This fertile valley, running east-west along the south coast of Crete, is where you will find several original towns and villages, as well as various archaeological sites and other interesting places. Although the accommodation and other tourist facilities are not up to much (yet), the plain is within easy reach from the hustle and bustle of the north coast, or you might just find the authentic atmosphere just what you have been looking for.
Towns include Tymbaki, Moires, Kofinas, Agii Deka, and a few smaller places. This fertile plain was, naturally, not ignored by early settlers, such as the Minoans and early Greeks, as well as the Romans, who settled at Agia Triada, Festos, Kommos and several other places.
Plastic farming has been taken over by greenhouses. Industrialised agriculture is the way to the future, which demands ever more production at every time of the year.
Measuring 50km in length and 7km in width, this plain is in the prefecture of Iraklion. This southern location, in combination with the fertile soil, allows crops to be grown here that cannot be grown in other places.
Buses connect with Heraklion, cutting across the center of the island. With some tight planning, the archaeological sites could conceivably be visited as a day-trip from Heraklion. Most buses connecting Heraklion (via Mires) with either Ag.Galini or Matala make the 1 km detour to Festos (Phaestos). The other main access route is via Ag. Galini. From here you can find connecting buses to Plakias or Rethymnon, from where you can transfer to other destinations in western Crete. There is no convenient public transport along the south coast heading east.
The Mesara plain is a collage of attractions, including package tourism enclaves at Matala and Agia Galini, archaeological sites at gortyna, Phaestos, and Agia Triada. Cretan rural life is everywhere else.
In the south of the central department of Iraklion you can find the area that is called the Messara. From the city Iraklion it is 45 minutes by car driving through a fantastic mountain landscape until you reach the valley of Messara. There is also a good bus connection to the area. The Messara is a very fertile valley, surrounded by mountains and sea. It is a place where you can find peace and quietness, but there are many possibilitys for different activitys.
The Messara is the granary of the island. Ther people of Crete cultivate olive trees, tomatos, cucumbers, artichokes, kiwis and avocados. Other important export products are grapes, wine and oranges.
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