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Zakros - Kato Zakros, Lassithi Crete

Zakros is one of the most beautiful villages of Crete. Built on the slopes of two hills, it is an inland village, surrounded by a luxurious plantation of olive trees and fruit trees. Kato Zakros is a small scenic settlement with a small port, famous for the ruins of a Minoan settlement, some 8 kilometers southeastern to Zakros. The village is found at a distance of 107 kilometers far from Aghios Nicolaos at the East and 47 kilometers far from Sitia at the Northeast. Both villages count some 800 permanent residents in total.

Once in the area, either for a short or for a longer staying, you shouldn’t miss to visit the Minoan palace at Kato Zakros and the Minoan villa at Zakros.

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The palace is one of the greater Minoan palaces in Crete and is dated to the New Palace period (after 1700 b.C.); it was destroyed in 1450 b.C. by fire, it had been abandoned and never inhabited again ever since. It covers a huge space, at the western end of a small valley, extended in more than 2 acres, with more than 300 apartments. The finds not only are they important, but also of a great variety. Apart from the palace and the small settlement around it, there have been brought to light parts of ancient streets, guardhouses, wayside sanctuaries and graves. There have also been found a lot of mobile finds as artifacts of everyday use, weapons, ritual artifacts, tools and clay tablets in Linear A script. Most of those finds are actually hosted and displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Northern to Zakros it has also been found a sanctuary dated in the Middle Minoan period, with a good number of ceramic vases, both ritual and for everyday use.

It is worth visiting the Gorge of the Deads; its entrance is just off Zakros and it ends up at Kato Zakros, almost at the sea, some one-hour’s walk. Several graves going back to the Middle Minoan period have been found within the gorge.

The fans of wild nature may also visit the spring found on a rise above Zakros, in an area full of perennial plane trees and current, crystal clear fresh water and the cave Pelekita, at a distance of 2-3 kilometers northern to Kato Zakros.

If you like old churches, don’t miss to see the church dedicated to Christ in Zakros.

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Accommodation is possible in a hotel and several rooms to let, open all year round. You will find good food and drink, especially fresh fish, at the port of Kato Zakros, where you will also swim in a crystal clear sea and sunbathe at a scenic pebbly beach. In case of emergence, a Medical center is available.

If you visit the village in August, you may attend the local feast (“panighyri”) on the 6 th of August, in honor of Christ’s Transfiguration.

Access from Aghios Nicolaos is possible by rented or private cars and motorbikes. The village is 61 kilometers far from the Sitia airport and 97 kilometers far from the International airport of Heraklion. The village is also connected with Sitia by public bus, with frequent service, running to Palaekastro, Zakros and Vai and back to Sitia; the duration of the journey Sitia – Zakros is some 1.30 hours. 
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