Aquaworld Aquarium in Hersonissos
The most famous animal here is the “Blind Green Turtle Stephanie” which got rescued from animal right activists in 1997. With an age of one year and has been sent after request to this very Rescue Center in Hersonissou by 2000. Stephanie has been living there ever since, for 21 years now. The Animal is fed by hand every day as of 1999 at 10:30am by its owner. The owner, an old Scottish man, is in fear that after his passing away there will be nobody there to take care of the animal. These turtles can turn 120 years and more.
On the above photo to the right you can see an octopus which unscrewed the glass himself to get the food. We were speechless how intelligent these animals obviously seem to be.
And in the Second Picture John (The Scottish owner) is feeding the blind turtle Stephanie.
The Carves of Matala
We spent the whole Day in our Vacation in October 2021 in Matala with visiting the Caves Of Matala. Afterwards we explored the Village. Matala is also known as the “Hippie Dorf” since there have been a lot of Hippies. these Hippies have also been living in the Craves, in the 60s & also in the 70s. Matala is best reachable by a rental car. The place is located in the South of the Island. The ride was about 40 kilometers from Suite Leon. Our son and we enjoyed the village with all its small local shops, ice cream shops and other locations. It is just great.
The beach is fairly long and wide but tends to get very crowded in July and August. Matala is indeed one of the most popular destinations on the island. Keep that in mind to avoid any unexpected frustration.
There are dozens of restaurants, bars, and taverns by the sea. All of them used to be super convenient. In the last years, though, the village has become very popular and more tourists visit each year.
Agios Nikolaos and the “Golden Beach”
This town is located in the east of the Island and also known as “St. Tropez” of Greece/Crete. We approached the City by Car during our Vactation in 2022. The destination is roughly 100 kilometers away from Suite Leon. You do have a lot of opportunities over there, like shopping or enjoying local food. Or you can just enjoy this very clean city, especially at the marina and the port. Many various and diverse possibilities exist to move around.
The Second part of the day we did spend on a wonderful beach near Agios Nikolaos, called the “Golden Beach” Voulisma Beach (aka Golden Beach). This was a wonderful beach with deep blue waters and an absolutely well-kept environment. You have to pay, of course only if you want, for the Beach Chairs and Loungers (10 € per Day). You also have a very nice beach bar with delicious local food.
Plateaus Lassithi of Crete
At an altitude of 850 m, the Lasithi Plateau is the largest mountain plain in Crete. It the only one occupied all year-round. It runs some 11 km east-west and 6 km north-south. Surrounding it are the peaks Selena (1559 m) at the north, Afendi (1588 m) and Louloudaki (1163 m) west, Spathi (2148 m) to the south and Katharo (1564 m) and Varsami (1545 m) to the east. Animal-rearing and agriculture were the main occupations in the past.
Today this Plateaus has also been transformed into a giant garden. Up until a few years ago, irrigation was managed by thousands of small windmills (the most of them are still there). In a way, it was a massive wind-farm, in its traditional form used to pump water, not produce electricity. The presence of human settlements in this area goes back thousands of years. We also did visit the Zeus cave, above Psychro, is where – according to Greek legends – Zeus was raised.
The Drainage Channels
Another attraction we could observe in Juzly 2022 of the plateau have been the linear drainage channels that were opened by the Venetians long time ago to transport water across the plateau. Indeed, when the Venetians conquered Crete, they turned Lassithi into the largest “garden” of Crete, which still supplies Crete with excellent quality potatoes and vegetables. On a walk at any point of the plateau, you will find lines, the. long ditches carrying water
The gorge of Samaria is the most famous gorge of Crete and one of the greatest in Europe. It has been declared a National Park since 1962 and more than 300.000 people visit it every year. They admire it’s unique beauty and variety of sceneries. It is home to the endangered species Kri-Kri, a wild goat that can only be found in Crete and almost 450 species of the Cretan flora. 70 of which can only be found in this gorge. The length of the gorge is 16km but hiking from one side of the National Park to the other is 18km and it will take you 6 to 8 hours to cross.
The Samaria National Park has traditionally always opened to the public at the beginning of May. It has often been possible to enter the gorge of Samaria at some point in April. This depends on the weather and the amount of work needed to restore the path after the winter rains.
So the opening dates of the gorge vary. It could open a little before the 1st of May, on the 1st of May or later (if the weather is bad or repair work is late). The gorge of Samaria closes to the public at the end of October.