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Crete seems like a grand artistic creation of Mother Nature, which has nurtured some of the greatest ancient civilisations of Europe in the past and continues to fascinate many in the world today. It has enchanting landscapes that never fail to charm its visitors, while the vibrant cities and beautiful villages give you a glimpse of the island's rich culture and traditions. The island is also home to some wonderful beaches, which give you ideal surroundings to take a break from your sightseeing schedules and unwind amidst majestic natural surroundings. However, this island is a delight for the history buffs and if you're one of them, you'll come across some intriguing historic attractions:

1. The Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos

Located near the northern coast of the island, this palace was excavated about a century ago and was built during the times of the Minoan civilisation. Most parts of this palace are now in ruins, but it might have been a grand structure when it was first built. It is believed to have been constructed around 1,950 BC and the first palace was damaged around 1,700 BC owing to earthquakes. Later, a second palace was built on top of the first structure. While exploring this ancient structure during your crete holidays, you'll also get to see a vast courtyard where some major events are believed to have been staged.

2. Ancient Theatre of Aptera

Ancient Theatre of Aptera

This ancient theatre has been so well-maintained that it can still be used for hosting events. It is one of the country's most important historical monuments and has been restored and opened to the public after almost two millennia. Restoration of this fascinating ancient theatre was carried out using the most advanced scientific methods. Since its opening in 2015, many cultural events and musical performances have been hosted on its stage. You can get some valuable insights into its history and significance by taking a guided tour.

3. Agia Triada Monastery

Agia Triada Monastery

Built in the Byzantine architectural style, this Greek Orthodox monastery located in the Akrotiri peninsula is also home to a museum. The name of this monastery translates as 'Holy Trinity' and was constructed by two brothers on the site of a pre-existing church in the 17th century. You can also find a library in this monastery, which contains several rare books. While exploring the museum, you'll come across an impressive collection of icons and codices. One of the most important of all the exhibits housed in the museum is an icon of St John the Theologian, which dates back to the 16th century.

4. Spinalonga


While on your trip to the Lasithi prefecture of Crete, you'll get the chance to explore this arid rocky islet, which was fortified in the past and was used for various purposes by rulers over several centuries. It is also known as the island of the outcasts, as many lepers from the region were kept in isolation here and this continued until the mid-20th century. This islet is surrounded by crystal-clear, blue waters and offers some of the best views of the surroundings. Usually, it takes almost an hour to stroll around the island. You can also go for a swim in the waters surrounding the islet during your visit.

Also read - Crete: A Greek Island Rich in Natural and Cultural Beauty