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The biggest island of Greece is a charming place where visitors can enjoy their trip in the way they have imagined it. Here are 10 reasons why Crete is worth visiting; once you get there though, expect to discover many more!

1. Civilisation & Culture
Its strategic location on the map has turned the island of Crete into a crossroads where peoples and civilisations have left a permanent mark on, along with a rich cultural heritage. Across the ages, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Ottoman Turks, Arabs and Venetians have shaped the island’s identity.

Discover Crete’s eventful history that spans fifty-odd centuries: the Minoan palaces at Knossos, Phaestos, Malia and Zakros; the archaeological sites of ancient Gortyna, Eleftherna, Lyttos, Aptera, Falasarna, Spinalonga; the Venetian harbours at Chania, Heraklion and Rethymno towns; the ottoman monuments and architectural structures seen across the island; the historic monasteries of Arkadi, Preveli, Toplou, Agarathou, and Chrysoskalitissa; numerous thematic museums – the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is among the most significant in Europe.

2. Old Towns
The old towns of Chania and Rethymno share a fascinating combination of Venetian and Ottoman architectural elements. They are well-known, charming, and much-photographed with an ambience reminiscent of times gone by. Stroll along their narrow alleys and streets, stop by and have a coffee, snack or meal in the traditional cafes and tavernas; the magical patina of old times is everywhere.

3. Traditional Villages
They are mountain villages, mostly. Old customs and traditions are kept unchanged here and they unveil aspects of the true Cretan culture. Visit Archanes, Zaros and Asites in Heraklion region, Vamos and Chora Sfakion in Chania region, Anogeia, Axos and Margarites in Rethymno region, Makrygialos and Kritsa in Lasithi region. This is the ‘heart’ of traditional Crete.

4. Seaside Tourist Resorts
Luxury resorts and lodgings of all types can be found along the seafront. Big towns such as Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Siteia and Ierapetra are not the only destinations that can offer you a vacation to remember: visit also Agia Pelagia, Amnissos, Kaloi Limenes, Chani Kokkini, Malia and Ammoudara (Heraklion region); Platania, Agia Marina, Kolympari, Agia Roumeli, Loutro, Palaiochora and Kissamos in Chania region; Georgioupoli, Bali, Plakia, Agios Pavlos, Panormos in Rethymno region; Elounta, Plaka, Makrygialos, Koutsounari, Agia Fotia in Lasithi region.

5. Gastronomy
The essence of the Cretan cuisine can be described in the following words: “prefer the products of your land”. The way locals make use of their land’s rich produce is remarkable. The wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes, wild edible greens and fragrant herbs are combined with tasty goat and sheep meat: the outcome is a number of particularly tasty dishes that don’t come up anywhere else in Greece. The local cheese list is also quite impressive; on the top you will find the popular Cretan graviera (a type of hard cheese) which is a PDO cheese.

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Categories: Featured, Holidays

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