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Iraklion - Ammoudara / Central Crete


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Excursions
 
 
As the house is just 2 kms from the nearest entrance to the National Road, from here the whole center of Crete reveals itself for exploration.

 
Anogia
is one of Crete's highest mountain villages, and besides the biggest one.
 
The people of Anogia were allways highly respected for their musical tradition and all over Crete they have a reputation for their excellent dancers and folkloristic musicians.

Some of the best families of musicians come from Anogia (Xylouris, Skoulas).

A treasure of the village is a tiny private museum that exhibits outstanding objects of the painter and sculptor Alkibiades Skoulas. In his old ages he began to paint the memories of his life.
 
distance Anogia: Hotel Delina and Ida mountains
Being a center for sheep and goat breeding, Anogia is also well known for it's beautiful woven goods.
 
Road distance: 30 kms *)
 
Bali
is a former fishing village on the north coast, at the eastern edge of the governmental district of Rethymnon. It lies at the western flank of a small bay with several sandy beaches, which is framed by mountains.
 
distance Bali: Dusk over the bay
Close to the port there is a small sandy beach, and several watersports as well as diving are on offer.

A longer beach is located on the south end of the bay near to the newer hotels and apartment facilities.

As the most beautiful beach of Bali ranks however the one which is hidden in a small rocky bay just behind Cape Korakias, which forms the north-western tip of the bay of Bali.
 
Road distance: 38 kms *)
 
Panormo
is a fishing village on the island's central north coast, belonging to the prefecture of Rethymnon and located 21 kms east of the town. There are some small swimming-bays with sandy beaches west of the port.
 
In former times Panormo was the port of the town of Eleftherna which is 22 kms to the south. Eleftherna which has now been excavated was one of the most important cities of ancient Crete.

In the village center as well as around the port there is a number of apartment facilities, tavernas and shops which have adapted to the needs of a rather relaxed way of tourism.

In the summer the village center is closed to traffic and the tavernas fill the narrow lanes with tables.
 
distance Panormo: View over the bay
Road distance: 46 kms *)
 
Rethymnon
on Crete's north coast is the capital of the governmental district of the same name.
 
distance Rethymnon: The fortress with evening light
It ranks as the island's cultural center and gives home to several museums, to the philosopical branch of the University of Crete, and other facilities.

The landmark of Rethymnon is the Fortezza, a fortress from the Venetian aera, standing on an exposed rock that reaches into the bay.

Further inland, the Venetian Old Town attaches to the fortress.
 
In it's crooked lanes there are unnumbered small shops, arts and crafts workshops, restful bars, and restaurants of varied cuisine.

Right below the fortress there is the picturesque Venetian Port which is framed by the modern port's piers.

Every Thursday, the eastern pier also hosts the legendary weekly market of Rethymnon. During the years before, the place changed several times but that could not impair the colourful buzzle at all.
 
distance Sundown: Port of Rethymnon and Cape Drapanon
Road distance: 67 kms *)
 
Agios Nicolaos
is the capital of the governmental district of Lassithi which obtains it's name from the high plateau in the district's west, and also includes the two townships of Ierapetra on the south coast and Sitia in the East of the north coast.
 
distance Agios Nicolaos: Port and Dikti mountains
The town center is located on a small peninsula which spreads eastward into the Mirambelou bay. By the southern edge there is a small fishing port and marina.

The true port of Agios Nicolaos is however located by the peninsula's northern edge. From here, ferry boats travel to Piraeus, Rhodes, Iraklion and Sitia several times per week.

The excursion boats which head towards the former lepers' island of Spinalonga several times per day moor here as well.
 
Voulismeni lake which is a small sweetwater lake is located at the side behind the port, and connected to the harbour basin via a channel. It is used as a berth for many small fishing boats.

Around the port and the lake, numerous restaurants, tavernas, kafenions and souvenir shops line up.

Inside the town there are several smaller hotels and apartment houses with a rather private atmosphere.
 
distance Agios Nicolaos: By the Voulismeni lake
Road distance: 78 kms *)
 
Matala
is famous from the 1960-ies when Hippies from all over the world used to settle here, staying in the caves by the beach.
 
distance Matala: The Hippies' caves
Today, the caves must not be used for accommodation purposes anymore as they do not fulfill the minimum standard criteria as issued by the Greek Tourism Authority.

Matala his however still worth a visit. It has deep blue sea and a white sandy beach which is framed by yellow rock (with abandoned caves in it).

A blue sky covers the place, and views range over the Messara bay to Agia Galini, to Mt. Kedros, and with clear weather even until the White Mountains ("Lefka Ori").
 
It is easy to understand why they settled right here ...
 
Road distance: 81 kms *)
 
Agia Galini
lies on the south slope of the small Vouvala Massif, which parts the bigger Kedros Massif from the south coast.
 
The most scenic road to Agia Galini runs from Nea Kria Vrisi via Melambes around the summit of Mt. Vouvala (947 meters).

First open views of Mt. Kedros (1,776 meters) which frequently decorates it's summit with a small cloud, and of the Ida Massif (up to 2,456 meters).

Then the road winds down the slope and opens views of the fishing village, it's port, and the entire Messara bay until Matala on the opposite coast.
 
distance Agia Galini: View from the road to Melambes
Right above the port there are some comfortable tavernas and kafenions with typical Mediterranean flair.
 
Road distance: 87 kms *)
 
Spili
is a small town counting only approx. 700 inhabitants and belonging to the prefecture of Rethymnon.
 
distance Spili: The lions fountain
It is located some 30 kms south of the city, at 421 meters above sea level. The south shore is just behind the coastal mountains.

The surroundings are composed of particularly exciting landscapes. Mt. Vorisis (878 meters) towers above Spili, and the town itself is said to be most picturesque.

The landmark of Spili is a Venetian style fountain with 25 water-spitting lionheads, and there are even some old houses which originally remain from the Venetian era.
 
Road distance: 97 kms *)
 
*) All data show the shortest respective road distance from Michel Apartments
 

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Contact / Site notice
Michael Koutentakis
Parou 2, Ammoudara-Gazi
GR-71414 Iraklion
E.O.T. license no.:
MHTE 1039K123K0249200
Presented by:
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GR-74100 Rethymnon-Pighi
Fax 0030 28310 20011
Email to K.E.I.E.K.  Email to K.E.I.E.K.
All items subject to alteration without notice - Errors excepted


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