The first stop along the route is the Palace of Knossos, one of the most impressive monuments of Cretan architecture. It is it’s image that adorns Crete guidebooks, postcards and souvenirs. Often, it is the Palace of Knossos that is considered as the very labyrinth where a terrible creature with a human body and a bull’s head lived, devouring people and instilling fear in the Greeks. According to the myth, when Theseus went to the labyrinth to look for a monster, the king’s daughter Ariadne gave the hero a magic ball. After killing the Minotaur, Theseus was able to get out, finding his way along the thread that marked his path along the road.
One of the four most significant palaces of Crete. The history of the city of Festus begins in the Neolithic era. Scientists are surprised to find ancient artifacts, even entire houses from this period. Not without reason, many of them believe that the famous sunken Atlantis was located in this part of Greece, and the Minoan civilization is the civilization of the Atlanteans.
Excavations of the palace began in 1900, the famous archaeologist Federico Halberra worked here. There were found amazing antiquities under his leadership. The most famous archaeological find of Phaistos is the Phaistos disc, a small object in the form of a coin with hieroglyphic inscriptions twisted into a spiral. The age of this sacred object is approximately 3700 years. The meaning and purpose of the inscription has not been determined so far, but it has been reliably established that it was not cut out on the disk, but printed on it in a typographical way. Now on the place of the Phaistos Palace there is an archaeological site where you can see everything that has been preserved with your own eyes.
One of the most popular places in Crete. In the Minoan era, according to scientists, Matala was the port of the city of Festus – one of the main centers of the Minoan civilization.
Matala is located at the exit of a small valley, where has formed a large closed bay overlooking the islands of Paximadia. In front of the bay there is a beautiful 300m long sandy beach with fine gravel and clear water. Due to the frequent westerly wind, there are stone slabs and waves placed at the bottom. In addition, on the northern side of the beach there is a large cave, from the top of which the very brave ones jump into the water.
The most characteristic feature of the area is lots of caves, carved into the soft white limestone thousands of years ago, which are located in the northwestern part of the beach. There are many underwater caves also. It is believed that the caves at Matala were Roman and Christian era tombs. However, many of them have rooms, stairs, windows, and beds, suggesting that prehistorically they functioned as homes.
In Matala and in these caves, hippies found their paradise in the 60s and 70s when they gathered in thousands to express their freedom, their opinions and enjoy love