Central Crete consists of two prefectures: Rethymno and Heraklion (Iraklion). Zeus was born in the cave of Idaion Andron located just outside the capital city of Rethymno. For a weekend, Central Crete can recreate the glories of a civilization older than that of Greece. Central Crete can reveal to you the Minoan ruins of Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys in Heraklion. Yet, Central Crete also has a Venetian and Turkish past. Cities may have Minoan ruins but display minarets. There are the remains of Venetian fortresses and Byzantine architecture. To visit the Palace of Knossos is required but do not forget the Arkadi Monastery where the Greeks made a costly stand against the Turks in their battle for independence.
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