you must visit Knossos. the...
you must visit Knossos. the place is magical...all that ancient history has survive centuries. It gives goosebumps just to think about it. The walk way full of little shops and caffes. Late afternoon enjoying a frappe, watching the people go by.
I tried the biking activity at Kefalonia (Argostoli) and must say I enjoyed.
If you are a novice like me at Biking, then this one is not too challenging, meaning not too many hills.
You start off from Argostoli Harbour,heading across the causeway ,then round the lagoon past the Ninja ducks,on past the harbour to the lighthouse onwards a few more miles to a nice secluded beach for a couple of hours then back again to the docks.
Nice and relaxing and nice views along the way. All equipment is supplied including Bike,helmets, rucksack, water, energy drink and energy bar.
Just bring your Camera,swimmies and a towel.
Stroll along the harbor
One of the things on any trip is watching and learning of the local culture and here in Heraklion it is, or was, centered around trade and fishing and there is a very active small fishing community which makes its home here in the port.
Take a stroll along the harbor and you can see many of them doing the various tasks, such as mending of their nets, that will help them bring in their next catch.
Spend an afternoon exploring...
Spend an afternoon exploring the ruins of Knossos
The archelogical significance of Knossos is astounding. It is thought to be one of the earliest civilizations and the ruins are thought to date back to 1900 BC.
The largest city and principal port of Crete, and capital of the prefecture of Iraklion. The city lies on the north coast just northwest of the ancient Minoan capital of Knossos. Its name derives from the ancient Roman port of Heracleum, which likely occupied the same site. As the capital of Saracen Crete in the 9th century AD, it took the Arabic name Khandaq ("Moat"), which was corrupted to Candia by the Venetians, to whom the island was sold in 1204. Most of the extensive system of walls built around the city by the Venetians survives.
In 1669 the city was ceded to the Turks after a siege of more than 20 years. During the long Turkish occupation, which ended in 1897, Candia was known as Megalokastro. The Turks permitted its harbour to silt up, and the port of Chania, the modern co-capital of Crete, took over Megalokastro's former commercial preeminence. The Turkish rule ended after an insurrection (1897) by the Greek population, demanding union with Greece. Iraklion was part of the international protectorate of Crete (1897-1913) and then became part of Greece. During the German invasion in 1941 the city suffered heavy damage from bombing.
After World War II the city gained considerable commercial prominence, with a new harbour with moles, an airport, and many hotels to serve the tourist trade. Among the port's principal exports are grapes (especially sultanas), olives and olive oil, wine, carobs, citrus, almonds, soap, vegetables, and leather. Numerous earthquakes, notably in 1664, 1856, and 1926, have taken their toll of the city's buildings and monuments, including many fine churches and mosques.
The modern Archaeological museum contains the finest collections of Minoan antiquities and is considered one of the most important in Greece. The visitor can feast his eyes on pottery, stone carvings, seals, statuettes, gold ornaments, metalwork and the marvellous frescoes from the Royal and the Little palaces and the various villas of the wealthy. It also contains the unique painted limestone sarcophagus from Agia Trias.
The Historical Museum contains many important exhibits from the Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish periods as well as many documents from more recent times. There is a rich collection of local costumes, textiles, wood carvings and embroidery as well as a simulation of a typical Cretan house.
Iraklion has a lot to offer the visitor. The old fortifications at Handak, reinforced for the Venetians in 1462 are still in good condition and of the seven bastions, Martinengo survives and offers a view of the entire city. In fact, the tomb of the world famous Cretan writer Nikos Kazanzakis is located there with the famous inscription: "I fear nothing, I want nothing, I am Free"!.
On the south side of the fortifications one can still see two of the four gates to the city: the Hania Gate and the New Gate. Another fortress, Koules, that guarding the entrance tot he Venetian harbour is very imposing and dates from 1523. Near it one can see the Bentenaki, the breakwater connecting the harbour to the bay of Dermata or Koum-Kappi where the large vaulted arsenals were used for building the Venetian galleons.
There are a number of fountains in Iraklion of which Morosini (1628), Delimarco (1666) and Bembo(1588) are worth visiting.
Other interesting sights include the Palazzo Ducale which was the residence of the Duke of Crete and the reconstructed Loggia showing how gentlemen lived in days past. Finally the 13th c. Basilica of San Marco and the orthodox church of Aghios Tilos (1446), the cathedral of Aghios Minas and the church of St Catherine with icons by Michail Damaskinos (the most important member of the Cretan school) are worth visiting.