (10-15 minutes) path that descends to this well hidden paradise of exotic beauty. Prefer to drive to seitan limania early in the morning because after 11:00 am it gets really crowded. 

When it's time to leave from seitan limania drive to the west through the highway from Chania to Kissamos. After passing Kasteli, you will continue to Platanos and from there, you can follow the signs that will lead you to Falassarna.A small winding road takes you down to sea level and on to Falassarna. Falassarna beach consists of pure and soft golden sand and incredible clean and turquoise waters. A few umbrellas and sun beds can be found along the beach.Falassana is truly an idyllic and quiet place and has been declared as one of the cleanest beaches in Crete.

After this full beach day the last stop is back to Chania. Wander the streets of Chania's old town, to discover its beautiful harbour and haunting vestiges of the Minoan, Venetian and Ottoman past. Chania’s old town will sweep you off your feet! The atmosphere has a touch of Florence and Venice, combined with the culture and character of Cretan people and traditions.

Photos:

1.Falassarna 

2.Chania venetian harbour

3.Chania old town 

4.Seitan limania 

 

Rethymno/ Fortezza castle - Arkadi monastery - Margarites village - Melidoni cave

 

Fortezza fortress, built by the venetians with forced labor and unilaterally surrendered by them to the Turks, has long been a blot o the communal memory of Rethimnon, a symbol of anguish and enslavement as well as, in August 1944, martyrdom as Rethimnian women leapt to their death over its walls rather than be taken as hostages during the German withdrawal.Hence, until recently, the fortress was allowed to fall into ruin, with the devastation wreaked upon it by the retreating Nazi army in 1944 left virtually in situ.It is now in the progress of being extensively restored and is very much worth a visit if only for its view of the city and the sea.In summer, concerts by popular Greek singers are often given in its lovely amphitheater. Opposite the fortress entrance is the museum. 

Nearest to Rethimno is the Monastery of Arkadi. This is the most renowed monastery in Crete, particularly as the site of the 1866 martyrdom of hundreds of Cretan rebels and their women and children, who blew themselves up in the monastery's gunpowder room rather be captured by the besieging Ottomans.Located on a plateau in the foothills of Mount Psiloritis, the monastery is only 22km to the southeast of Rethymno.The present-day monastery is principally a memorial to the 1866 martyrdom and is made up of four separate clusters of buildings. Sitting   among a grove of trees to the left of the parking is a pavilion, dedicated  to the fallen heroes of the rebellion. Within is an ossuary, containing the skulls of several of the martyrs. The building at the far, northern, end of the parking area is a tourist rest center with a souvenir area and a dining room, from the balcony of which there is a fine view of the valley leading north down to the Aegean.

Another rewarding trip to the east of Rethimno offers the opportunity to visit in one day, a mountain pottery village, an ancient Dorian city & a prehistoric cave.

Margarites village is about a 10 minute's drive from Arkadi monastery.A typical Cretan mountain village that would be worth visiting in its own right, it has a long tradition of pottery making that has in recent years seen a vigorous revival, much of it due to the presence of foreign buyers.During summer, shops selling local wares are open in the mornings and evenings and some all day long.After your visit to Margarites village you can have a stop to Eleftherna where are the remains of the ancient Dorian city. 

Keep driving east with your rental car and drive to Melidoni. The large, many-chambered and wonderfully stalactited  Cave of Melidoni is located directly south of the village of Melidoni, about 10 km east of Margarites, on the old road southeast of the commercial center of Perama. To reach the cave, follow the signs through the village and out to a small chapel just to the right of the cave's entrance. In ancient time the cave was said to be the habitat of Talos, King Mino's giant, bronze, bull headed guardian of Crete.In the Hellenistic period (300-67 BC), the cave was the site of worshippers of Hermes. Today, just inside the entrance, there is a stone altar commemorating yet another martyrdom of Cretans at the hands of the Ottomans.

 

Photos:

1. Margarites village 

2. Melidoni cave

3. Fortezza castle

4. Arkadi monastery 

Heraklion - Knossos palace - Bali

Hire a car in Hearklion and get started! From ? 

Heraklion, the biggest city in Crete and the island's capital.Find a save parking area or private parking in the centre and start your walking tour from the Plateia Venizelou (is known to the residents as ta liontaria, the greek word for lions, after the marble lions decorating the seventeenth- century Morosini Fountain, one of the city's main landmark.Sitting at one of the cafes beside the fountain, you look across to the church of Agios Markos, build by the Venetians in the thirteenth century. Vikelas library, Loggia, City hall, El greco park, Agios Titos, Kalokairinou street( shopping area), the Knossos archaeological museum, the harbour and Koules are some of Heraklion spots you can visit and are walkable during the time you have for your one day trip. 

Knossos is 5 Km from Heraklion. The road is signposted from Plateia Eleftheria: bear left at the cemetery and again at the turning for the coastal highway.In mythology, Knossos was known as the home of King Minos and the prison of Minotaur, the hybrid monster born of Queen Pasiphae's love for a white bull. Knossos is Crete's biggest attraction, this remarkable 3500-year old Minoan palace- the legendary seat of King Minos- is a sprawling maze of royal chambers, grand staircases, storerooms and workshops.

After your visit to Knossos beach and relax time has arrived.Bali, ( the name comes from the Turkish word for honey)the pocket sized fishing village is just a 7 km drive north across the new coastal road and down a rather precipitous road to the sea.4 beaches to explore and a lot of tavernas with sea food are ready to welcome you.

 

The magnificent Minoan Palace of Knossos Europe's oldest city!

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