Crete is an astonishing source of history: From the Minoan Civilization to the Hellenistic cities and the Roman occupation. When you go to Crete, history is something you MUST check! Knossos reflects the Greek history best. However there are many other historical places worth visiting.

Phaistos and Gortyn will take you back in time and give you the best representation of ancient Crete. The ruins surrounded with Mediterranean vegetation tell the story of great ancient European civilizations and are therefore a must for every visitor!

Check out our suggestions for Rethymnon excursions.

Phaistos, Minoan city
We are glad to guide you through this appetizer of areas worth a day trip!

Phaistos is located in the southern part of Crete. This place is the location of an ancient Minoan city. The ruins are not as impressive as the ruins of Knossos, but its history and the law code found there (first ever written in Europe!) are worth the trip! It contains many wonderful remains of ancient Greece. Crete may have several historical places, but Phaistos is definitely one of the best preserved. Without forgetting that you will be far from the usual crowds and will be able to enjoy this beautiful and important Minoan site in a calm and very pleasant environment!

How to get there?
It is about 1h30 travelling by car from our hotel. Entering the site you pay a fee of 4€. Here you will be able to read various illustrated information panels. Once you have read the impressive history of the Minoan civilization, you will be ready to visit the nearby ancient city of Gortyn.

Gortyn, symbol of Hellenistic period in Greece
Gortyn was a city during the Minoan period. However, while the Minoan civilization was declining, Gortyn started empowering. This rise of the city led to the destruction of Phaistos by the Gortynians who left the city as you will see it. This destruction and a combination of military, political and commercial power, gave Gortyn the Hegemony on Crete until the Roman Occupation.

The city’s history does not stop with the Roman occupation. Gortyn had a consequent level of power until its destruction during the Arab invasion of Crete in 800 A.C.

Gortyn is a wonderful site where you will find various traces of the Hellenistic period. Greece has been influenced by many different cultures. That is why you will find here both Greek and Egyptian temples (Egypt was occupied by the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty between 305 B.C. and 30 B.C. which led several Greek cities to worship Egyptian Gods), the Roman Praetorium and the ruins of the St Titus Cathedral, a Christian monument from the 6th century A.C. A very diverse past awaits you there!

How to get there?
Gortyn is about half an hour by car from Phaistos (2h from our hotel in Rethymnon) and the site is definitely worth visiting. Check the website for more information:

Are you planning to spend a few days in Crete? Rimondi Grand Hotel is one of the few luxury Rethymnon Crete hotels. Check the website for more information.