Nearby destinations worth exploring
Standing at the crossroads of three continents, the atoll described by Homer in his Odyssey as ‘a fair land … amid the wine-dark sea’ lies the imposing island of Crete. Home of the Minotaur legend and birthplace of Europe’s first evolved society Crete is all about variety, a mosaic of contrasts.
Crete is a land of wonders where several civilizations blossomed, leaving their cultural mark in a remarkable heritage of museums, monuments, temples, churches, and residences. The Cretan land is a fascinating blend of seas, mountains, rivers, and lakes. Cretans and their distinctive way of living are considered the spice of life!
Elounda is Crete’s renowned and radiant cosmopolitan destination. Its inherent beauty attracts travelers from every part of the world. Built on the grounds of the ancient city of Olous of the Minoan era is nowadays the preferred destination of those seeking luxurious vacations and unique experiences tailor-made to satisfy even the most demanding and eclectic tastes.
The islet of Kolokytha
Spinalonga, a UNESCO World Heritage List nominee, is considered one of Crete’s most prominent archaeological sites.
Its long and tumultuous history can be traced back to Minoan and Hellenistic times and has continued up to the first half of the 20th century through different roles and uses.
Spinalonga’s strategic position in the ancient’s Olous harbor entrance led to its fortification during its occupation from the Venetians and the Ottomans.
As much as CAYO’s seafront offers plenty of reasons to keep you busy throughout your stay, our surrounding mountainous area’s beautifulness promises an unforgettable experience.
If you are interested in hiking, cycling, or climbing, crossing the beautiful mountain path through centuries-old chapels and monasteries will enchant you. More than 70 villages and settlements, each with its unique tradition and threads of culture, are worth visiting.
Built on the ruins of Lato’s ancient city towards Kamara, Agios Nikolaos is a cosmopolitan resort of impressive beauty. By many its famous lake surrounded by hills is considered the jewel of the town. Agios Nikolaos provides the ideal environment for an all-day-long adventure filled with colors, tastes, sounds, and action.
Enjoy a walk in the streets, get to know places of interest, or visit archaeological sites and museums. Perambulate shops, traditional cafes, restaurants, and markets throughout the day. At night the city awakens amidst entertainment proposals you’ll remember long after returning home.
Not far from the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos, we find one of Crete’s oldest and largest villages. Kritsa commands its surroundings from an amphitheatrical position. Its rich tradition derives from an impressive history that goes back many centuries.
Kritsa’s residences of traditional architecture with its many alleys and Byzantine churches make it an ideal place to visit and travel back through time. About 3 km north of Kritsa, the ruins of ancient Latos located in a naturally fortified and strategic location present a stunning view of the Mirabello Bay that will reward your journey.
The Archaeological Site of Knossos
At Cayo, we celebrate Crete’s rich cultural heritage amidst every occasion. The experience of visiting the magnificent Palace of Knossos once the residence of the mythical King Minos can hardly be put into words.
Knossos Palace, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, is the preeminent symbol of Minoan civilization and the birthplace of thrilling stories, such as the myths of the Labyrinth with its Minotaur and Daedalus and Icarus.
The location was populated as early as the neolithic times (6000 B.C.). Knossos remained an important city-state until the early Byzantine period. Despite its destruction by two earthquakes, the Palace was rebuilt, and in its apogee, it reached a population of 100.000 citizens.
The site of ancient Knossos was discovered in 1878 A.D. by the Cretan archaeologist and merchant Minos Kalokairinos. It covered 22,000 m2, reflecting its status in all facets of its economic, social, and cultural life.
Shortly after its discovery, the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans and his team started their excavations. Consequently, the British School of Archaeology at Athens and the local Archaeological Service continued their work on the site and its wider region.
Visit the Archaeological Site of Knossos and embark on a mystic journey through time to a unique civilization that never ceases to inspire and amaze.