As one of the largest Greek Islands, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to learn that Crete is one of the most diverse and profitable of the many holiday destinations proudly belonging to Greece. In terms of practicality and accessibility, Crete has a couple of well served airports flying to a wider variety of European destinations than many of its nearby competitors, and flights are bookable through an array of high street travel agents such as Thomas Cook. Crete is also well served with a range of accommodation solutions, from budget stays through to 5 star establishments featuring stretches of their own private beach.
Crete has long been known for its spectacular terrain, lending itself to both beach breaks and more adventurous retreats, including hiking holidays, rock climbing expeditions and even archaeological explorations. But one of the best ways to get a true flavour of the island is to experience real Greek hospitality by heading to a few family owned cafés, restaurants and bars in order to taste the delicacies of the island.
Seafood dishes are a must on this fertile fishing island. Produce is fresh and fragrant and always prepared with local vegetables and salads, garnished with sauces made from local wines and fresh herbs. Plenty of traditional Greek dishes are also available, including the ubiquitous Moussaka and vegetarian concoctions such as Briam – a tasty summer vegetable hotpot featuring aubergine, roasted peppers and an array of aromatic seasonings. And if you want to try a bit of everything the best way is to order yourself a large platter of meze to share.
Many travellers are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Cretan population, frequently finding that their after dinner coffee is accompanied by a complimentary digestif (usually grappa or ouzo). It is not uncommon to be greeted with a welcome drink or for servers to emerge with taste-tester sized portions of fresh new concoctions from the kitchen. The Greeks love to eat and they love to share the experience with others, including family, friends and anyone who happens to stroll by. Embrace the opportunity and learn to wine and dine in true spontaneous Greek fashion.