The Museums on the Island of Crete ☼

Anoula’s travel notebook.

Heraklion :

  • Things to absolutely see : Heraklion Archaeological Museum. It is full of artefacts found mainly on the Knossos archaeological site but also on other Minoan sites. These artefacts are shown chronologically, with not much explanations. If you are keen on archeology, you will spend at least 2 hours in this museum.
  • greco-mount-sinai-1570The Historical and Ethnographic Museum is a pleasant place to visit. You will discover how the Cretans used to live more than a century ago. A room is dedicated to Katzantzakis, the author of Alexis Zorba. An other room is dedicated to El Greco: you will be able to look at his painting, “View of Mountain Sinaï and the Monastery of St Catherine”.
  • Don’t forget to do a detour on the Venetian fortifications, they go all around the city and in the south of this one, you can discover Katzantzaki’s grave where are written his famous words: “I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I’m free.” While you are walking in the city, you can discover: its covered market, the Morosini Fountain (central place in the city, very busy!), its harbour with its Phoenician fortress, and many churches with different architectural styles.

Sitia :

  • If you didn’t have time to visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion because the city was too noisy and that you prefered to go to the East of the Island which is the quietest part and the least invaded, stop and visit the Archaeological Museum in Sitia, smaller than the one in Heraklion but exciting and well presented, it deserves to be seen!
  • The Folk Museum is small but very interesting, you can see many day life artefacts that belonged to the Cretans over the past centuries. You can even ask for more information in different foreign languages to the guides who are willing to answer your questions.

In general, museums on the Island of Crete are Archeological Museums and/or Folk Museums. You will find them in big and small cities.