Karteros is located 8km east of Heraklion. It is a seaside tourist settlement at the foot of the Mesovouni or Paliochora hill of the Municipality of Hersonissos.
In Karteros bay, there are two settlements, Karteros and Amnisos. The locals divide the area into two beaches but in fact it is one.
In the area of Karteros and Amnisos, there was a city with a port that served Knossos during the reign of Minoa, as Stravon referred. The ancient city of Amnisos has been inhabited from the Middle Ages (19th century BC) to Roman Times. Accounts of Homer, confirmed by clay plates of Linear B, state that Idomeneas King started the Trojan War from this place and Odysseus stopped for a while when returning from Troy. The excavations in the Minoan city began in 1929 by Spiros Marinatos and brought to light many important archaeological discoveries such as the famous and luxurious Villa of Lilies, which was named after the fresco of lilies that was found and is exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion today. This villa was inhabited again during the Venetian occupation, and on the Mesovouni hill, there were remains of the Venetian houses that were destroyed at the beginning of the Ottoman domination. In 1932, S. Marinatos discovered an open-air sanctuary of the 6th century dedicated to Zeus Thenatas while on the coast, the remains of the Minoan port, which is submerged in the sea today, were found.
Among the newer monuments, the church of Agios Nikon which is built in a huge cave, and the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (Saint John the Baptist) stand out. Near this area, the Riding Academy of Heraklion is located.
The Gorge of Karteros River ends in Mesa Karteros and the hiking route is relatively easy (for more information see the relevant page “Gorge of Karteros”).
There are many hotels and rooms to let in the area. The beach, extending along the bay of Karteros, is full of tourists during the summer months. It is very large (3km), ideal for windsurfing and well organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, lifeguards, cafes and restaurants.
Opposite the beach, there is a small island, Monocharako, where the visitor can go either by swimming or by a sea bike from Amnisos.
Karteros village is next to Amnissos where you can visit the Archaeological Site of Amnisos (for relevant information please visit the post “Archaeological Site of Amnisos”).