Crete is a veritable haven for archaeology lovers and Rethymnon has got to be one of the most attractive Cretan towns. Close to several places of interest, Rethymnon is a beautiful place, influenced by Venetian and Turkish architectural features, and a wonderful base for a memorable archaeology focused holiday.
Archaeological Highlights in Crete
Late Minoan Cemetery
This is a place of surreal ambience. As you explore the rocky graveyard that has stood here since 1150BC, you can’t help but feel the very souls of the inhabitants gracing your presence. Buried in cut out tombs that are now open for you to explore, there are countless bodies lying here.
Many of the grave offerings are now displayed in the Archaeological Museum in Rethymnon.
Regarded as one of the oldest Episcopal sites on this archeologically rich island, Lappa was once a hugely powerful city. Today, the modern village sits on the original site and many of the houses feature parts of the ancient buildings. Famous for its incredible archaeological findings, dating back as far as the Late Geometric period, the village is also known for its natural water springs and the water flowing through the church is believed to be sacred. Less than 30km from Rethymnon, this makes for a lovely afternoon exploration.
Malia Minoan Palace
Set in stunning surroundings near the sea, legend tells us that this palace was once the seat of Minos’ brother Sarpedon. The initial palace was built around 1900 BC; it was destroyed twice before being left in ruins circa 1450BC. Subsequently a sanctuary was built on the site during the Mycenaean period.
Walking around the ruins of the palace, it is clear to see the layout of the Neopalatial complex, the reconstruction after the first demolition. We highly recommend this site, as it is so well preserved, and we suggest you visit the:
- Central Court
- North Court
- Tower Court
Sanctuary of Hermes and Aphrodite
A very important archaeological site, this sanctuary was established circa 2000BC and used as a place of worship until Roman times. Interesting findings from the site are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. You do need to pre-arrange a visit to the site but this is easily done, and your advisor at Prestige Holidays can organise this for you.
Where to Stay – Caramel Grecotel
A stay at the Caramel Grecotel complements your idyllic Cretan holiday perfectly. Small enough to exude that personal feel the hotel has quality facilities, space, and lavish accessories in abundance. Located in a quiet spot by the sea, the suites and villas offer you direct access to the beach. The walk-in shower is a real luxury and we love the Nespresso coffee machine; it is perfect for making that early morning coffee that you can enjoy in private on your own balcony or terrace.
Enjoy alfresco eating, wonderful seafood and fine dining at this hotel, which also offers an excellent wellness centre. For anyone wanting to improve their knowledge of local cooking, there are courses offered on several evenings too.