Mountains are considered to be the best place to admire the stars. Proximity to the Equator makes the Cretan starry sky especially bright during dark Mediterranean nights. To become even closer to the Universe you can visit Skinakas Observatory.
The observatory is located on the peak Skinakas at 1750 meters of the Mount Ida and 60 km from Heraklion. There are three telescopes and other modern equipment that is used for research and study as the Observatory is a part of Physics Department of the University of Crete.
Still, Open Days are held several times a year there when general public is allowed to come and learn about astronomer’s work, see the pictures of the sky of stars that have been taken in the observatory, take an excursion and surely have the opportunity to gaze the sky of stars through the powerful 1,3 meter telescope.
Directions: There is a challenging winding road to the Observatory but that's worth the effort. You have to drive towards traditional town of Anogiea first. After passing the town you continue to move along the new asphalt road and finally see the Observatory. Be sure not to miss the simple plate that directs the road turn to the Observatory.
Observatory official website: http://skinakas.physics.uoc.gr/
Position on Map