The Asterias residence is located between the two traditional villages of Koutouloufari (300 m) and Piskopaino (150 m) and is just 1.5 km from Hersonissos. The town of Hersonissos is renowned as the point where luxury and tradition meet. It offers the ideal combination of a rich archaeological heritage, monasteries, churches and the deep blue sea.
- The capital, Heraklion (10 km): the city is surrounded by Venetian walls, wonderful to explore on foot, and the view is worth the effort. The Venetian fort* at the port offers an unmissable view of the bay; the archaeological museum where visitors can learn more about Minoan civilisation and Crete through the ages; the museum of icons and sacred objects - in a Byzantine church - which notably houses works by Damaskinos, teacher of the major Cretan artist El Greco; the El Greco park where visitors can enjoy a restful atmosphere; Morosini fountain, just a few steps away, and the picturesque neighbourhood surrounding it; and last but not least, Agios Minas cathedral.
Finally, there are lots of bars and restaurants at which to take a break and enjoy your evenings in Crete to the full... and don't forget to explore the city's main market selling local crafts and produce.
- The most stunning beaches are: Sfinari (west), Falassarna (north-west), Balos on the Gramvoussa peninsula (north-west), Elafonissi (south-west), Vaî (north-east) and Red Beach at Matala (south).
- Knossos (30 km): as the largest of 4 Minoan palaces, it is first and foremost a major archaeological site, testament to the greatness and sophistication of Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations.
- Zaros and its lake, nestled in the mountains (120 km): this little village, surrounded by mountains and located in the Heraklion region, promises a real change of scenery and slower pace of life. Zaros is perfect for hikers and those who enjoy trekking. Votomos lake is the perfect place for a stroll. The small bars and tavernas will satisfy those who wish to idle away the hours and give you the chance to try the famous trout being farmed nearby.
Plus, don't miss: Vrondissi monastery and Rouvas gorge (please note: the paths are quite rough and uneven, so for seasoned hikers only).
- Phaistos (67 km): the second largest Minoan site on the island of Crete, after Knossos.
- Visit the archaeological site of Gortyn (60 km) and its Roman ruins, where you can also discover the remains of Agios Titos basilica, as well as the "Gortyn code" relating to family law, which is engraved on a wall.
- The town of Hersonissos and its old port (19 km).
- Malia (29 km), a coastal resort with beautiful beaches and a charming little town with nightclubs, bars, tavernas and opportunities for water sports, as well as the archaeological site of the palace of Malia (one of the Minoan palaces in Crete complete with a central courtyard, royal apartments, state rooms and storage rooms).
- Matala (75 km): a village which was a major destination for hippies in the 60s and 70s who found refuge in the natural grottoes and other caves that you can visit during the day, in addition to the coastline and bay.