Cyan Residence is located in the beautiful village of Mades. Although the village is just 18 km from Heraklion by car, it is a place extremely quiet and peaceful, without the hustle and bustle and the large city crowds. Ideally situated in a small idyllic bay with a small pebbly beach, which is surrounded by pastel-colored rocks, Mades village is far less touristy than its neighbouring towns, keeping its natural beauty and its local character unaltered.
The trademark of the beach, just 2 minutes walking from Cyan Residence, are the two distinctive, small rocks, located just a few meters offshore at its west side, which are favoured by locals and tourists alike as an ideal snorkeling and scuba diving spot.
The very name of the Mades village carries an interesting story, as well as a controversy on it. It is said, according to the local legend, that the name comes from shepherds who were grazing their flocks in the area, before the first settlement was even constructed. Amazed at the view of the bay with its little island dots, they were shouting at each other ‘Ma des mia thea!’, which is roughly translated as ‘but just look at the view!’. Although the area does indeed boast an excellent view, a more pedestrian explanation, which is most likely the historically accurate one, states that the truth lies in the fragile texture of the leafy-quartz rocks of the area that can very easily break (‘madoun’ in the Cretan-Greek dialect).
In a short distance from the Mades village there are multiple well-known relaxing beaches, including the picturesque Lygaria beach, with calm waters and thick sand, the golden beach of Agia Pelagia, where a multitude of water sports, such as jet-skiing or windsurfing are available and the charming complex of three narrow gulfs of Ammoudi, where you can move from one white-sand beach to the other by just a few minutes swim.
A bit further to the north, in the fourth consecutive protected little bay we encounter in our coastal journey from Mades, we arrive at the turquoise waters of Psaromoura beach [translated into Greek as ‘the Fish Face Bay’]. Sheltered from the sometimes ferocious northern winds blowing in the north coast of the island, the pebbly beach is very popular among the locals, many of whom have built their summer residences in the area. It is also ideal for snorkelling, as the waters are crystal clear and it is also an all-day spot, since it is fully equipped with facilities, such as sunbeds, bars and restaurants. In the opposite direction from our residence, to the south of Mades bay, impressively located between two capes, lies the bay of Trypiti beach. Surrounded by steep, rocky cliffs and small caves, it has a rough beauty that will capture your eye. It is indicative to note that the place is not reachable by car, since the precipices make it one of the most isolated beaches of the area.
Heading further away from Cyan Residence, but still in the Heraklion greater area, we can find the large beach of Fodele, the birthplace of El Greco, located in a narrow bay that protects it from the winds. Travelling to the south this time, we stumble upon the world-famous Matala beach, which despite the golden sand and the clear waters, is widely identified by the impressive cliffs on its east side, with the man-curved caves that hippies used for accommodation during the ‘rock ‘n roll’ 60’s. While no one is absolutely certain of when the caves were actually created, it is believed that they are either Roman or early Christian age tombs. Driving a bit more to the south, in complete contrast with the cosmopolitan Matala, one can find the Agiofaraggo beach, a marvelous yet sequestered beach at the southern edge of a green gorge with lush vegetation, with no tourist facilities present and unreachable by car.
Archaeologic Museum Of Heraklion
Dinosauria Theme Park
Besides its rich history and marvelous beaches, this area has a lot to offer as a family destination as well, with many unique places that will offer relaxation and amusement to the older and the younger family members alike.
A prominent place for a memorable family adventure is the impressive CretAquarium. Located just a few minutes away from the city, in the area of Gournes, it is an extensive exhibition of the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean. Visitors will enjoy watching a multitude of big and little sea creatures alike, in a carefully designed environment closely resembling their natural habitat, creating unforgettable memories. In the nearby area, you can also visit the Dinosauria Park, exhibiting many real-size replicas of prehistoric dinosaurs.
For kids who are attracted to the allure of the vast Greek Mythology, an excellent suggestion is to take a guided tour of the Knossos Palace, the epicenter of the famous Minoan civilization, along with a family pottery class, where a local expert can guide you to construct little reproductions of the ornate Minoan objects, which you can use as souvenirs, in order to carry a little piece of this ancient Cretan craft back at home with you.
A complementary experience involves a visit to the Labyrinth Park, where a harmonious mix of Mythology and amusement awaits for you, including an imitation of the legendary Minoan Labyrinth (an elaborate maze, holding the Minotaur monster) and many educational puzzles and quizzes for the kids to solve. For an even more educational family activity, we suggest a visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Located at the heart of the city, this establishment is, by some counts, the second most visited museum in the country. You can explore its treasures and valuable exhibits, preferably with a guided tour.
Heraklion, both the most popular and the most populous city in the island, is one of the busiest urban centers in the whole of Greece. It serves the visitor as an attraction on its own, as well as a centrally located base for excursions in many marvelous spots on the island.
With a variety of restaurants in its narrow streets and squares, as well as in the surrounding villages, many cafes, charming seaside bars and shopping centers the city can cover the needs of visitors of all ages and tastes. Also, the more adventurous party-goers can find impressive large nightclubs at the neighbouring places of Stalis, Hersonissos and Malia.
Even though Heraklion is a modern, vibrant city and constitutes the economic center for the rich island of Crete, it has managed to maintain its ancient and medieval fairytale sensation. This fact springs from the rich and eventful history of the city that, due to its fertile and strategic position, served as a cradle of the Bronze Age Minoan Civilization and as an attraction pole of later powers, such as the Venetian sea masters. Precious remnants, in the likes of the world famous Knossos Palace and the Koules Fortress, next to the Heraklion modern-day harbor, stand proudly up to the date, in order to demonstrate to the visitors the magnificent Cretan History.