Bali as a holiday destination is usually chosen by families with children and older people who are looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday. There are no nightclubs, discos and strip bars at this resort. As night falls, life freezes. But in Bali and its environs there are many historical sights. The village is a single street, from which several lanes descend to the sea. The bus station is located two kilometers from the center, back and forth runs an open tram for 2.5 euros per person. The taverns serve mainly fish and seafood; portions are very large, so you can safely order one portion for two. This place has a developed infrastructure: shops, taverns, beaches, hotels. The price tag here is slightly lower than in the more famous and lively resorts. Two sunbeds and a sun lounger for a day can be rented for 6 euros, eat in the tavern 5-15 euros per person. The convenient location between Heraklion and Rethymno allows you to take a bus to local attractions: museums, caves, monasteries, excavations and leisure activities.
In the resort village of Bali, nature has created as many as four bays, on which the Greeks arranged four large beaches. Bali Bay has an advantageous location between the mountains that hide the resort from atmospheric fronts. When it storms in Rethymno or Heraklion, they sunbathe and swim in Bali. The beaches have a developed infrastructure and clean sand. The entrance to the turquoise sea water is very gentle, so the children splash like in a pool. Another feature is that the water here is cooler because of the fresh streams flowing down from the mountains. In the heat – this is an undoubted plus. The taverns serve the freshest fish and seafood at affordable prices. The main advantage of the bay of Bali is the uncrowded, which distinguishes this paradise from most of the famous resorts of Crete. Of the activities on the pier: pirate pleasure boat, scooters, catamarans and fishing. Rent inflatable sofas and mattresses is quite inexpensive. In addition, on the pebble beach you can dive with a mask and flippers, exploring the bright underwater world in clear water.
Another name is “Agios Ioannis Prodromos”, which translates as “St. John the Baptist”. The monastery is located just 3.6 km from Bali. You can come here by car or any improvised transport, for example, by bicycle. The journey on foot along the mountain road takes about an hour. The territory of the monastery complex is small and cozy. Here you can not only attend the church service, submit notes, pray, but also walk with the whole family, enjoying the beauty of courtyards and park spaces. Monks take care of this blessed place and grow bright flowers. The monastery was founded in the 17th century and for 4 centuries prayers to God have been offered here. The temple houses an ancient miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Bali, which was moved here for safety due to frequent pirate raids. The place is very atmospheric and spiritual. Graceful and slender cats live here together with the brethren of the monastery. Cats are waiting for treats from guests, after which, perhaps, they will allow themselves to be stroked and purred. The territory is open to the public from 9 to 12 and from 18 to 20. Atali Monastery is not crowded with tourists, as few people know about it.
Address: Mylopotamos 740 57, Greece
This ancient landmark is located 50 km east of Rethymno. On a picturesque plateau among the mountains, monastic buildings with a small single-altar temple were erected. Since 1998, the monastery has been restored from the desolation that came here after the last monk of the brotherhood died in the middle of the 20th century. For half a century, the buildings were blown by all the winds, until the local authorities realized that the ruins of Vosaka are the cultural heritage of Crete. After all, for the first time about the monastery in this place is mentioned back in 1195. In the 17th and 19th centuries, the Turks destroyed it, but like a phoenix bird, Vosaku rose from the ruins. The existing drinking well of the 17th century, ancient walls, masonry, steps and much more have been preserved. Now there lives only one monk who looks after the garden and tourists. It is better to visit this place by car or with an excursion.
Address: Geropotamos 740 57, Greece
It is located 7 kilometers from the highway “Heraklion – Rethymno” near the village of the same name. The object compares favorably with other caves of Crete in that inside there are steps with handrails and nice lighting. It is cool in the cave, but after the heat of the day it is a pleasure to walk here. In ancient times, there was a pagan temple, where sacrifices were made to the idol Talos. During the Turkish rule in the early 19th century, about 300 Greeks hid in the cave of Melidoni, who died here. Their bones are buried under a cross in the Hall of Remembrance. Only this spacious hall is available for visiting, although underground galleries stretch for many kilometers. Of course, the inside is very beautiful: stalactites and other growths form bizarre patterns similar to images of people or animals. The cost of passage to the cave of Melidoni is 4 euros. Near the entrance there is a burger with a high price tag and a small church. The second attraction of this place can be considered an observation deck, which offers a gorgeous panorama of the natural landscape. Driving by on the highway by car, it is convenient to come here and visit the cave, as well as take a photo on the observation deck. It will take about an hour.
Address: Melidoni, 740 52, Greece
City of Panormo
This is the name of this place was fifteen hundred years ago, when there was a large commercial port with a fortress. Now Panormo is a quiet colorful fishing village with three streets and the Church of St. George. The village is built up with beautiful 2-3 storey houses, richly decorated with flowers. It will take an hour to go around and inspect everything. Panormo lives by fishing and tourists. A dozen taverns feed guests delicious dishes of Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. Each institution at night sends its boat for fishing to serve the freshest seafood to the table in the morning: shrimps, mussels, octopuses, fish of all stripes. Lunch with wine will cost 10-20 euros per person. When ordering food in the tavern by the sea, you can use a sun lounger and sun lounger for free, which is very economical. Two kilometers from the city there is a private winery, where you can book a guided tour for 3 euros and buy local wine. The tour shows the vineyards, the entire cycle of production and storage of the drink. If you go the other way from the village, you can walk to the lighthouse Panormo – it’s about 30 minutes on foot. The descent to the lighthouse is dangerous, because the path means between the rocks. But the views of the sea and the rocks are very beautiful. To Rethymno from the stop Panormos by bus go 45 minutes, the ticket costs 2.4 euros.
St. Catherine’s Church
One of the attractions of Bali is the Church of St. Catherine, which is located on a hill. The path serpentine winds upwards, but the traveler will be rewarded with a doubly gorgeous view opening from a height to the sea and the resort village. A great place for a photo shoot. From the old church there was only a foundation and a wall, which became the basis for the construction of a new temple. The hall is not very large and even ascetic, but inside there are beautiful icons and a peaceful spiritual atmosphere. You can submit notes – the priest will pray for relatives and friends. St. Catherine, in whose honor the throne was consecrated, became famous for her brilliant education and noble origin. She rejected the claims of numerous suitors, deciding to observe virginity and stating that the grooms are stupid and uneducated. Turning to Christianity, she fearlessly denounced pagan delusions, which caused the wrath of the emperor. He did not tolerate the insults of the gods, whom he zealously revered, and ordered to torture the eighteen-year-old maiden to death. Catherine showed courage and fortitude, but did not depart from the faith. The death of a young and beautiful girl because of the religious fanaticism of Emperor Maximin shocked society, since then Christians have honored the memory of the Great Martyr Catherine.
Address: E75, Milopotamos 740 52, Greece
The freshwater reservoir is located in the mountains 20 km from Rethymno. Qurna is not a landmark, but an ordinary lake, teeming with all sorts of animals and very shallow. In the center there are places where the depth reaches 20 meters, but most of the lake is knee-deep. Swimming here is a very dubious pleasure, since snakes and slippery reptiles will swim nearby. But there is good entertainment – catamarans for 7-10 euros per hour. On this boat move around the lake, watching the wards of Poseidon. You can feed funny turtles, fish, ducks, throwing pieces of bread or cookies. On the shore, local merchants offer souvenirs, olive oil, wine and other goods. In season, a real fair is formed on the shore, where you can buy farm products without a surcharge of supermarkets. There is nothing more to do on Lake Qurna, so it is better to visit it only if the route of your route runs by.
“Moni Arkadiou” can be translated as The Arkadyev Monastery, named after the first monk who founded a skete here. Entrance for tourists costs 2.5 euros. The collected money goes to the improvement and reconstruction of buildings. The monastery is very ancient, but in its modern form it was built during the Venetian rule. Therefore, the architecture of the main church and some buildings retained the features of the Italian Baroque. This place is considered one of the symbols of the struggle of the Greeks for independence from the Turks, since in the 19th century a terrible battle unfolded in moni Arkadiou. An army of 15,000 Turkish soldiers with two cannons besieged the monastery, in which the monks and five hundred surrounding residents took refuge. The Greeks put up fierce resistance, and Abbot Gabriel personally sought dozens of Turkish soldiers. But the forces were not equal. When the Turks broke into the holy monastery, the besieged lured them to a powder magazine and blew themselves up with the enemy. In total, there were about 10 dead Turkish soldiers for every Greek who died. Having been here you can hear a more detailed story about these events and other important events in the life of the monastery. The image of the monastery was even placed on the Greek banknote, as a symbol of the liberation struggle of the ancestors. Today, the monastic brethren consist of only two monks.
Address: Arkadi 741 00, Greece
In the vicinity of Bali and nearby cities there are many other attractions that did not make it into this review. A large focus of places worth seeing is in Rethymno and Heraklion. These are museums, excavations, ancient temples and monasteries. A separate item in the leisure program of tourists is occupied by trips to the islands with paradise landscapes: Santorini, Balos Bay, Gramvusa Island, etc. The incredible beauty of the lagoon, clean beaches and unusual flora – these places attract vacationers like a magnet. Climbers and safari enthusiasts can indulge in an excursion to the mountains and plateau, where shepherds graze flocks of sheep and warm winds blow around the gloomy cliffs. For families with children, a visit to the water park and aquarium in Heraklion, where vacationers in Crete spend their leisure time with benefit and fun, will cause more interest. In other words, Crete is one of the most popular and affordable holiday destinations for residents of our country, which every year pleases tourists with nature, antiquities and delicious food.