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Information About Heraklion Cities & Villages
The village of Avdou is located 39 km southeast of Heraklion towards the Lassithi Plateau. In its historical past the menfolk were involved in the many battles against the Ottoman Empire and during WWII. The village is a centre for alternative tourism for lovers of the natural countryside environment. Avdou is also the only parachuting centre on Crete.
The village of Agii Deka (Ten Saints) in on the Messara plain close to the ancient city of Gortyna; it is named after the ten Cretan Christians who were executed by the Roman Emperor Dekios in 250 AD. A small Byzantium church was built on the location where their remains were found. The village also has the small Gortyna Museum exhibiting local discoveries.
The village of Agios Myronas is built around ancient Ravko, which flourished during Minoan times about 1200 BC. Ravko was as strong city as Knossos and Gortyna. It was destroyed in 166 BC during the civil war between Gortyna and Knossos.
It is named after the sainted Myronas, Bishop of Knossos, who was born here and was witness to the persecutions by the Roman Emperor Dekios. The Byzantium church of the village is dedicated to St Myronas as is the small Skiti cave that has a therapeutic "holy water" spring.
Agios Myronas is also renowned for the maleviziotiko wine produced here.
The picturesque town of Arhanes is built on the slopes of a hill 15km from Heraklion. The pretty town has cobbled roads and paths and the neoclassical buildings have been lovingly restored and painted in earthy colours with many traditional Kafenions.
In and around the town are the ruins of a Minoan villa, the ancient cemetery of Fourni, fine Byzantium churches, The Farming Museum and the Natural History Museum of the Gouhta Ecological Archaeological Park.
Matala is a small sandy cove on the south coast with caves in the rocks overlooking the bay. The caves were very popular with the Hippies, who came and lived in them. The caves that are carved in the rocks were tombs in Roman times and are now under the protection of the Archaeological Service.
The seaside resort is a very popular destination for holidaymakers and is 34 km east of Heraklion. The resort has long sandy beaches that are organised and offer all types of sea sports and activities.
Just 3 km from the town is the archaeological site of the Minoan Palace of Malia.
The seaside resort of Hersonissos is located 27 km east of Heraklion making it a popular destination for holidaymakers and conference delegates as there are many quality hotel complexes in the area. The village has many historical monuments as well as a lively nightlife offering entertainments to suit all tastes.
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