There’s so much to do on the Greek island of Crete with something for everyone. And while most people visit Crete to soak up the sun, it’s the city’s rich history that makes it a must-see for history buffs. If you’re looking to step away from the sandy beaches, check out these awesome locations.
The Palace of Knossos
Once home to the Minoan civilization that disappeared around the 14th century B.C., this palace has massive columns and beautiful frescoes. The site was restored by the famous archeologist Arthur Evans in the early 1900s and it’s now a huge tourist destination with tours that offer a history of the palace and mythology.
Rethymno Old Town
While in Rethymno, wander around the narrow alleys of the Old Town, which dates back to the 11th century. Throughout the city, you’ll find Venetian Renaissance architecture and Turkish influence.
The building of the Venetian Fortezza was overseen by the Venetian ruling class in the late 16th century to protect Crete against an Ottoman invasion, which didn’t end up helping them from the Ottomans capturing the Fortezza less than 100 years after it was completed and ruling Crete for more than two centuries. Today, its perimeter still houses the partially restored Ibrahim Han Mosque from the Ottoman era and the church of Agios Theodoros Trichinas built in 1899.