My favorite things To Do - Crete - Understand
Most Greek islands are a rather tiny affair- not so Crete which is the second biggest island in the Mediterranean. Crete also comes with a mountainous interior making it a rather tricky beast to discover in a few days.
However, Crete has bought into packages tourism during the last 30-40 years - making it a prime holiday spot for many Germans and Brits. The entire sections of the island are 'tourist towns'.
Crete has two major airports - Chania and Heraklion. Both cities sit on the Northern side of the island. The Western, Eastern, and Southern parts of the island tend to be less developed, more rustic, and more interesting.
Greeks from Crete seems more standoff-ish compared to Northern Greeks. It is more hectic and there is less patience. They are still friendly but it takes longer to get to talk to someone properly.
Most Greeks speak decent English - especially when it comes to Business and simple transactions.
My favorite things To Do - Crete - Beaches
Yes, Crete has a lot of beaches though the Northern shores see a lot of development along the beaches. They are often full of trash or rock sand the water isn't as clear as you'd hope.
I ventured to the far West side of Crete and found Paralia Falasarna
a majestic beach with lots of sand, very clear water, and some nice surf.
I also liked the little cove at Koutalas beach but keep in mind that it is rocky and it can get crowded given the tiny size of the cove.
My favorite things To Do - Crete - Eat and Drink
Surprisingly most restaurants close early and you'll get the best choice when going out for 'lunch' which can be as late as 6 PM in Greece.
I really liked:
- Kapetan Nikolas
for their seafood and location
- Κουζίνα Ε.Π.Ε.
for their fresh daily dishes
- Ginger Concept
for their great setting and the great though expensive breakfast options
- Ελιά Ταβέρνα
for their incredible yummy local food
Espresso coffee is generally excellent in just any place in Greece. There are dozens of local cafe's that produce very decent caffeinated drinks.
My favorite things To Do - Crete - See
Clearly, the beaches and nature is what draws most. Crete also delivers history and religious sights aplenty.
Aptera was a rather major settlement from 6BC up until the 8th century. At some point, it even ran its own foreign policy. The ruins are in a wonderful spot with sweeping views and they are well maintained. The entrance fee is just EUR 4.
Gonia Odigitria Monastery (Μονή Παναγίας Οδηγήτριας Γωνιάς)
I liked this small monastery for their fantastic shape of the building and a great museum downstairs. Be aware of the rather mean entrance staff (don't let this discourage you!).
Crete has so much to offer you'll need a week at the minimum to take in the island. You can easily spend two weeks and will still not have enough time to discover the island fully. The roads can be slow but are typically scenic. Summer in Crete is from April until October- though October gets higher humidity and more clouds.