A superb sightseeing from Villa Kerasia during a short 3-day stay there. Sometimes you have just to take time and travel slowly, feel, discover, learn and enjoy. Don't you think?
Sightseeing from Villa Kerasia (during short 3-day stay):
Here are our "covering the island" suggestions:
Drive to Heraklion town, have a look at the town and key areas (like Lion's square etc.) and perhaps some museums. The archaeological museum has just opened its doors again enjoy it..
You can then drive up to Knossos (20 min from Heraklion). The site is overrated in my opinion, so don't spend too much time here.
Instead, continue on and visit Archanes, a lovely small town, good small archaeological museum. A good place to stop for lunch at one of the many good tavernas in the square.
A few km past Archanes - a quick stop at the Vathypetro small archaeological site - with great views.
Follow the road going south (via Houdetsi) and near "Protoria" turn left and continue towards "Agii Deka" (I am assuming you will have a good map with you!).
Just past Agii Deka is the interesting "Gortyn" archaeological site (you will see it on your left). After this, continue towards Mires/Phaestos.
Stop the visit the Phaestos archaological site (which has the 'feel' Knossos is missing).
If you would like to have a swim and a peak at the south coast, you can continue south and go to Matala, Kommos, or Agia Galini.
On your return, you will back-track to Agii Deka and then continue north on the road that takes you via Agia Varvara and then to Venerato. (coming from this direction, the turn to Kerasia - in Venerato village - is on your Left)
This completes (long) day 1!
Drive down (north) to the New National Road, as if you were going to Heraklion. When you reach the New National Road, follow the signs for Chania/Rethymno (west).
Continue on this (mostly coastal) road and go to Rethymno. Worth spending 1-2 hours here.
After Rethymno, continue towards Chania. Small detour on the way: a few km before Chania you will see signs to "Aptera" and "Megala Horafia". If you follow these (turn Left), you will
drive up on the hill, to the "Aptera" archaeological site & fortress (with great views below). This detour can take you less than 20 minutes, so it's worth it.
Then you will be in Chania, which has a wonderful Venetian harbour and Old Town (you would probably feel like you "missed" something if you do not visit - it is one of the key sights)
When you have enjoyed Chania...you will start driving back (on the same route) to your hotel. If it is still early in the day, you can perhaps make a stop at "Kalyves" (about 20 km after Chania) for a swim and/or food. It is a village with a fine sandy beach and many good tavernas (try "Provlita" for fresh fish, or also the good "Gyalos"). To go to Kalyves you turn right on the highway (signed for Kalyves/Armenoi)
and then immediately left -- it is 1 km to the seafront.
As you are leaving at 18:30, you can see things closer in the area, like:
The Rizinia ancient site (a few km from Kerasia) is a must, Agios Myronas village (with the good taverna "Ethimiko"), Petrokefalo, Kroussonas villages - or if you would like to start early, and would like to go further afield and "sample" more of Crete, you can go to Anogia (a historic, traditional mountain village). (It would take you about an hour to drive to Anogia and an hour to get back)
How's that for coverage?
I hope it gives you an insight into things to see and do and what not to miss!
Read more about our superb Villa Kerasia Inn!