TRAVEL and DO – Custom holidays and retreats in GreeceTRAVEL and DO – Custom holidays and retreats in Greece
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Travel guide to Western Crete – Greece


“Out in the dark blue sea there lies a land called Crete, a rich and lovely land, washed by the waves on every side…”

The Odyssey

Crete is the largest island in Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean. It lies in the Southern Aegean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

Crete is perhaps the most famous travel destination of Greece, especially among those who seek to experience the traditional side of the Greek culture. Offering a unique and diverse landscape, a chance to come close to the local customs, native people with authentic hospitality and the Cretan cuisine, famous world wide for its taste and health benefits, Crete is a “must to explore” for the conscious travellers of today.

From fertile coastal plains to rugged barren mountains, from mellow stone houses to stark concrete modernity, from bustling capital to sleepy hill villages, Crete is an island of contrasts. Home to around 650,000 people and several million olive trees, the island remains ever popular with visitors from northern Europe, other parts of Greece, and indeed, visitors from all over the world.

Extra virgin olive oil, legumes and vegetables still constitute the base of the local cuisine as they have done for thousands of years and make the Cretan cuisine renowned worldwide for its benefits on longevity and good health.

Weather information

The climate in Crete is temperate. The atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea. The winter is fairly mild and tolerable. Snow fall is practically unknown to the plains, but quite frequent in the mountains. During summer though, average temperatures are high. Probably the best time for a traveller to visit Crete is spring and autumn.

Possible Activities on Crete

  • Cultural excursions
  • Attending a local feast (panigiri)
  • Cooking classes
  • Agrotourism (seasonal harvest activities etc)
  • Greek dance evenings (show and class)
  • Guided trekking tours
  • Road or mountain biking
  • Horseback riding tours
  • Bird-watching
  • Sea Kayak
  • Religion tourism
  • Yoga sessions
  • Qi Gong sessions
  • Wellbeing, wellness and detox treatments

The island has a long history, it is, however, best known for the Minoan civilization, the first great civilization of Greece that flourished from 2600 to 1100 B.C. The island is full of relics of the Minoan ages, the most famous being the palaces at Knossos and Festos.

Although globalisation, tourism and economic growth have inevitably changed the way of life in Crete, especially in the large urban centres, to a modern and cosmopolitan style, the Cretans still preserve the bonds with their rich folk traditions and cultural heritage.

The Cretan dances are still danced at every opportunity and the “madinades” and the “rizitika” songs resound in every celebration. In the countryside many old Cretan men and women wear the traditional costume and the Cretan idiom is widely spoken even in the large cities.

There is an exceptional artistic production in traditional sectors such as pottery, embroidery, jewellery etc and of course the very special Cretan Music. Arts and literature had always played a significant role in the life of the Cretan people. Famous painters like El Greco, Michael Damaskinos, writers like Nikos Kazantzakis, poets like Vincenzos Kornaros and Odysseas Elitis, composers like Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and Giannis Markopoulos are Cretans or of Cretan origin. Today there are many important Cretans with significant contribution in all aspects of the cultural life in Greece.

Προβολή μεγαλύτερου χάρτη

There are numerous direct charter flights to Chania Crete (CHQ), departing from many cities in Europe. Alternatively you can fly from almost any big European city to Athens and:

a. further fly to Chania Crete using Olympic Air or Aegean Air. Early booking is advisable.

b. go to the port of Piraeus and get a boat to Chania Crete (daily connections). It’s important to know that it takes about 2 hours to reach the port of Piraeus by Bus or Metro after you have landed. From the port of Piraeus you can buy a High-Speed Ferry ticket (the ferry to Chania takes about 8 hours). Collecting you from the port or airport of Chania is included in your holiday package.

You may book your flight to the Cretan airports (HER for Herakleion or CHQ for Chania) or to Athens (ATH) using the search engine form below:

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Peli Hotel
Chania region Crete

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The proximity to the sea as well to many other famous sandy beaches, like Falassarna, Balos, Gramvoussa and Elafonissi makes this venue a great choice for those who wish to combine their yoga practice with some exploration of the unmatched famous Cretan beaches.

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