Hania Province

At the eastern tip of Rodopou Peninsula are the remains of a temple to Diktynna, Cretan goddess of hunting, who was worshipped fervently in the west of the island. The most important religious sanctuary in the region under the Romans, the temple was desecrated after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Now you’ll find foundations and a sacrificial altar at the site, as well as Roman cisterns. There’s also a lovely sandy beach.

Legend has it that Diktynna’s name derives from the word diktyon, meaning ‘net’: a fisherman’s net saved her when she leapt into the sea to avoid the amorous desires of King Minos. The temple dates from the 2nd century AD, but it was probably built on the site of an earlier temple.

By car, Diktynna is accessible by dirt road from Kolymbari; a 4WD is best. Travel agencies in Hania also offer boat excursions.

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