Crete – A Paradise On Earth

Some say that the largest Greek island, Crete, is closest you can get to paradise on Earth. Well, they are not far from the truth because Crete has everything from a beautiful sea, amazing beaches, picturesque nature, to colorful culture and rich past. There is something for everybody, so planning your next trip here will definitively be an awesome choice.

crete paradise

Crete – A Small Universe

Crete is located just south of the Greek mainland, surrounded by Libyan and the Sea of Crete. It has a distinctive long shape and its nature makes it truly unique. Crete is a mountainous island with vast dense forests, numerous valleys, and gorges, dozens of rivers and two lakes. All of these have also affected island’s flora and fauna which is quite different from other islands in this part of the world. For example, there are no dangerous animals that could harm humans – other islands and Greek mainland have many of these. There are many bird species though, and various small mammals and lizards are native too.

The capital city of Crete is Heraklion, and other larger cities are Chania, Malia, Rethymnon, Sitia, and Ierapetra. There are three modern airports on Crete with numerous international lines. You can also reach the island by a ferry from the mainland of Greece. They are also a good way of transportation between the Crete’s cities. You can also use the public bus lines for roaming the island.

Crete - A Small Universe

The History of Crete

Like any part of Greece so does the Crete have a long and interesting history. In fact, Crete has older past than the Greece itself. Namely, Crete was a home to a great civilisation, long before the mainland. The Minoan civilisation left many interesting traces, plus it had a huge impact on the entire Greek culture. The legendary labyrinth made for Minotaur can still be seen today as well as other amazing artefacts.

Crete was also a home for other civilisations in a later period including the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, and Ottomans. For a short period, Crete was an independent country too, but they soon decided to unite with the rest of the Greece. Today, Crete is a touristic and agricultural centre with modern infrastructure and big perspective of further development.

The History of Crete

Top Attractions in Crete

Crete is really full of various attractions that keep astonishing people from all over the world. It is impossible to even count them all, but some of them are simply too impressive to be missed. The Palace of Knossos is undoubtedly one of them. The vast residential complex of the legendary King Minos with its incredible frescoes will show you the true shine of this ancient civilisation. No matter where you stay, you should try to visit the Crete’s capital – Heraklion. This beautiful city, with its historic centre and a large marina, is a perfect place for having a great time. Its impressive architecture and various museums will help you understand Crete’s unique culture and rich history.

Samaria National Park is a perfect place for all nature lovers, and the main reason most of the people consider the entire island a heavenly place. It is under UNESCO protection and also a very nice place for hiking. You can also explore its gorge and various caves but be sure to hire a professional tour guide.

There are many churches, convents, and monasteries you can visit and some of them are almost a millennium old. And if you really want to feel the rhythm of the island and have an authentic experience, then you should definitively visit one of the native villages. There, you will be able to see the everyday life of the locals, plus you can try some of their delicious native dishes.

There are many other cool spots worth seeing but you will have to explore them on your own, once you come to Crete. You will not regret it, that is a promise.

Top Attractions in Crete

Every Possible Type Of Accommodation in Crete

Being the largest island in Greece, Crete is so well developed that tourists cannot get enough of it. The „Great Island“, how it is also called, simply offers all the possibilities when it comes to accommodation. That is why you can unpack your luggage everywhere, from modest variants such as hostels, campgrounds and two and three-star hotels, to rural villas, apartments, traditional guesthouses, and of course, luxury resorts.

And there are numerous different regions where you can stay, each of which is unique in its own way, and depending on what you want to experience, you can choose the part of the island. For instance, if you just want to have a rest and enjoy the magnificent sandy beaches, then try with the northern part of Crete. And if you want to wander through the hills and mountains, make a plan for a southern shoreline.

The different regions and their accommodation capacities welcome their guests on a daily basis. But to find the right lodging, you first need to know where in Crete you want to be. There are indeed many options such as Iraklio – that offer non-stop party program, Rethymno – that is meant for some quieter variants with the longest and most beautiful beach, Hania – that is excellent for outdoor activities, especially if you are travelling with a family and so on.

The prices are also acceptable, and even if you travel on a budget, you can find a suitable accommodation while in Crete. For instance, there are beautifully furnished and equipped cottages for $69 per night or if you plan to have a rural accommodation, search for Vamos Traditional Village, where you can stay for less than $55. When it comes to hotels, you can find excellent, spacious rooms with balconies overlooking the sea as well as with all the additional amenities for about $65 per night. Check out the great Porto Veneziano in Chania, Crete, or Samaria Hotel that will offer you anything you might need for $90 per night.

Those with the deepest pockets have a wide range of possibilities because Crete is indeed full of luxurious places to stay in during your vacation. The service is outstanding, and the additional amenities in the resorts are just unbelievably great. Perhaps you may want to see Ikaros Beach Resort And Spa, St. Nicolas Bay Resort And Villas, Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, or White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort. They are all unique and extraordinary, perfect for making your journey an unforgettable one.

Accommodation in Crete

Cuisine in Crete Is Perfection – Ideal For Every Gourmet

Being one of the most popular islands in the entire world, Crete is simply amazing not only with its beautiful landscapes, historical monuments, mythology, and nature but also with its cuisine. One would say Crete is a real heaven on Earth for the gourmets. The climate in Crete is a very pleasant one, so it is no wonder that the island has the best olive oil in the entire country.

A variety of delicious food is also grown here. For instance, you can enjoy cheese and wine, but also various fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, strawberries, avocados, bananas, eggplants, cucumbers and tomatoes. Hence, don’t hesitate when it comes to food in Crete. Just enter the first tavern you see and order one of the traditional meals. You will surely enjoy them.

Dakos – Greek salad made of barley rusks and olive oil, topped with fresh tomato and goat cheese are a must while in Crete. Also, don’t hesitate to taste fried snails because they are a true delicacy, believe it or not. Cretan taverns will also offer you a meal that was eaten only on certain occasions in the past. The dish is called gamopilafo, and as you can guess, it was consumed only during wedding ceremonies. It is a kind of risotto, made in a rich meat broth, with a lemon juice and a special type of domestic butter.

Once you get to Crete, simply rush in the nearest tavern and order some meal, and don’t forget to try the fiery native alcohol drink called raki.

What Can You Do In Crete? Anything You Want!

Since Crete is full of never-to-be-forgotten beaches, visiting at least three most beautiful would be ideal while on your vacation here. Our suggestion for one of them is Balos Beach. It is located in the north-west part of the island and has turquoise water as well as white and pink sands. The water is warm and shallow, and the beach suitable for anyone who just wants to have some rest.

Hiking is also an excellent thing to do while in Crete. Namely, you already know that the island has some hilly regions, great for hikers and adventurers. Perhaps a visit to Agia Eirini gorge would be a good match for you. You can see wild chamois and other animals as well as enjoy the beautiful and green pine trees. Your hike will last no longer than 4 hours, and the time spent in Agia Eirini will surely be a memorable one.

A visit to a local market is also a must while staying in the largest island in Greece. There will surely be some very worthy finds such as herbs, sage tea, oregano and therapeutic dittany. Or, a very cool gift for your male friends back at home would be pen knives, especially those from the workshops of Sifaka street or Kanevaro in Chania, Crete.

There are plenty more activities and things to do in Crete, and only after deciding what region of this magnificent island you will be visiting, will you be able to research and discover your possibilities. But one thing is sure: you will not get bored in Crete!



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