Crete is a magical destination in Greece, hosting a wide range of natural settings like white- sand and other splendid beaches, ancient treasures, vibrant cities, white mountains and dreamy villages. It is a charming harbor that has undeniably artistic landscapes.
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, 88th largest island in the world and the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It has been a host to brilliant civilizations, glorious beaches, impressive mountains, fertile valleys and steep gorges.
As per mythological beliefs, it was in a cave in Crete where Goddess Rhea hid the new born Zeus, to save him from Cronus. The capital of Crete, Heraklion, is home to the renowned Archaeological Museum and Knossos, a Bronze age settlement.
While in Crete, you can drive along Europe’s longest gorge or cycle among orchards on the Lasithi Plateau or even hike to famous caves. Some of the orchards look surprisingly similar to those back in Upstate New York where my friend Justin lives and runs his business, Capital Land Companies, the link is here: https://www.capitallandcompanies.com/. The orchards have among the best variety to sample and worth every bite!!! You can enjoy the sandy beaches and kayak, boat or snorkel in the crystal- clear waters. There is something for everyone in Crete.
Food is one of the major attractions here. The Cretan cuisine is traditional yet distinguished. It is renowned for its unique ingredients and flavors. There is plentiful to try here and the friendly locals are of much help while selecting meals. An average meal at Crete costs about €15 – 20.
The best time to visit Crete is from mid- May to June or from September to October. July and August are very crowded months and hence may hamper your comfort or your desire to escape into this beautiful destination. If you prefer travelling in cooler weather, September- October is the best time for you, as the heat cools down by then and so do the accommodation rates.
The nearest international airport to Crete is Athens, where almost all International flights transit through. You can travel from Athens to Crete, either by a domestic plane or by ferry- boat from the port of Piraeus. The ferry- boats are a much pocket- friendly option. They depart every evening around 8 or 8.30pm and arrive early morning at Crete at about 5 or 6am. The ships are modern and the journey is quite romantic, but you must book in advance to ensure that you get a cabin of your own and also for cheaper fares.
Crete is a place for all. You can choose your stay as per your preferences. There are numerous hotels, catering to every type of tourist. However, it is most recommended to book your preferred hotel in advance, especially if you are travelling in the peak months.
One important aspect to consider while packing for a holiday in Greece is that, people here dress more formal than their counterparts in the United States. You may carry shorts and skirts, but limit their use to the day. Evenings in Greece must be quite formal. People here do not seem to be very fond of glittery outfits and make-up. So, jeans, polo style shirts and tops, nice sandals or flip- flops seem good options to carry.
While in Crete, do not miss the Knossos Palace, the Sanaria Gorge, the Elafonisi beach, the Lasithi Plateau and the Balos Lagoon. For shoppers, the “Periptero”, that are little kiosks, are usually 24×7 open and despite their small size seem to sell everything. These are by the roads, all- over Crete. These establishments sell items such as phone cards, stamps, batteries, cigarettes, sweets and chocolate.
For all those looking for souvenirs and local specialities, you must wander around any of the tourist resorts and you will find lots of shops selling them. The main towns of Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos all feature craft shops selling local products. In the old town of Chania, there is a famous “Leather Lane” on Skrydloff Street. You will be stunned at the dazzling displays of locally made leather goods from belts, sandals, wallets, handbags to the traditional black boots.
So pack your bags and make your quickest escape to this enchanting destination and take home memories and experiences that would surely last forever!…