Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Eastern Crete – 29 December 2009

Agios Nikolaos
Agios NikolaosDriving past Neapoli, we explored the eastern end of the island. The first major town is Agios Nikolaos, an attractive seaside town, which has a solid ring of cafes around it's twin harbours (one of which is actually a lake). Driving into the town centre must be horrendous in the high season. We had no difficulty driving in and finding a park, but by the time we left, the town was busier and we had to patiently negotiate the traffic jams.
KrisaPanagia Kera
A short drive inland is Panagia Kera, a Byzantine Church, almost completely covered in 14th & 15th century frescoes. The church is near Krisa, the largest village in Crete, and quite charming in a shabby-chic kind of way.

SiteiaThe fifth largest city is Siteia, further east, and definitely worth the drive around the coast. Although the waterfront was lined with cafes, there was a much less touristy feel about the town, and a great place to spend some relaxing time.

MyrtosTo save returning by the same route, we headed to the south coast, and after passing through Ierapetra (whose only claim to fame is being the most southern city in Europe), we found another delightful tiny shabby chic village, Myrtos, which did live up to its description in the guide book.
The road left the coast at this point, and wound through the rugged interior back to the northern side of the island.

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