Crete

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Top sights in Crete

Crete, the largest of all Greek Islands and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is a mountainous getaway located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea. It is rich in beauty, thanks to its alluring beaches and breathtaking gorges, as well as history, as it was the center of Europe’s first advanced society: the Minoans. Whether you’re here for a laidback summer vacation or an exciting historical adventure, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Crete!

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Regarded as one of the most important museums in Greece is the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The state-of-the-art treasure trove is most regarded for having the biggest collection of Minoan artifacts, considered as Europe’s first advanced civilization. Inside, you’ll be treated with displays arranged in chronological and thematic order, allowing you to appreciate the lives of the Minoans some thousands of years ago. The museum has two floors with 20 rooms, so make sure to allot a couple of hours to fully immerse yourself during your visit.
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Monastery of Arkadi

Located in the southeast of Rethymnon and you’ll find the Monastery of Arkadi. Albeit small in stature, the Eastern Orthodox church served as a sanctuary to over 900 Greeks during the 1866 Cretan Revolt against the Ottomans. The locals trapped inside the Akardi stayed for three days resisting the Ottomans. On their last day, they decided to blow up the monastery using the gunpowder stored in the church instead of surrendering. The act of martyrdom killed almost everyone and many Turkish soldiers. Today, it is one of the most visited attractions in Crete.
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Vai Beach

One of the best things to do in Crete is to enjoy a day in one of its spectacular beaches, and one of which is Vai Beach. The white-sand palm beach was discovered in 1970 and became a haven for hippies and backpackers for a couple of decades. After seeing the effects of overtourism, Vai was closed to the public and became a protected area. Today, it is now rehabilitated and is one of the biggest attractions in Crete. It's perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and other fun water activities.
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Rocca a Mare Fortress

A visit to Crete won’t be complete without a stop at Rocca a Mare Fortress. The historic structure is popularly known as the Koules Fortress and is recognized as the symbol of Heraklion. It was built during the 13th century and strengthened by the Venetians during the 16th century to protect the harbor. Despite its tragic past, Koules is still in good condition and now serves as an informative museum about Heraklion. Make your way to the top for an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the island.
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