HomeEuropeGreeceAmazing Crete - vivid impressions!

Amazing Crete – vivid impressions!

Historians have not been able to solve the mysteries of the ancient civilization here for many years. However, all agree on one thing: the Greek, and European civilization in general, originated in Crete. Maybe that’s why when you come here, you feel calm, relaxed and free from all worries? These rocks everyone has seen, these mountains everyone knows, this sea surprises nothing… Here almost everything is a bright sight!


The sky seems especially bright here. The island is drowned in the azure, bathed in it, unhurriedly lounging under the bright sun 300 days a year. And the sun is not merciless here – even in the hottest time in August, the sea breeze and high mountains make its rays gentle and friendly. Somewhere far away, on the horizon, the azure blue of the sky meets the blue of the sea. The sea seems to be everywhere here. And I must say, one of the best seas in the world. However, to be precise, Crete is washed by two seas at once: the Libyan Sea and the Sea of Crete. Well, if you do not get into geographical subtleties, we can confidently state one thing: so clean and beautiful coast you will not find anywhere else in Europe.

Sightseeing in Crete - What to see

But it is ungrateful to compare the beauty of Crete with each other. How to decide which is better – the long sandy beaches of Heraklion or the picturesque stony lagoons of Chersonesos? With what to compare the “hidden treasure” of the island – the city of Retisno, its narrow Venetian streets, its unique fusion of Western grandeur and Eastern charm? And who could forget the incredible beauty of the beaches of Elounda, which year after year are awarded the European Union “Blue Flags” – a sign of the exceptional purity of the sea and coast? Oh, one comparison still begs – getting to a place Vai, unwittingly recalled the famous commercials “Bounty” – white sands, incredibly blue sea, date palms. In fact, you remember correctly – this is where the “heavenly delight” videos were filmed.

But would it be wrong to say that Matala beach is inferior to the idyllic Vai? In Matalla you feel on the edge of the world – the blue waves quietly rustle on the sand, and the rocks are riddled with numerous caves. In the 60’s and 70’s this place was a Mecca of hippies, in the caves are still preserved carved from the stone beds. But how to know what is more tempting – a night on the beach or a leisurely stroll through the winding streets of the town of Sfakia, which, despite the annual influx of tourists, managed to maintain a truly Greek flavor, unhurried and relaxed. It’s a must-see on Kriet. Here, from countless taverns, the smells are terrific, and tanned Greeks drink wine in the shade of mulberries and shout across the street long and guttural?

And it is certainly impossible to refuse a visit to Chania – without exaggeration, one of the most picturesque cities in Greece, the center of the eponymous region. Yes, and be sure to go to the island of Elafonisi. No, not across the bridge, across the water! It’s really so shallow here that it won’t be much of a problem. And on the island itself to fall on never-before-seen pink sand, look into the bottomless blue of the sky, and then plunge into the warm azure of the sea…


It is probably symbolic that almost all structures in Cyprus are white. White is the color of the origins, the color of the beginning, how could it not be on the island, which is the beginning of European civilization?

Legend has it that it was here, on Crete, in a cave high in the mountains, that the thunderer Zeus was born. He kidnapped the beautiful Europa and took her here, and here their son Minos, the legendary king whose name has survived not even for centuries, but for thousands of years, was born. Archaeologists date the emergence of the Minos civilization to the 3rd millennium BC, and it ceased to exist in 1450. B.C., after a grandiose volcanic eruption on the island of Santorin, which caused a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

It is to the wise ruler Minos that another popular legend is connected – that of the monster Minotaur, imprisoned in the underground labyrinth of the king’s palace and endlessly demanding bloody tribute. One hundred years ago this very palace was found, and believe me, it’s worth seeing! 1,100 rooms, 22,000 square meters, palaces and columns and porticoes, intricate labyrinths and passages, stunning scope and . the sudden realization that these snow-white stones stood here five thousand years ago. This understanding makes you dizzy, and you suddenly realize that time here is measured by a different yardstick than the one you are used to using…

Sights of Crete - what to see

And then there is the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, preserving priceless findings of archaeologists! And the village of Fodele is the birthplace of the famous painter Domenico Theotokopoulos, who signs his paintings “El Greco”.

And the ruins of the palace of Phaestos, and countless white-washed churches and monasteries lost in the mountains, hidden in the rocks, hiding stunning frescoes. If you set a goal to see everything, you will have to seriously linger on the island.

However, at least once it is worth leaving it – to take a trip and see the island of Santorini. What you will discover here, you will not see anywhere else, never again – the gloomy beauty of this place is a little scary and immensely attractive. A light haze over the volcano – yes, it is active. The cliffs of unimaginable colors – black, red, gold, red, and an intricate puzzle of snow-white houses clinging to each other like honeycombs, built on top of each other, topped with domes of churches and arches of passages, almost overhanging over the sea. And the black pebble beaches incredibly accentuate the clear azure of the water…


There is a lot of greenery on the island – forests of chestnuts, oaks, cypresses, olive groves, date palms, cedar forests, orange orchards – what do you like best? There are 22 national nature reserves in Crete, the real attractions of the place. The most famous is the Samaria Gorge, one of the most beautiful and longest (18 km) gorges in Europe. It crosses Lefka-Ori (White Mountains) from north to south. This is the way from north to south, from the plateau of Omalos to the village of Agia Roumeli. Excursion takes 6-8 hours, but it is necessary to pass on this route – sheer cliffs sometimes leave upwards on half-kilometer, the gorge that parted before you, then closed, threatening to close…

Sights of Crete - what to see

Crete is also a paradise for speleologists: there are over 3 thousand caves and grottos! First of all, guides mention the cave of Dicteo Andro, and not surprisingly – it is here, according to myth, Rhea gave birth to Zeus. However, to see the “divine” cave, you need to be well prepared for sports: the refuge of the immortal goddess is high in the mountains, at an altitude of 1023 meters above sea level, and the narrow serpentine leads only to the foot of a small village, where a narrow path, carved between the gorges, you walk to the mountain and only then go down into the cave. And enter it, by the way, not everyone dares: the dwelling of Zeus looks gloomy. It seems that on all sides you are watched by attentive eyes, the black waters of the lake gleam mysteriously in the light of the candles…

The second most popular cave in Crete, Sfendoni – 14 million. years. And it’s worth everyone to see it: the cave is 200 meters long and consists of 16 halls, stalactites and stalagmites intricately intertwined, forming an incredible backdrop for a fantasy movie.

It’s also worth going to the mountains to see the real Greece. Many monasteries and mountain villages preserve an age-old way of life. You just have to walk slowly through the quiet stones of the cobblestone streets, sit in a tavern, sip leisurely local wine, hear the local musicians, and realize that you don’t have to promise this land that you’ll come back. She already knows – it’s impossible not to come here again.

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