BEYOND THE BEACH: 5 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CRETE
1. Attend a traditional Cretan feast
If you wish to meet the genuine Crete, the easiest way is to attend a feast. Listen to “lyra”, the famous Cretan instrument, hold a local’s hand and dance “sousta”, the traditional Cretan dance and, of course, try “raki”, the most popular drink on the island.
2. Admire the natural beauty of the palm forest of Vai
The palm forest of Vai is one of the most beautiful and special places in the whole Mediterranean and the largest palm forest in Europe with about 5,000 trees. There are many legends concerning its origin, some of them even including pirates and it became popular among the Hippies in the late 1970s.
3. Walk through the gorge of Samaria
If you are a person who tries to stay fit during your holiday as well, then this is something you should definitely not miss. The gorge of Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe and a pole of attraction for any active traveler.
4. Learn about the Cretan history
Sightseeing is a must! Numerous museums and monuments can be found in Crete and whatever your preferences are, you will find something interesting. The Archaeological, the Folklore, the Art, the Wooden and the Typography Museums are only a few of an almost endless list. The number one monument is probably the Knossos Palace, but there are so many more places you may visit.
5. Travel through time in Spinalonga
Spinalonga, the small uninhabited island near Elounda is known as the Leper Island, as that is where lepers from the entire Greece were quarantined until 1957. At its peak, the colony comprised nearly 400 inhabitants. A preliminary nomination file for the inscription of the island of Spinalonga on the World Heritage List of UNESCO has been recently submitted by the Greek Culture Ministry. You may take a boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka to Spinalonga and discover the atmospheric island on your own, it’s definitely worth it!