Minoan legend: Crete - island of Zeus and Minotaur

September is a great time to travel around Crete. Warm turquoise waves of the Mediterranean Sea, the gentle sun, steep mountains, riddled with picturesque gorges and shaded with luscious deciduous greens - a paradise for a stress-worn city dweller.

Samaria National Park - a unique reserve with an eighteen kilometer canyon

Cave Dikti: here, in accordance with ancient legends, the goddess Rei gave birth to Zeus

But the curious tourist will not be bored either - the ancient island will reveal to him the secrets of his glorious history. Visiting Knossos Palace, known as the Minotaur labyrinth, is a great start to discovering the Minoan architecture. The royal residence is not only a beautifully designed complex with many sculptures and decorative frescoes, but also a sample of the engineering art of ancient architects.

Knossos Palace - a symbol of Cretan architecture

The palace of Festus and Gortin's policy deserve no less attention. The first is a vivid example of the life of the Minoan and Hellenistic periods, and the second is recognized as an archaeological treasure trove of the original Cretan heritage.

The ruins of Fest, located on several tiers - evidence of ancient times

Odeon Gortiny - Cretan amphitheater with columns, inscribed in Doric

The mountain monastery Kera Kardiotissa from the XIII century carefully preserved a valuable Orthodox relic - the icon of the Virgin of the authorship of St. Lazarus. According to legend, the healing power of the icon was so great that it relieved from incurable diseases.

The Theotokos Cardiotissa is lost in the centuries, but the exact copy of the icon in the monastery has become a significant shrine of Christian pilgrims

Once in Agios Nikolaos, it is worth going to the Archaeological Museum. It is noteworthy for its extensive exposition, consisting of ancient exhibits of eastern Crete. Well, the folklore complex, which gathered a bright collection of household items, will tell you about the traditions and culture of the island.

Ancient vases in one of the halls of the archaeological museum of Agios Nikolaos

Secrets of folk crafts in the Folklore Museum of Agios Nikolaos