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ELAFONISSI

Elafonissi is in west Crete, 75 kilometres southwest of Chania. The Elafonissi area includes the beach, the islet 200 metres offshore and the shallow lagoon between the two. If you come to Crete on holiday, Elafonissi is a name you are sure to hear. Elafonissi is a tiny island with white sand, separated from the shore by a lagoon no more than a metre deep.The island is less than 200 metres from the beach and you can easily walk there through the warm, shallow water of the lagoon. On reaching the island you will discover lots of tiny beaches on its south coast.



The sand of Elafonissi is white, but in many places it is pinkish due to the thousands of broken seashells it contains. The limpid, blue-green waters will remind you of an exotic paradise.

FALASSARNA

Falassarna is a small resort boasting one of the best-known beaches in Chania Prefecture and indeed the whole of Crete, which attracts large numbers of tourists every summer.

Nowadays Falassarna is a famous Cretan destination, thanks to its beaches and also its ecological interest. Falassarna is part of the Natura 2000 network, both due to its variety of flora and fauna and as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Looking towards Falassarna from the hill after the village of Platanos, you will see many greenhouses, as the area is ideal for growing fruit and vegetables.





In front of you are spread two beaches, divided by a few sand dunes: the south beach (known as Pachia Ammos) is longer and wider. There are two more beaches further south: a sandy beach with rocks on the bottom, and a pebble beach next to the little harbour.

The great beach of Falassarna

Falassarna Beach has won prizes for being the most beautiful beach in Crete and is always one of the top ten beaches in Europe, with its wonderful, fine white sand and warm, crystal-clear water.The beach of Pachia Ammos is so big that it rarely feels overcrowded even in high summer, when you are surrounded by hundreds of people.

Falassarna beach is fully organised, with umbrellas and loungers covering most of the area. However, there are several free spots for those who would rather bring their own towel and beach umbrella.


THERISSO

Therisso is a small Cretan village 16 km from Chania town in the region of Chania. This village has a remarkable history, intrinsically interwoven with the freedom and independence of the Cretan people.

Θέρισο village, with its dramatic mountain scenery and gorge, sits at 580 m at the foothills of the massive Lefka Ori or White Mountain range in the west of Crete.

The beautiful Thériso Gorge with its dramatic scenery can be seen from the road as it runs along the bed of the gorge for 6 km, accompanying the tree-lined river and surrounded by the greenery of chestnuts and oaks. Of course the gorge also makes a wonderful walk in the clean mountain air, and is popular with rock climbers and hikers.






Climbers take the opportunity to start from the village to climb the high peak Pachnes, and experienced many sheer and breath-taking cliff climbs all around.

Those less active will enjoy a visit to the gorge, the forest and the nearby Sarakina Cave, 2 km north of the village, with historical finds from the Neolithic, Minoan and Geometric ages evidenced from archaeological explorations.

This gorge and village make a wonderful day trip from Chania, visitors can enjoy the many traditional tavernas in the small village serving both the famous Cretan lamb and meat dishes as well as plenty of local fresh vegetables.



KOURNAS LAKE

Kournas Lake is the only freshwater lake in Crete.

The lake is in a beautiful landscape, lying in a valley among the hills, about 4 km from Georgioupolis in Chania Prefecture (west Crete).Lake Kournas is relatively small, with a maximum length of 1,087 m and a maximum breadth of 880 m. It covers an area of 579,000 sq. m. and is generally shallow, 22.5 m at its deepest point, while it lies approximately 20 m above sea level.
Kournas Lake is the ideal place for an afternoon walk or a daytrip nearby. Many people like to have an afternoon picnic there. The landscape is lovely and relaxing, whether you want to go for a walk in the countryside, swim or ride a pedalo on the lake.







Swim or ride a pedalo on the waters of the lake. There are little beaches on the banks of Lake Kournas just under the main road and in front of the tavernas. There you will find sun loungers and umbrellas in the summer months, while you can also rent pedalos, if you want to enjoy a ride on the lake - this is a particularly fun and romantic option in the afternoon.

Enjoy a meal in one of the many tavernas and cafeterias at Kournas Lake, where you can eat beside the lake and enjoy the lovely view. The tavernas offer traditional Cretan dishes and it’s worth trying the “apaki” (smoked pork) or the kid, a local specialty.




KNOSSOS

The archaeological site of Knossos (Knosós GR: Κνωσός) is sited 5 km southeast of the city of Heraklion

There is evidence that this location was inhabited during the neolithic times (6000 B.C.) . On the ruins of the neolithic settlement was built the first Minoan palace (1900 B.C.) where the dynasty of Minos ruled.

This was destroyed in 1700 B.C and a new palace built in its place.

The palace covered an area of 22,000sq.m, it was multi- storeyed and had an intricate plan. Due to this fact the Palace is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur.








Between 1.700-1.450 BC, the Minoan civilisation was at its peak and Knossos was the most important city-state. During these years the city was destroyed twice by earthquakes (1.600 BC, 1.450 BC) and rebuilted. The city of Knossos had 100.000 citizens and it continued to be an important city-state until the early Byzantine period.

The site was discovered in 1878 by Minos Kalokairinos (GR: Μίνως Καλοκαιρινός). The excavations in Knossos began in 1.900 A.D. by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851- 1941) and his team, and they continued for 35 years.





SAMARIA GORGE

One of the most famous places to see on Crete is the Samaria Gorge, Europe’s largest gorge.  This National Park is 18kms long with unbelievable natural beauty. The gorge is rich with many endemic flowers & herbs with crystal clear spring water flowing from the mountains. – you can even refill your water bottles with it!

The average walking time through the Samaria gorge is 4-6 hours & is on a foot path with rocks & along the river bed. It is mostly downhill (particularly steep in the beginning) & then the final part is in the sun. Agia Roumeli village is where the walk ends & you can enjoy a swim in the Libyan Sea or have lunch one of the many tavernas. From here there is a ferry that takes you to Sougia, where the coach is waiting for you at the harbour & you drive back over the mountains to the north coast to the place where you were picked up.