The main problem about going on holidays is usually the dilemma whether to go to the seaside or to the mountains. If ever you had this kind of a problem, there is an easy solution. Although it may seem impossible or hard to find, your summer destination should have both, the seaside and the mountains. On the Aegean Sea there is one very special island that perfectly suits the description: the Crete.
Situated on the south side of the Aegean Sea, Crete is the largest of Greek islands. It has the remarkable mountain chains matched with beautiful beaches. Due to long summers and warm, mild winters you can enjoy the abundant archaeological heritage, delicious food and rich culture throughout the year. You can walk miles and miles without even knowing. The scenery here is breathtaking and the size of the island gives you the opportunity to choose whether you would like to spend time in a vivid, cosmopolitan place with every kind of tourist facility or in a quieter one.
The seducing nature of the island corresponds to the generosity and hospitality of its inhabitants. In fact, once you came here, somehow you become a member of Cretan family. You learn how to make a dakos salad, you experience the mantinades or you can even have a chance to hear a Cretan lyre or lute sing along with poetical tales of Crete’s rich and fascinating past.
Extreme excitement and awakening of the senses
In the same way, those looking for a little more sport activities, besides the splendid hikes and challenging biking in the mountainous inland there is also possibility to try some water sports and scuba diving on the south and the north coast. If these magnificent views don’t freeze your blood you should try at least one of Crete’s gorges on canyoning or canyon hiking. The largest and the most famous one is known as Samaria often referred to as to The Iron Gates. Other noteworthy canyons are Amba, Tripiti, Kourtaliotiko, Kamaraiko and Ha, but there is a multitude of them. The way down or up, depending on which one you choose, will give you the unforgettable experience of a lifetime and a closer look on Greek wild natural beauty. If it still doesn’t satisfy your need of excitement you can always take an off road or a 4×4 ride on the dirt roads of the island. There is no better way to feel free and alive.
Travel through Time, Culture and History
Crete is an island of wonders for any history buff for it doesn’t only offer a few historical monuments from the Antiquity. On Crete you can find buildings and remains of numerous communities, living on the island throughout the centuries. To begin with archaeological sites exposing the Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Kato Zakros. These relicts of the Ancient culture offer you an amazing journey to the past.
Another step on this time travel should be one of the monasteries dating back to the 15th century. Noteworthy ones are situated in southern Rethymno (Preveli monastery), in southern Heraklion and at the northeastern tip of Crete (Toplou monastery). From Rethymno you can also reach the historic Arkadi monastery or try another monumental and imposing place – the Fortezza. The castle built by Venetians represents one of many fortresses on the island. These castles erected by Venetians and Byzantines are spread all over the island. There is one in Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Sitia and Lassithi. Crete’s other treasures may be found in multiple museums of the island.
One should remember one thing when coming on Crete – the island is more than beautiful paradise like beaches and historical sites. On the contrary, these are just the additives to its natural charm that seduces the senses with its majestic atmosphere, mystical pure spirit, the world-famous culture and the welcoming generous inhabitants.