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Heraklion South Area Tour

Gortyna / Monastery of Kaliviani / Phaistos Palace / Matala ---> (About 5-6 hours)

- Gortyn, Gortys or Gortyna is a municipality and an archaeological site on the Mediterranean island of Crete, 45 km away from the modern capital Heraklion. The seat of the municipality is the village Agioi Deka. Gortyn, the Roman capital of Creta et Cyrenaica, was first inhabited around 3200 BC. It is located in the valley of Messara in the south of the Psiloritis mountain, in the current position of the settlements of Metropolis and Agioi Deka, and near the Libyan Sea.

- Monastery of Kaliviani: About 60km from the centre of Heraklion city, the Monastery of Panagia Kaliviani is located in the south part of the prefecture, near the Moires and Kalivia villages. The building seen today was completed in 1924, on the ruins of the older monastery where the icon of Panagia (Virgin Mary) was found in 1873. The new church is three-aisled with aisles dedicated to the Nativity, Annunciation and Assumption of Virgin Mary. From 1957 to 1958 Bishop Timotheos Papoutsakis founded an orphanage, old people's home, a housekeeping school, an institution for girls. a cutting and sewing school, an elementary school, a weaving workshop, etc., while in 1961 the monastery was turned into one or women. During the period 961-1204 a monastery for men was in the same location, dedicated to Virgin Mary, which was destroyed, however, by the Turks in 17th century.

- Phaistos Palace: Phaistos transliterated as Phaestos, Festos and Latin Phaestus, currently refers to a Bronze Age archaeological site at modern Phaistos, a municipality in south central Crete. Ancient Phaistos was located about 5.6 km (3.5 mi) east of the Mediterranean Sea and 62 km south of Heraklio, the second largest city of Minoan Crete.The name, Phaistos, survives from ancient Greek references to a city in Crete of that name, shown to be, in fact, at or near the current ruins.

- Matalais a village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion. Matala is part of the community of Pitsidia within the municipal unit of Festos, Heraklion regional unit. The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age. Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period. In the year 220 BC., Matala was occupied by the Gortynians, and during the Roman period, Matala became the port of Gortys. In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the caves were used as tombs. One of the caves is called "Brutospeliana" because according to the legend it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus.Matala was then a fishing village. In the 1960s, the caves were occupied by hippies who were later driven out by the church and the military junta. Now Matala is a small village living mainly from tourism. Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell's experiences with the Matala hippies were immortalised in her 1971 song "Carey".

- The tours can be organized and planned according to your wishes and requests.
- In tours not include entrance tickets or tour guide.

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