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Lendas, Crete


Looking down at the "lion shaped" bay of Lendas

The small coastal village of Lendas is 73km southeast of Iraklion, in the south of Crete. The name Lendas derives from the word lion (liondas), because from high up the peninsula looks shaped like a lion. Lendas is an ancient Greek and Roman site, and has Byzantine churches and some escavations that you can visit. It's a cosy little village filled with flowers and bougainville, friendly people, and there are plenty of taverna's and a supermarket.

The small pebbly town beach of Lendas.

A rock in the sea.

Compared to Kali Limenas or Tsoutsouros, both also difficult to reach villages in the south, it's more touristic. The town beach in Lendas is rather small but 15 minutes away on the east side you can find a very large, pretty and quiet beach, where there is also a place for the nudists under us (like me ;). Our only problem was how to find our way back out of the village towards Heraklion, and we were not the only ones. A sign would have been a good plan, because maybe if you visit you end up riding in circles like us and like other people. We finally took a dirt track that took us to the right road that brought us back to where we came from.

A couple of ducks swimming in the salty water.

The town beach of Lendas.

A large bougainville.

A house covered in bougainville.

Some strange purple flowers.

The big beach outside the village from afar.

Part of the big pebble beach.

My corner of the beach :).

Some more beach.

Yet more beach.

The beach as seen from above.

A rock in the sea.

My friend Boozer wants to go and eat lunch. This is funny for those of you who can read German :)).

Lendas is the site of the ancient city Lebena. Although there was an early Minoan site in the area, Lebena flourished mainly during the Greek and Roman period when it was the harbour of Gortyn. There was a famous sanctuary for healing here with a temple of Asklipios from the fourth century B.C. At the site of the sanctuary, which is at the beginning of the modern village, one can see traces of Roman mosaic, Greek coloured pebble mosaic representing a sea horse, coloms, and marble steps among other features. On this site a Byzantine church was build using also materials from the sanctuary. It's called the church of Agios Ioannis Theologos. Next to this church you can see the remains of the coloms that ones formed the older three-aisled basilica.

The Byzantine church on top of the hill.

The church and what's left of the older basilica.

The entrance of the church.

Part of the site with the escavations and the church.

The inside of the church.

Our candles burning in front of the icons.

A couple of pillars of the temple of asklipios..

The mosaic of the seahorse.

Another mosaic in black and white.