Arkadi Monastery was built at the end of Venetian rule. Apart from the monks' cells, the central building also includes warehouses, stables and premises for processing agricultural products.
The two-aisled church, dedicated to Saint Constantine and Saint Helen and to the Transfiguration of the Saviour, is one of the most important architectural monuments of the Cretan Renaissance. It was completed in 1587 and its facade clearly demonstrates the penetration of western architectural trends in 16th and 17th-century Crete.
Another way to explore the island of Crete is by walking and hiking. The E4 European Walking Trail section in Crete features 91 hiking routes, for a total length of 560 km, traversing diverse landscapes and rare ecosystems. If you wish to complete the entire path, you should allow 3 or 4 weeks to do so, but you can also choose the trails that appeal the most to you. For more information about the path in Crete, visit the website below.
Elounda, with its luxurious villas and hotels, is the preferred escape of the rich and famous. From Elounda, you can take a 25-minute boat trip to Spinalonga Island, known for its well-preserved Venetian fortress, small pebble beaches, and for being one of Europe's last leper colonies.
This museum is located in the center of Heraklion and is one of the most important archaeological museums in the world, thanks to its unrivalled collection of artefacts from the Bronze-age Minoan culture. The exhibits cover a period of ten millennia, from the Neolithic era until late Roman times. The introductory texts in each room explain the key features of each period, and so the evolution of culture.
Founded in 1953, the Historical Museum of Crete in Heraklion hosts a permanent collection showcasing the history of Crete from the third century AD to the end of the Second World War. Artefacts, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and other objects of interest are displayed in chronological order, with visual materials, multimedia and audio guides available during your visit to help you learn more about Crete's fascinating past. A section of the museum is dedicated to the famous writer Nikos Kazantzakis. Another highlight of the exhibition are two paintings by the Greek artist El Greco: The Baptism of Christ and View of Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.
The Venetian Koules Fortress, also known as Castello a Mare (which means "fort on the sea"), is one of Heraklion's main landmarks and is located on the old harbour. This big, square-shaped structure was built in the 16th century to protect the city and was subsequently armed with cannons. The rooftop offers scenic views over the sea and Heraklion city.