Jul 15, 2015

A Tour of Crete

The largest island of Greece, Crete is often considered a small country within the country. It’s home to some of the most important civilizations, some of the most beautiful beaches, some of the most breathtaking landscapes and some of the most unique animals. Cretans, having been raised in one of the most blessed parts of land within the Mediterranean, know how to work long hours to make the best of it and is not a coincidence that the famous wellness and longevity diet, the Mediterranean diet is basically Cretan.

Chania is a prefecture on the West side of the island and its capital, the town of the same name, is one of the Greek favourites vacation-breaks. The beautiful old Town of Chania, with its Venetian charm and narrow, almost labyrinth-like streets is perfect to stroll around and get lost. But the real charm is in some of the best beaches that are close to Chania. Elafonissi, Balos, Falassarna of Frangocastelo, almost everywhere you’ll go you’ll be amazed by the striking beauty of the coastline. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit historic monuments and traditional wineries, that tend to be side by side!

Rethymno is next to Chania and is famous for its mountainous landscape, including Mt. peak Psiloritis. Traditional villages, settlements and historic monasteries and churches, accompanied by monuments of great importance to Crete’s newest history, make Rethymno a must visit. The town is always packed and youthful because of the local University, giving it its modern day, playful and rebel character, setting it apart from the rest of the island.

Heraklion, is a contemporary city, and one of the largest and most densely populated in Greece. Authentic people, modern facilities, breathtaking beaches, priceless artefacts, trade center, long history… Heraklion is in many respects a small scale version of Athens, a busy city, full of so much history its residents can't even handle it. The Minoan Palace, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece (and that’s saying something by itself), is in the outskirts of the city, easily accessible even on foot, while its archaeological museum is second only to the national. But the true “sightful” of Heraklion is its coastline, a collage of unique beaches for every taste.

Last, but not least, is the easternmost part of Crete, Lasithi. The less mountainous, but most authentic part of the island, Lasithi has stayed away from the lights of quick fame, maintaining it’s Aegean character, while combining with the famous Cretan ethos and lifestyle. The notorious palm tree forest of Vai and the famous gulf of Mirabello are here, where one will also get a taste of fresh fish, local products and strong spirits. Its crystal clear and warm waters are the best way to end a tour of Crete.

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