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Tourist Guide of Heraklion

Irakleio is the administrative, agricultural and commercial center of Crete, with rich agricultural history. Its seaside tourist resorts with sandy beaches and graphic villages in the interior combine in a pleasing way, offering many options to the visitor.

Irakleio town is the capital of the district, now developed into a commercial, industrial center of Crete. The city continues to attract the visitor with its Venetian monuments, its neoclassical buildings and charming pedestrian malls.
Its beautiful churches, the Venetian Port, the Fortress, the Venetian Arsenali, the Walls, the grave of Nikos Kazantzakis and the theatre-garden in his name, the church of Agios Titos, as well as the 17th-century Loggia, and the 16th-century drinking fountains Morozini, Bembo, and Kriouli, along with the market in the center of the city are all a must once you're in Irakleio. The Archaeological Museum houses the world's greatest collection of Minoan art.

Agia Pelagia is a popular tourist resort, with sandy beaches, a calm sea and small intimate bays. Near Agia Pelagia there are other tourist resorts such as Mononaftis, Ligaria and Made with varied hotel facilities, as well as the villages of Axlada and Rodia.
You can visit ancient Gordina in the village of Agioi Deka where the festival of Agioi Deka takes place on December 23rd.
Agios Myrona, built on hills in an area rich in olive trees and grape fields, is where the famous 'Maleviziotiko' wine is produced.
At Ammoudara and Linoperamata there are many hotels to be found as it is a long-standing popular tourist resort.
Built on the Libyan sea, with its high year-round temperatures, is the seaside village of Arvis. While in the area, make sure to see the village of Faraggi. Near Arkalohori is the village of Thrapsala which retains its traditional devotion to ceramics, and the village Epano where one finds exceedingly fine quality grapevines producing award-winning grapes and wine.

The head village of Viannos is built amphitheatrically on the foothills of Mount Dikti. It has stone fountains and small plateaus with century-old trees. Make sure to see the Omalos Plateau as well as the Viannou-Amyra Gorge.
The museum of Cretan Ethnology in the beautiful traditional village Voroi is one of the most significant museums on Crete.
Gouves is a seaside tourist center with a wide variety of hotel options, while Episkopi has clearly visible elements of traditional architecture along its densely-built streets. Don't forget to visit the Karterou Gorge.
The village of Zaros is famous for its springs, Votomos and Mati, and its traditional water-mill, the man-made lake Votomou and its fish farms.
Kaloi Limenes has retained its graphic character and the lagoons of the area are wonderful for swimming.

The Kamaron Gorge and the Moni Valsamonero are located near the mountain village Kamares which has a cave and significant archaeological finds.
Kartero and Amiso offer various types of hotel accommodations. You can visit the ancient city of Amisos and the Neraidospilia - the cave of Eileitheias.
Kasteli town has the remains of an ancient Roman Aqueduct and from there you can visit the neighbouring villages of Smari where Minoan ruins have been uncovered, as well as Karouzana.
For peaceful vacationing, you can stay in Keratokampo, a seaside settlement on the Libyan Sea.
The village of Knossos is built next to the archaeological site, and as one would expect, is a tourist center all-year round. Of course you will want to visit the renowned ancient city with its palaces, the small palace and the royal megaron.
Kroussonas, built on the foothills of Psiloreiti is a major producer of dairy products and meats. From there you can visit the ancient settlement, Moni Agia Eirini, the Livadi Plateau and the Honou cave.
The fishing village of Lenda has wonderful beaches on the Libyan Sea. It's worth visiting ancient Levina.

Limenas Chersonisou is one of the most developed tourist resorts in Irakleio district with its cosmopolitan character, charmingly combining tourist amenities and history.
Malia is a popular seaside resort with many caf?-bars for youth and decent shopping.
Matala is a tourist resort of international renown located in an incredibly beautiful setting. It has impressive caves and was a hippie hangout during the 1960's but today the caves remain fenced. You should visit the caves, the church of Panagia, Kommo, take a boat ride around Cape Lithino, the village of Pitsidia, the tourist resort of Kalamaki and the Bay of Mesara.
Every Saturday in Moires, a bazaar is held where regional delicacies are sold. Nearby the beautiful village Moxou are the graphic villages Krasi, Gonies, Abdou and Potamies, all wonderfully green and fertile.

For those who remain devoted to tradition, the villages of Piskopiano and Koutouloufari are just perfect for vacationing as many of the traditional dwellings have been restored and are available for seasonal renters.
Pirgos, Xarakas and Sivas are traditional villages with arched doors, especially Sivas which has a tradition of ecological farming.
The seaside resort of Stalida is quite popular as are the areas of Treis Ekklisies and Tsoutsouros.
The largest center of production for fresh vegetables is Timbaki nearby the village of Kokkinos Pirgos, a beautiful port ideal for fishing boats.
Phaistos is one of the most important archaeological sites on Crete where you can visit the Minoan palace, the tomb from the Meso-Minoan period, the ruins of a Minoan megaron, the vaulted tombs and the churches of Agios Georgios Galatas and Agias Triadas.
Fodele, where Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) was born, is a popular tourist and commercial area, full of trees and springs.

Chani Kokkini, Psari Forada and Sindonia are tourist resorts, ideal for restful vacationing.
If you visit Irakleio, be sure to buy 'Maleviziotiko' wine, ceramics, folk art and try Loukanika Xsidata (vinegar-cured sausages), Xochlious Boubouristous(Fried snails), Kaltsounia(cheese pastries), Dakos(Cretan salad on barley rusks), Dolmadakia (stuffed grape-leaves), Kreatopita(spicy meat pies), Kouneli Stifado(rabbit and onion cooked in wine sauce), grilled trout, salmon, fish and other seafood.
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