Knossos palace, Lasithi Plateau, monastery Kera, cave of Zeus
SCHEDULE: MON, TUE, THU
PRICE: 35€ (children 4-10 years - 50%)
In this excursion you have the opportunity to visit the most famous archaeological site of Crete - Knossos Palace, the Byzantine monastery of Panagia Kardiotissa, the amazing Plateau of Lasithi and the cave of Zeus.
The first stop will be Knossos Palace, the most visited place of Crete and the birthplace of Minoan civilization. The first excavation of the site was conducted in 1878 by Minos Kalokerinos of Heraklion. This was followed by the long-term excavations 1900-1913 and 1922-1930) of the Englishman Sir Arthur Evans, who uncovered virtually the entire palace. It was a multi-storey building covering an area of 20.000 square meters. Impressive features of it are the variety of building materials used, and the painted plaster, marble revetment and wall-paintings adorning the rooms and passages. The advanced level of technology attained by the Minoans is also demonstrated by some original architectural and structural features, such as the light -wells and polythyra, the use of beams to reinforce the masonry, and the complex drainage and water-supply systems. You will have free time to make a great photo.
After that, we will visit the Byzantine monastery of Panagia Kardiotissa or Kera, dedicated to the birthday of the Holy Virgin.
Further, on the way to the cave, we will see the amazing Plateau of Lasithi. It is one of the most beautiful areas in Crete. High up on the Dikti Mountains, it is a green, fertile valley, covering an extension of 25.000 sq. km full of cultivation of potatoes, garden and fruit products and almond trees. The spectacle of 10.000 windmills scattered throughout the area is unique.
And here we are in the cave of Zeus! The curtain-like stalactites and stalagmites is amazing. Excavations have shown that it was used as a place of worship as early as 1800 BC (devotional offerings, stone altars, stone seals and Linear A inscriptions) have been found carved into the rock fissures).
On the way back we will stop in one of the many villages of the Lassithi plateau - the village of Psychro, a famous pottery center. Here we can see a traditional potter at work.
Entrance tickets: 15€ Knossos palace, 6€ Zeus's Cave, 3€ Kera Monastery
take a headdress, comfortable shoes, water, a light sweater, money for lunch.