One of the places to visit in Crete is Heraklion, the island's capital. Surrounded by powerful walls, its focal point is Nikiforou Phoca Square, embellished in its central part by a 17th century fountain. Opposite this one, stands the Agios Markos church, built by the Venetians in 1239 and a currently venue for concerts and exhibitions. That same street houses a beautiful 17th century lodge that houses the City Hall. After passing this building, and in a square, you will see the Agios Titos church, from the 16th century and dedicated to the patron saint of the island. Obviously, one should not miss the Koules fortress, the History Museum of Crete, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Natural History, dedicated to the ecosystems of the Aegean. By the way: in the surroundings, you have the best golf courses in Crete.
However, the main tourist attraction of this insular territory is the unique Palace of Knossos, the main architectural testimony of the Minoan culture. Other key places to approach this civilization is Fourni Hill, where you can see a huge Minoan cemetery, and the archaeological site of Malia, whose oldest vestiges date from 2100-1900 BC.
Another place that deserves your attention is the nearby Lasithi plateau, full of emblematic windmills. There is the amazing cave called Dictea, a place plenty of fascinating stalactites and stalagmites that, according to mythology, witnessed the birth of Zeus.
Of course, in this list we must mention the town of Rethymno, where two Iberostar 4-star hotels are located. It is considered the third most important town in Crete.
From an architectural point of view, the town of Rethymno exhibits a beautiful restored lighthouse from the 13th century and, of course, the city's Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza of Rethymno, one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. which dominates the city from the inner harbour. Designed by the architect Michele Sanmicheli, and completed in around 1570, it served to defend the city from Turkish pirates. Inside, there is a mosque, a small church and part of the governor’s residence. In front of the main entrance, is the Archaeological Museum, which opens its doors in an old Ottoman ravelin and houses a late Minoan Sarcophagi among other treasures. Lastly, it is highly recommended to take time to get to know the old town located behind the Fortezza, which is full of narrow streets dotted with Venetian and Turkish buildings. Close by is the Neratze mosque (1657), which is considered the best-preserved in the city.
Near of the Iberostar hotels you will find 20 km (12.5 miles) of beaches running all the way to the town of Georgioupoli, an enclave which has managed to preserve the charming atmosphere of another era. Very close to there, Lake Kournas is framed between hills. This place is great for tourists wanting to practice water sports, such as canoeing or windsurfing. It is also an ideal place to get close to Moni Arkadhiou, one of the most venerated monasteries in Crete.