If you rent a car in Heraklion, we recommend you doing a road trip to explore this interesting prefecture, which is full of beautiful resorts, stunning beaches and significant historical sites. You may already know that you should definitely visit the Minoan sites of Phaistos and Knossos, the hippies’ beach Matala, the touristic resorts Hersonissos, Malia and Stalis. However, did you know that there are many other places that are definitely worth visiting, especially if you want to go off-the-beaten-track in Crete? You can find great deals for renting a car in Crete and extend your journey for a couple of days to discover even more amazing places. We recommend you in this article some of these places, but of course the region has always something more to offer to you. Enjoy!
Fodele is located 30 km from Heraklion town and is a quiet little Cretan town with a beautiful river. Above the river is the village, where the main pedestrian road is lined with charming shops and traditional taverns, where you can eat fresh fish. Fodele is the hometown of the famous painter El Greco. Dominikos Theotokopoulos, as his real name was, was born in Fodele and then lived in Spain. 5 minutes-drive from the village is located the El Greco Museum, where you can admire a large collection of reproductions of his main paintings.
Church of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
A short drive from the El Greco Museum, you can make a stop at the 12th-century Church of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. Inside this church, there are impressive frescoes and Byzantine paintings, as this small church was very important during the mid-Byzantine period.
Monastery of Agios Panteleimon
Six kilometres from this church, we recommend you making a stop at Monastery of Agios Panteleimon. This monastery was an important centre during the Cretan Revolution against the Ottoman Empire and dates back to the Venetian Times. It is definitely worth visiting to appreciate its Venetian influences and its fine architectural details.
Located 20 kilometres northeast from Fodele, Agia Pelagia is a coastal town, which is ideal to relax, eat delicious Cretan food and spend all day long on the beach. The beach of Agia Pelagia is fully organised with numerous cafés, seaside taverns and rooms to let, from where you can enjoy the endless blue. Around the settlement of Agia Pelagia, you can discover many pretty beaches, especially if you rent a car and you are flexible to do every route you want. Ligaria, Psaromoura and Monofatis are astonishing coves with soft sand and deep blue waters to spend an unforgettable day by the sea with your family or your friends.