Kokkíni Cháni is a beach resort located 14km east of the city of Heraklion, on the old national road from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos. Its history as s resort stars in the late of 1960s when the electricity and telephone services reached this part of Crete, and the first hotels were built. Before it was the small fishing village with about 100 inhabitants.
Today Kokkini Hani is a peaceful resort with one of the best sandy beaches in Crete, the ideal place to relax and enjoy your holidays. There are some large and luxury hotels and many smaller family owned ones, taverns, bars, restaurants, shops, rent a car offices and travel agents who offer a wide range of trips and tours. There are also pharmacies and doctor's offices. On the main road there is a nice little church of Agious Anargyrous built on 1938.
Also in the village there is an archaeological spot known as Nirou Háni, where the archaeologists found a well preserved Minoan villa dating from the New Palace period.
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