Welcome to mythical Crete!
The Group marks its presence in Crete, the biggest Greek island and fifth biggest in the Mediterranean Sea, the furthest sound border in Europe, with Laguna Resort & Spa and Rinela Beach Resort & Spa.
The island of Crete is a periphery of Greece, consisting of four prefectures: Heraklion, the largest city and the capital of the island, Chania, Lasithi & Rethymno. Being the cradle of the Minoan civilization – the oldest civilization in Europe- and a meeting point of heterogeneous cultures, Crete offers a multitude of tourist attractions across the island, such as the archaeological sites of Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys, as well as the Venetian castle in Rethymno and the Samaria Gorge.
Cultural & historical sights
Cultural & historical sights
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is considered Europe’s oldest city. The palace of Knossos was undoubtedly the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. It appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms close to a central square and it is the most popular attraction on the whole island.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum & Historical Museum of Crete
The best way to understand the history of Crete is a visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The museum, that reopened renovated in 2014, is full of treasures, and, among others, pottery, jewellery & sarcophagi pieces may be seen. The Historical Museum on the other hand is mostly famous for its spectacular El Greco’s paintings.
The 18-kilometer, Samarian Gorge is claimed to be Europe’s longest canyon and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s tentative list. Hiking through the Samarian Gorge will give you the opportunity not only to enjoy its unique natural beauty and spectacular view, but also to visit the little churches and remnants of villages that are situated along the way.
According to the myth, this is the cave where Zeus was born. Worshippers used to come here and bring offerings, such as olive oil, honey, wine, wheat and later was used as a shelter by local shepherds and hunters. Today, the impressive cave is really popular, as it is rich in stalagmites and stalactites, which creates a memorable experience.
Chania Old town
The old town of Chania is the most picturesque city of Crete, full of colours. Remains of the Venetian and the Turkish periods may still be seen and the Public Market, the Public Gardens, the church of Aghios Frankiskos and the lighthouse are definitely a must-see.
Chersonissos is a town in northern of Crete, about 25 km east of Heraklion and west of Aghios Nikolaos. It is probably the most tourism-oriented town of the island, with an atmosphere like that of a daytime club and plenty of things to do for children.
During the day, one can find several souvenir shops, as well as other shops and restaurants in the main street, while the bustling nightlife includes discos, clubs, bars and pubs.
For those who prefer to rest and sunbathe, Chersonissos also offers beautiful beaches and a number of excursions to other sites of interest on the island, or even to other islands.
Aghios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas – the patron saint of sailors), capital of the Lasithi province, is a coastal town located east of the island’s capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. Aghios Nikolaos is probably best known as a tourist town that serves as a hub to the surrounding twenty or so small villages and farms. Tourist attractions include the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni, small beaches in the town, the tiny island Aghioi Pantes, the archaeological museum, the local flora exhibition “Iris” and numerous fairs.
The former lepra colony, where lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece were quarantined until 1957, is today one of the most popular archaeological sites in Crete. One of the two entrances to Spinalonga was a tunnel known as “Dante’s Gate”, because the patients did not know what was going to happen to them once they arrived. However, they received food, water, medical attention and social security payments. Spinalonga is a perfect boat trip, as it is known for its small pebble beaches and shallow waters.
Gramvousa & Balos
With more than 400 different plants, the Gramvousa/Balos region is a protected biotope and an important bird habitat, but apart from that, visitors can enjoy the incredible beaches, as well as the stunning Venetian castle.
HOTELS & RESORTS IN CRETE