Zakros, one of the biggest villages in the Eastern Crete, known for the Minoan Palace in Kato Zakros but also for the abundance of water, the springs and the ravines with plan trees.
Xerókampos (GR: Ξερόκαμπος) is a beautiful coastal settlement 10km far from Zakros village and 28km far from Palekastro, in a place of natural beauty.
The distance from Ziros is 20 km and from Heraklion airport 175 km. The wonderful beaches, the healthy climate and the important ancient places of interest attract both Greek and foreign visitors.
This gorge is located on the route from Zakros to Xerokambos. After the region of "Agrilia", where its many branches meet, an impressive landscape appears. From this point of entry to its exit to the sea the distance is about 1,5 km. At the beach of "Katsounaki", on its beautiful sand dunes grow the famous lilies of the Minoan frescos. The altitude difference is about 100 meters. There is no marked path and its crossing is a bit difficult, but still accessible.
Xerokambos beach and village is located 10 km south from Zakros village and 28km from Palekastro. In Xerokampos the landscape is arid and truly eerie, characterized by bare rocks and steep mountains. The vegetation is limited to bushes and there are some places with a few olive groves. A small tourist destination has started developing during the last years, especially after the roads were paved with asphalt.
The deserted settlement of Voila occupies the north and west sides of the steep hill located on the eastern side of the Armenochantrades plateau. On the southeast side the settlement is protected by the steep cliff. In the north and western sides of the hill, the houses are built like fortifications, while a short wall is protecting the remaining perimeter towards the valley.
According to the evidence of recent excavations it would appear that the site of Hellenistic Sitia is situated at Tripitos, a small headland 3 kms east of Sitia and 15km west of Palekastro village.
Monastery Toplou, Palekastro, Eastern Crete
Moni Toplou (Greek: Μονή Τοπλού) is a 15th century monastery located in a dry and barren area in the Prefecture of Lasithi, on the eastern part of the island of Crete in Greece. It is about 6 km north of the village of Palekastro and 85 km east of Agios Nikolaos. The monastery was originally called Panagia Akrotiriani (Virgin Mary of the Cape), after the nearby Sidero cape.
Its current name literally means "with the cannonball", thus called by the Turks for the cannon and cannonballs (Turkish: top) it had in its possession for defensive purposes.
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The first excavation in Kato Zakros was performed by the British D. Hogarth, in 1901. Then, the remains of a Minoan settlement came to the surface, indicating a flourished society. The most important of Hogarth's findings were the about 300 clay stamps on coins, indicating some sort of bureaucratic system of control or a number of commercial affairs.
A completely different picture than by other parts of Sitia is projected on the plateau of "Karydi", located on the mountainous area on the southeast of Sitia and west of Zakros. Here is the "Kingdom of Stone", the "rocky-garden" of Nikos Kazantzakis, the imprints of the world's creation.
At the beach of Palekastro, in the position of Russolakos, a great and big town of the Minoan period was excavated. It flourished during the post-Minoan period but some remains date back to the pre-Minoan period and the mid-Minoan period, mainly tombs with numerous bones very well preserved.
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