Crete is great! You’ll love it.
Unless you have a package hotel, do what was said above- go south. North side is one long strip of chain hotels.
The Palace at Knossos is interesting…and fake. James Burke did a historical piece on the site and he makes some very interesting conclusions. The western architect who “re-built” the palace made some…well…‘Creative’ adjustments and conclusions. Basically the site lends itself more to a merchant’s thorough-fare and meeting place than a kingdoms palace. The mosaics and paintings are great, and the layout is interesting, but…
Some of the points (as I recall) were:
- The ‘throne’ rooms are not very throne-y compared to others in the area.
- There are large storage areas that at the site are not really talked about- but they are huge and lend themselves to grain storage, etc.
- The location is at the confluence(sp?) of two major valleys, thus make it easy for merchants to get stuff to and from the center of the island.
- Evidence of major paved roads to the edge of the water where a large port was.
- Lots of smaller rooms that were not used for sleeping, indicating offices.
- Numerous examples of falsified architecture when it was re-built (columns were there were none, etc).
Lots of other stuff was presented and makes for a very believable story that the place was just a large trade and convention center. Far less impressive than the Palace idea, but still a nice place to spend a morning (go early, less heat and tourists).
Renting a car is a great idea. There are MANY places to see in the center, from vineyards to caves to ruins.
Dinner boat rides are touristy as hell, but, feh, go for it. They’re neat.
OUZO! Sippin’ it right now…MMMMMmmmmm…ouzo…