Elounda is a seaside town on the north west coast of the island. It has a colourful harbour and a main square packed with authentic Greek tavernas and friendly bars. It has a sandy beach that looks out to the island of Spinalonga. It’s quite a lively spot. Heraklion, on the north side of the island, is the most popular region of Crete. It hosts many busy places with intense nightlife, including Malia, Hersonissos, Ammoudara and Agia Pelagia, but also many peaceful family places, particularly on the southern side. In Heraklion you can find the two Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaestos, traditional villages, medieval castles, Byzantine monasteries and nice beaches to relax. This region combines busy resorts and wonderful secluded coves.