Palaces / museums
People who do not only visit Crete for the nice weather, but also want to learn something about the history of the island there are a few places that actually should be visited. Crete is of course very familiar to the Minoan civilization. The ruins of the palace of Knosos (near Heraklion) are the main tourist attraction of the island (after the beaches). There are much more remains of the Minoan culture on the island. Close to Malia you'll find the old palace of Malia and also the ruins of Festos are an important Minoan site.
A visit to one of the many archaeological or folklore museums is worthwhile for people who want to learn about the life of the Cretan people. The archaeological museum at Heraklion has an extensive collection on the Minoan culture.