East of Iráklion, the main package-tour resorts are at least 30km away, at Hersónissos and Mália, although there is a string of rather unattractive developments all the way there; the merest hint of a beach is an excuse to build hotel and apartment complexes. That said, there are one or two highlights amid the dross, which are well worth a visit: the impressive Cretaquarium at Goúrnes, the old villages in the hills behind Hersónissos, and, beyond the clubbing resort of Mália, a fine Minoan palace that will transport you back three and a half millennia.


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