When you choose to leave the spell of tranquility at Villa Amalia, an array of activities will attract you.
There are full days of visiting the many nearby Minoan sites: The magnificent palace at Kato Zakros cannot be missed, and the wealthy Toplou monastery atop the mountain will also be admired. For the more adventuresome, a hike through the exhilarating Zakros Gorge – where the caves of the Valley of the Dead eerily peer down upon you – is an absolute must. After this 1 1/2 hour hike (with children figure 21/2 hours), the blue sea of Kato Zakros awaits the weary, as do several taverns offering delicious cuisine.
The charming, traditional Greek village of Palekastro is just 10 minutes away from Villa Amalia, with everything you could need and more: restaurants, markets, bakery, gas station, currency exchange, pharmacy, tourist bureau, and a host of kiosks and taverns. For nightlife and restaurants, Palekastro and Sitia will surely fill your needs.