Crete is Where the Magic Happens

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!…

Machu Picchu Remains to be Seen

Machu Picchu is an Incan Citadel of the 15th century, situated on a mountain ridge, 7970 ft (2430 mts) above sea level. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983 and is also designated as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007.

The breathtaking Inca city was built atop the Andes Mountains in Peru. It is tucked away in the rocky countryside, the northwest of the Cuzco region, above the Sacred Valley, through which the Urubamba River flows.

Machu Picchu was built around 1450 A.D, but was abandoned just over 100 years later, in 1572, as a belated result of the Spanish conquest. It is also believed by many that the inhabitants died from the outbreak of small-pox, that was introduced by travellers. However, Machu Picchu was re-discovered by Hiran Bingham, an American Archaeologist, in 1911.

Machu Picchu is now considered as one of South America’s most famous tourist destination, said to attract about 1.2 million visitors a year.

It stretches over a distance of 5 miles and features more than 3000 stone steps. The Incans are known to have mastered the art of masonary. This art is extensively displayed at Machu Picchu, where the stones were cut to fit together without mortar. Machu Picchu has an amazing natural setting of its own and its walls, stairways, terraces and ramps add more value to its scenic splendor. It is a mesmerizing site to watch the sun set over its towering stone monuments.

Machu Picchu is divided into various distinct sectors, like a city comprising of a residential sector, a farming zone, a royal district and a sacred area. The most distinct and attractive structures at Machu Picchu include a Temple of the Sun God and a Sculpted granite rock, popularly known as the Intihuatana Stone, which is believed to have served the purpose of a solar clock or calendar, in yester-years.

The Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco is the closest airport to Machu Picchu. However, international tourists also prefer the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. Various Tourist buses operate from Cusco Lima. These buses offer meals and entertainment, but the trip is nearly 15 hours long. There are various plush as well as pocket- friendly hotels to stay at Machu Picchu. However, it is always recommended to book in advance.

Tourists have always flocked this place in large numbers and hence irreparable degradation has been caused to this beautiful citadel. Keeping in mind the consequences of such damage, a maximum limit of 500 permits per day has been set. Hence, making your bookings in advance will avoid any inconveniences to the travellers.

There are various hikes that one can take to Machu Picchu, like the toughest Salcantay Route, the Lares route, the Vilcabamba Traverse Route etc. It takes approximately 2 to 13 days to hike up, depending on the route chosen. For travellers who are not very fond of hiking or are short on time, can opt for the one day Inca trail, which is a truncated version, beginning at 104km of the Machu Picchu train line. The longest route to Machu Picchu is 43kms long hike and is rated among the top 5 treks in the world. Hiking to this place is an experience filled with a beautiful combination of mountain scenery, lush cloud- forest, sub-tropical jungle (which is home to various endangered species) as well as the famous Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. The price of this trek generally vary between USD $560 to 1600 per person, which includes the entrance fee as well as return by train.

It is most recommended to book this trek with an agency in Peru. Agencies outside of Peru charge exorbitant amounts for the same services.

So, pack your bags and treat yourself with a mesmerizing vacation of all times.…

How To Enjoy Your Summer Vacation Amid Covid-19 Crisis

If you would have asked anyone five years ago how 2021 would look like, chances are no one would have gotten it right. This is because the world has changed in a blink of an eye. Since December 2019, things have really changed. Covid-19 has changed how we do everything. 

Now summer is almost here. And if you are like most people, summer is the time to go out and enjoy life. You can only escape the harsh summer temperatures if you get some exciting outdoor activities. 

But now, with the third wave of Covid-19, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to travel. Getting out there to enjoy life it’s not as easy as it was before. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t travel and enjoy life. It’s easy to get this done. Because if you are careful, you will enjoy your summer. 

This article will share with you top ways to enjoy your summer vacation amid the Covid-19 crisis. These are things that will ensure the safety and enjoyment of the vacation at the same time. 

  • Follow All Set Guidelines 

The first thing that you need to do is follow all set Covid-19 rules. These regulations are set to help you stay safe in everything that you do. 

Some of these set guidelines include social distancing, washing hands, sanitizing, and properly wearing your mask. It all starts from the point you plan to travel. 

Before leaving your home, ensure you wash your hands, sanitize, and wear a mask. If you are using public transport such as bus, train, or plane, sit at a good social distance. Most of the transport companies have already set these rules. All you need to do is follow and obey them. 

  • Don’t Travel To Hotspots 

Some areas have been marked as hotspots. And you need to stay away from them. These areas could be your favorite destination. But it won’t help to travel only to go contact the virus in your travel. So, before you could make the decision to travel to your summer destination, ensure you check the level of virus preference in the area you are going to. 

Choose areas that are no hotspots. Stay safe in your travel. 

  • Avoid Crowded Travel Destinations 

Coronavirus is highly communicable. It’s an airborne virus that you can’t see. That’s why it’s dangerous to travel to crowded destinations. Avoid chances where you have to share facilities with other people. 

As you travel for summer, keep your circle small. Don’t interact with people recklessly. If you go to public places and find crowds, stay away from them. 

  • Follow Destination Policies 

At the moment, every state or country has set specific rules. Some of these regulations control what you can do or not in regards to the Covid. So, when you travel for summer vacation, ensure you follow all set guidelines. 

Parting Shot 

The covid-19 crisis is here with us. But that doesn’t mean you can’t travel for a summer vacation. All you need to do is take all necessary precautions.