It is impossible for someone to come to Crete on vacation and not visit its landmark, Knossos. For the island of Crete, Knossos has the same significance as the Acropolis for Athens. The most famous and the most impressive palace of the Minoan era, the biggest and the greatest of the decision-making centers of the Minoan Crete. Our tour in the majestic site travels us back to the past, getting us to know the Neolithic settlement, the new imposing palace, the four wings of the building with the ceremony chambers, the public warehouses, the Throne Room, the Corridor of Procession with the amazing murals, the Propylaea with the famous Double Horns of Consecration, the Royal Chambers, the servants’ dormitories, the storehouses of the palace, the various workshops, the Reservoir Basin, even a stone-built theatre. We are about to hear great myths, relating to the Palace of Knossos, such as the myth of the Labyrinth and the story of Daedalus and Icarus. We are going to walk on Sir Arthur Evans’ steps and we may feel a bit of the excitement and pride he felt when he discovered this exceptional symbol of the Minoan architecture, which even nowadays transfixes everybody with its grandeur.
Leaving the marvelous Palace of Knossos, we continue our tour towards the centre of the island, where we visit the lovely Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, which was named after a miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. In an idyllic landscape, the monastery, run currently by nuns, is known for its artistic and its historical importance, as well as its remarkable murals.
Moving on inland and driving up to the Lassithi Plateau, we have the chance to admire the remaining famous windmills, the ditches, the “linies” as they are known, the Venetian drainage system of the plateau that turned the arid area into the most important grain-growing region of Crete and of course the small traditional villages that still keep the scent of another era. The most famous of all is the village of Psychro, where we can admire the primeval traditional art of pottery-making by the remaining craftsmen and of course we have the opportunity to visit a very significant place for religious worship of the Minoan era, the cave of Psychro, mostly known as Dictean Cave. A cave of exceptional beauty, it is considered as the place where Zeus, the father of the Olympians Gods, was born.