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Karteros - Amnissos villages, Heraklion Crete

Karteros is a coastal tourist settlement, successive to the settlement of Amnissos ; it is found 8 kilometres far from Heraklion at the East and counts some 550 permanent residents.
In the area of the settlements (Karteros and Amnissos) it was situated the port of Minoan Knossos, as states Strabo. Amnissos was continuously inhabited from Midde Minoan period up to Roman times. During the Byzantine period it seems to have been less active and was inhabited anew during the Venetian domination, as it is evidenced by the ruins of Venetian dwellings at the settlement of Messovouni.

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Excavations of the Minoan settlement started in 1929 by Sypidon Marinatos and continued later by Stylianos Alexiou and the German Archaeological Institute. Several complexes of buildings have been brought in light during the long excavations in the area, the most important of them being the "Villa of the Lillies", where it has been found the famous frescoes with blossomed lillies.
There have also been found buildings of the Late Minoan period as well as an important Archaic sanctuary dedicated to Zeus Thenatas, situated on the hill of Palaeochora.

One of the most interesting features about Amnissos is that the name of the town is mentioned in the clay inscriptions in Linear B' script found at Knossos; a confirmation of the relative reference of Homer.

It is worth visiting the cave of Eilytheia, some 1 kilometre South to  Amnissos; according to Ancient Greek tradition, Eilytheia was the protector of confined women and helped them to have an easy and painless delivery. This cave was considered as the most important place of worship of this goddess.
The abundant finds of the cave, dated in various periods, manifest that the cave was continously in use from Neolithic times up to the Early Christian era.

Apart from the archaeological sites and monuments it is also worth seeing the churches of Aghios Nikon and Aghios Ioannis (St.John the Baptist) in Karteros.

A few hotels of various categories as well as some studios and rooms to let are offered for lodging in the villages. Swimming and sea sport facilities are available at the beach of both Karteros and Amnissos. Eating is an easy thing: taverns, restaurants and cafes are ready to offer their delicacies.

Access from Herkleio is very easy by public buses with frequent service and taxi, as well as by private or rented car and motorbikes.

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