The villages of Karteros and Amnisos
These two coastal resorts lie 7km to the east of Heraklion and is a favourite place for the inhabitants of the capital to spend their weekends. Karteros was the area where the Byzantine General Karteros landed in order to begin his attack on the Arabs. Amnisos was the sea port of ancient Knossos.
Interesting places to see and visit in the area are firstly, ancient Amnisos where a Minoan building was located, known as the Mansion of Amnisos murals, the famous mural with lilies. The building seems to have been the residence of a Navy official and it was violently destroyed by fire. A second sight of interest lies to the west of Paliohoras hill. Here there is a sanctum with a circular altar and it is claimed that in the sanctum Zeus was worshipped by the ancients.
At the end of the 19th century the Cave of Elitheia, the goddess of childbirth, was discovered here. This cave, also known as the Cave of the Nymphs, is about 1km south of Amnisos. It seems to have been a place of worship ever since the Neolithic period right through until the 5th century BC. There is a rectangular altar in the centre of the cave and two stalagmites that appear like human figures. .