Atrion Hotel is on a unique location in order to explore Heraklion the birthplace of El Greco and Nikos Kazantzakis.

The Palace of Knossos the biggest and most impressive palace of the minoan civilization and the capital of Minoan Crete, is situated just 5km away. To beat the crowds and avoid the heat, get there before 10.00am.  A combinde ticket with the Iraklio Archaelogical Museum costs 10 euros.

Very close to Knossos is the  village of Archanes which has won the  2nd "best restored village in Europe" prize. There are four archeological sites here - one in the village (a fenced excavation) and three close by, at Anemospilia,  at Fourni (on the edge of the village - a Minoan graveyard) and  the fourth one, Vathypetro, on the way to Houdetsi is worthwhile not only for the finds, but also some of the most magnificent views of Crete which you can see from the site - a unique vantage point.

As you return back to Heraklion visit also the Archeological Museum of Heraklion. The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is one of the most important and significant museums in Greece. The museum was built during the years 1937-1940 and hosts 20 rooms with exhibits originating exclusively from Crete. These exhibits come mostly from central and eastern Crete and cover a history of 5.500 years. The exhibits are presented following the chronological evolution of the Minoan civilisation.

Visit the Historical Museum of Crete. It was founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies. It is housed in a three storey neoclassical building owned by Kalokairinos family and constitutes another important element of Cretan history and tradition. It comprises 12 rooms showing the evolution of Cretan civilisation from the Christian period until the 20th century. It includes pictures, historical heirlooms, books, maps, Cretan costumes and many other exhibits depicting in the best way the Crete of the past.

Familiarize yourself with the natural wealth of Crete and mainland Greece at Natural History Museum of Crete. Among others, the purpose is to understand the relation between the old civilisations and the natural environment, to get to know the impressive past, the future of Crete and the Mediterranean through the fossils, rocks and minerals presented.  

Spent some time at Museum of Visual Arts  (METH) which was established in 2000 by K. Schizakis and is a meeting place for fruitful discussions between creators and art enthusiasts. It is a place of intellectual development, cultivation, education and entertainment. Important events in art's most particular aspects are organized and hosted in the museum. 

Nerby of Lato is the Koules Fortress, 'The Venice of the East', as it was described during the Venetian rule, is the trademark of the medieval city of Heraklion. Koules Fortress was built in 1523-1540 offering a spectacular view to the Cretan sea and is the vigilant guard that protects the city of Heraklion.

The tomb of the most beloved writer of Crete, N, Kazantzakis is located on the southern part of the Venetian Walls, on the tower Martinengo. Its wooden cross bears his famous quote: 'I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free'. Offering a view to the entire city of Heraklion, this part of the city makes clear that no homage will ever be enough for this great man. Don't miss to visit the Museum of Nikos Kazantzakis at Mirtia Village (15km from Heraklion) too.

You could combine this excursion with a visit to Tamiolakis Winery, 25 km south of Heraklion. It belongs to the viticultural VQPRD zone of Peza, the largest of the three wine producing areas in the Prefecture of Heraklion.

Located 63 km south-west of Heraklion, the ruins of Phaistos palace are the second most significant palace complex of Minoan Crete and unique cradle of cultural wealth. The old and the new palace, the royal living accommodations, the storage areas, the workshops etc. stand out from the monuments of Phaistos archaeological site. The most important finding displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is the famous 'Phaistos Disc'.

With a history of thousands of years, Gortyn, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and erstwhile capital of Crete in the past, welcomes us. 45 minutes from Heraklion, the beating heart of the story by the famous Praetorium. Near the plates with the laws of Gortyn, the Roman theater and baths, the Temple of Apollo, the surviving ancient coins and in each find and exhibit maximum cultural value. Gortyn other outside the ruins of St. Titus, who was one of the first churches of Christendom.

The large Cretaquarium, 15 km east of Heraklion (located at the former American Base in Gournes) offers its visitors a great view to the Mediterranean's sea wealth. Those wishing to live the magical experience of the silent world of the sea are welcome to come 'face to face' with hundreds of species and thousands of sea organisms.

For wine lovers, we propose the Buttari's winery in Skalani village (13km), We propose the guided tour  through the wine making process, the installations and the barrel cellars.

Explore Rethymno's old town, perhaps the prettiest of Crete's Venetian cities and especially the waterfront and the streets just behind. Walk along the .harbour wall to the Venetian lighthouse. The fortezza (fortress) was built by the Venetians in 1573 to protect the city. Not only are walls, churches and the remains of its buildings of interest, the view from it to the town area great way to start planning your tour of the town. There are also sweeping sea views. Open daily.

Lassithi Plateau is ideal for those who love cycling. Enjoy the 18km ride that goes through almost all the little villages. This ride is especially nice.

Visit the small town of Agios Nikolaos, the town with its unique features, the lake ("Voulismeni"), a folklore-inspiringly deep body of water which is connected to the sea by a narrow inlet. It is surrounded and overlooked by cafes and restaurants - a busy gathering place for local residents and visitors alike.

Next  stop is the cosmopolitan Elounda. The way from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda is one of the most beautiful ways on the island. Keep driving till the village of Plaka, with the marvelous view to Spinalonga  island. A visit to the island is a must and will be unforgettable!

 For golf lovers, the Crete Golf Club, the only 18-hole golf course on the island and one of the most impressive courses of the Mediterranean, which holds a unique challenge and a pleasant experience for both golf players and visitors all year round, is located just 25 km away.

We propose to organise a full day excursions to the south coasts, like the well organised Matala beach, famous since 1960, as the hipes used to live there, in the caves, facing the bay and  organising parties. You can also visit the next  beach Komos, a long sandy beach. with many trees for natural shadow. It would be better to go there a quite day with no wind.

Our  third beach proposal is the beach Agiofarago, just have in mind that from the parking place you need to walk 30 min. to reach the beach. At that beach you will feel that you have a private beach. At this beach there are also rocks appropriate for climbing. If you like climbing, don't forget your equipment.

For more activities around Heraklion Area.

Hotel Information Recommended For
Type: Mid-Size Hotels Cheap & Chic :
Rooms: 60 City Style :
Pool: No Family hospitality :
Dining: Yes Quality of service :
Children: Welcome Nice atmosphere :
Closed: Never Architecture & style :

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