The port of Matala is situated in Mesaras Bay. This place is famous for its caves that are built in the rocks and resemble small residences that were used by the ancients back in time. In the 1960-1970s Matala started to be a very popular destination were the Hippies used to meet altogether and spend their time dancing and singing.
Gortyna is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete. Being the most ancient city of the island, it was also its capital during the Roman era. In the large stone plates that were covered with the walls of the Gortyna sight, were inscribed the laws of the city. The renowned law Codex of Gortyna, which was named as the ‘’King of Codices’’, is considered as the most ancient Codex in Greece traced as back as the 6th century before our era. While driving south from Gortyna, you will be able to admire the ruins of the St.Titus basilica, the name of which belongs to the first Cretan bishop of the island.
The ancient monastery of Kalyviani is dated back to 14th century and was demolished by the Turks with the monks being tortured because of their strong belief to God. One of the monks that suffered was St. Haralambos and his relics are saved in the monastery. Despite all the disaster that Turks brought, near the monastery was found the icon of Evangelism of the Mother of God, bringing many people to pray in that holy place.
According to some evidence, Paliani, is the most ancient monastery of Crete. The Monastery of Paliani, is visited by people from all around the world to have its blessing and see the holy Myrtle tree that flourishes there many centuries. It is advocated that in its branches is hidden the icon of the Mother of God that can be seen only from those you have fate and believe in His divine power. It is said that the pray for a woman in front of this Holy Tree can play a major role to the improvement of her fertility.