An insight into traditional Crete

Greetings to all travel enthusiasts! Today we are exploring the world famous island of Crete. It is a magical holiday destination with excellent beach resorts, sheer natural beauty, rich history and culture.  It successfully combines an abundance of both mountainous and coastal sightseeing regions and during your visit, you will certainly be amazed by the warm hospitality and the Cretan way of life. There are plenty of things to do and see as the island provides endless options of fun days in the Aegean Sea.

Sfakia village is one of the most popular quaint villages of Crete and it is a wonderful opportunity to escape from the daily routine and the mass tourist developments. You will be captivated by the beauty of the place as it lies on the hills of the White Mountains and it overlooks the spectacular coastline. It maintains a pure Cretan way of life as most residents are fishermen, farmers and goat grazers. It is well known for the local cheese of Anthotiri and Mizithra whilst in the traditional taverns, you can have a taste of the delicious local cuisine. The scenic port is full of cafeterias and restaurants and you can spend your time strolling through the narrow alleys of the village or exploring the small secluded bays with the sandy beaches and the warm blue water.

Due to the steep cliffs, the Sfakia area remains peacefully sheltered and it is heaven for nature lovers. The Imbros and Samaria Gorge are some of the best in Greece and during the summer they attract thousands of enthusiastic walkers on a daily basis. The magical scenery and the natural unspoilt splendour will astonish you as you have an exceptional chance to experience Crete’s hidden treasures.

The Imbros Gorge is way easier to walk than Samaria as it is much smaller and the terrain is not that steep. It covers 8km with a descent of 600 meters while the walking time is around two and a half hours. The path is narrow and there are plenty of trees so most of the time you will also have the comfort of shade. Imbros Gorge is very popular during the periods that the Samaria Gorge is still closed.

Samaria Gorge is actually one of the largest in Europe with a covering distance of 18km. It is well known between trekkers and hikers and it lies in the White Mountains beginning from the Xyloskalo area that is 1225 meters above sea water. The fauna and flora are rare so the area has been registered as a protected national park. It requires 5-7 hours walk on hard, steep terrain so all walkers should go fully prepared for the adventure that lies ahead. The gorge is closed during the winter and on rainy days to avoid the danger of falling rocks and the river flooding the narrow passages.

Once in Crete, you can also check out the birthplace of the almighty Zeus that is just outside the village of Psyhro. According to legend, the Dikteon Cave is the birthplace of Zeus and the place where Rhea hid her son from Cronos, his offspring killing father. Once inside you will come across stalactites that have been formed over the centuries, the occasional bat and the whole place is lid with spooky green and red lights. The cave covers an approximate area of 2200 square meters and it was discovered by the British archaeologist David Hogarth in the 1900’s.  Numerous votives were discovered inside thus suggesting that it was a place of cult rituals and worship but I remain confident that you will manage to keep your cool.

This is all, for now, my dear fellow adventurers. In conclusion please remember that life is short and beautiful and it is strictly up to you to enjoy it and live it to the fullest.