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3 – Fall of the palaces

The history of Crete (Part III) from the fall of the palaces (1,500-1,400 BC) to the Postpalatial Period (1,400-1,100 BC). here to Part I: History of Crete from the Protopalatial …

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Bus Timetable

Bus Timetable Summer Season 2020. The bus timetable for summer season 2020 for Eastern Crete (Heraklion, Hersonisos, Aghios Nikolaos, Ierapetra, Sitia, etc.), as published on 29 June 2020. All links between Heraklion, Malia, Aghios Nikolaos, Ierapetra, Sitia, Elounda and the surrounding area. The departure times refer mostly to the local bus station. In the case […]

Beach holiday and climates

Water temperatures, climatic data and information about beach holiday in Crete. The danger in the sea, other bathing instructions and dogs on the beach. For a beach holiday in Crete it is best to go from June to September. At this time, the sea has a really pleasant bathing temperature of 72 to 75 °F […]

Car Hire

Tips and hints for car hire, driver’s license and age, insurance, fuel, mileage, driving, road traffic regulations and police penalties on Crete. Getting a rental car in Crete is pretty easy. This can be done online or by telephone without any problems. It is even possible to visit one of the many car rentals on […]

Taxi Fares

Taxi fares starting from Heraklion airport ‘Nikos Kazantzakis’ on Crete. Hints for taxi shuttles in Crete and the routes in eastern direction via Chersonissos and Malia to Sitia, in western direction to Chania and Kissamos and in southwestern direction via Matala to Palechora. Directly when you leave the airport building of Heraklion after arrival, you […]

Spread of the Coronavirus in the tourist season

The course of the 2020 tourist season in Crete and Greece due to the coronavirus from August 15, 2020. The Latest important updates on the corona situation on Crete here on CreteTip ! Here to the previous part: Corona situation on Crete until August 15, 2020. The Latest updates on the situation in Crete and […]

Tropical Beach of Malia

Fantastic sandy Potamos beach east of Malia. The Tropical Beach is close to the Palace of Malia and can be reached by bus, bike, car or even by foot. The …

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Arkadi Monastery

Arkadi, the symbol of Cretan will of freedom. The 9th of November is National Day of Crete with a large procession the previous day, which reminds of the dramatic events …

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Festos

Palace of Festos overlooking the Mesara plain. Directions, history and visit of the particularly impressive site which, unlike Knossos, have not been changed. After about 4 1/4 miles (7 km) in western direction from the destroyed, former Roman provincial capital Gortys and the small town of Mires, one reaches the ruins of the Palace of […]

Folklore

Folklore, traditional dances and costumes, festivals and celebrations in Crete. This extended character trait of the island shows its original form only outside the cities and should not be expected in the centers of tourism. Folklore on Crete Table of Contents Folklore on CreteVideo of Cretan folklore dancesHolidays on CreteFestivities in Crete This great island […]

Cretan Cuisine

Eating and drinking in Crete. Cretan cuisine is an independent type of Greek food and drink. Like everything in Crete, the cuisine is simple but delicious and above all healthy. Eating and drinking in Crete Table of Contents Eating and drinking in CreteCretan cuisineCretan DrinksBeers and spiritsWines Regional specialties can be found on Crete and […]

2 – Palatial period

The history of Crete (Part II) from the Protopalatial Period (1,900 BC) to the heyday of the Minoans during the Neopalatial Period (until 1,500 BC). here to Part I: History of Crete til the Prepalatial Period. Protopalatial Period (1,900-1,700 B.C.) The differentiation of social life, which had gradually begun in the last centuries of the […]

Malia

Malia stands on Crete for sun, beach, quad bikes and parties all night. Old town, beaches, Overview and orientation and hotels at Malia and Stalis. Party Mile of Malia Malia is possibly the most crippled place on Crete and is often considered to be brash, businesslike and with wild stories about the nightlife. The beach, […]

Gournia

Gournia, the best preserved city of the Minoans on the whole of Crete, located on the highway from Aghios Nikolaos to Ierapetra on the Gulf of Merabellou. History Gournia, which is situated in a saddle between two low hills along the highway from Aghios Nikolaos to Ierapetra, is the best preserved city of the Minoans […]

Ierapetra

Ierapetra, the southernmost city of Europe with the mildest climate and most hours of sunshine. History, Archeological Museum, Citadel Kales, Old Quarter, beaches and hotels, Roman Aquariums, Chrissi, Fournou Koryfi, by car and directions. To Ierapetra you drive from Aghios Nikolaos through a plain that is intensively planted with olive trees. 5 miles (ca. 8 […]

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Crete

Crete Tip with many photos and videos. True insider information, attractions, sightseeing, tours, hikes and more – first-hand tips by a permanent resident of the largest island of Greece!

Crete Insider Tips

Crete
Crete – tables and chairs at the beach
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. Its salient geographical position, practically in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean, between the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa played a crucial role in its history, from antiquity to the present.

It has an area of 8,241 sq. km (the islands of Gavdos, Dia and Kouphonisi bring the total to 8,407 sq. km). It is long and narrow, its greatest length being 260 km while its width varies from 60 km to 12 km.
It is rimmed by four seas: the Karpathian to the east, the Myrtoos to the west, the Cretan to the north and the Libyan to the south.
Therefore, it promises for the holidays over 300 sunny days a year, with average temperatures which are about more than 10 degrees warmer than in UK and ‘migraine’ weather is an unknown word here.
Swimming season for the numerous sandy beaches is from May to October and there is a wide variety of water sports, magnificent hiking trails, mostly friendly and hospitable locals, interesting archaeological sites and welcoming hotels right on the beach for a relaxing holiday.

One who stays all his holidays at the beach or pool of his hotel complex will indeed recover gorgeous – but misses a lot. Because the island is much more than a beautiful sunny island, it’s the spiritual home of Europe ! Here existed a high culture long before the mainland awoke !
The history of the discovery of these early European flowering period is almost as exciting as the era that came to light.

Indeed, here you can walk in the mountains and living close to the sea ! The islands keep ideal combinations ready for all interests. There is nothing more beautiful than to swim after a daylong trip in the mountains or along the coastline – or just to spend the evening in a seaside tavern.

Minoan Knossos
Norman, the ‘Kretaner’.
On Crete Tip the island is not presented like ‘the usual’ on most other travelling and tourist sites, where only the beautiful holiday (dream) world exist, but the reality, which is then not so stained like the glossy photos of the travel portals.
Therefore, to convey the concern of a longtime resident of the island, to create most possible objective and unvarnished reports of sights, excursion and holiday destinations, news, tips and also problems from first-hand of the largest Greek island !


Crete

Daylight falls into the Zeus Cave.
Daylight falls into the Zeus Cave.
The birthplace of Zeus and centre of the first European high culture is rich in numerous fabulous beaches for swimming, gorges and mountains for hiking, offers numerous historical sights of its long and eventful history and still has cosmopolitan cities as well as tranquil little villages.

Crete, the largest island of Greece, offers an unmistakable nature and appearance. The average water temperatures and climatic values for a beach holiday or hiking and sightseeing are varied and offer the ideal time of year for every interest.

Cities of Crete

Crete has six urban centres, with the capital Heraklion being the largest city on the island with 150,000 inhabitants, while remote Sitia in the east has only about 14,000 inhabitants.

Heraklion
Heraklion seen from Koules Fortress.
Heraklion is the largest city of Crete with about 150,000 inhabitants and is also the capital of the island.

A report on the sights in the old town, Venetian Loggia, Titus Church, port with Koules Fortress, market and shopping streets, the enormous city wall, churches, museums and hotels.


Navy Museum Chania
The Naval Museum is located in the red building at the port of Chania, to the left of the old fortress walls.
Chania is Crete’s second largest city with about 54,000 inhabitants and was the former capital from 1851 to 1972.


A report for visiting the city, the naval museum and the surroundings.


Rethymno
The harbor of Rethymno with the long sandy beach to the East, pictured from the ‘Fortetsa’ fortress.
Rethymno has about 34.000 inhabitants and is situated between Chania and Heraklion.

History of the city and a report with the visit of the fortress Fortetsa, the old town and monastery Arkadi Monastery, the symbol of the Cretan will of freedom.


Ierapetra
Ierapetra
Ierapetra is the southernmost city in Europe with almost 24,000 inhabitants and has the mildest climate and most hours of sunshine.

Report about its history, Archaeological Museum, Kales Castle, Old Quarter, beaches, Chrissi Island, hotels and accommodation.


Lake Voulismeni
Lake Voulismeni, the heart of Aghios Nikolaos.
Aghios Nikolaos is the capital of Lasithi Prefecture with about 20,000 inhabitants and has the famous Voulismeni Lake in its heart.

A report on the history, sights, beaches and practical tips for your stay in the city.


Sitia
The castle Kazarma dominates the old town.
Sitia is one of the most beautiful places on Crete and with its approximately 14,000 inhabitants is located in the eastern part of the island.

A report on its history and the inexpensive town in the east of Crete today, which is laid out in the style of an Italian town.


Tourist resorts and beaches

esplanade of Hersonisos
Beach esplanade of Hersonisos.
Hersonisos is one of the most developed resorts in Crete.

A history report and the resort today, Promenade, Star Beach Water Park, Lychnostatis Open Air Museum, Aqua World, Aqua Plus, Piskopiano and surroundings, Museum of ‘Rural Life’ and information on local activities.


Malia beach
Central beach of Malia.
Malia stands for sun, beach, quad bikes and parties all night long in Crete.

Report on orientation in Malia with its old, picturesque town centre, beaches with the fantastic sandy beach Potamos and its sand dunes, hotels and accommodation and a trip up to the nearby Lasithi Plateau.


Elounda port
The small fishing port of Elounda close to the square and village center.
Elounda has the reputation of a luxurious, upscale tourist centre, although there are also simpler accommodation options.

Report about history with information and numerous photos and video. Local description, surroundings, tourism, the winter months and the daily life of the locals.


Matala
Matala at the beginning of the season.
Matala, the hippie sandstone caves on the Libyan Sea.

The caves of Matala first became known in the 1960s, when they were the residence of a large international hippie community. Today the small town is fully developed for tourism and offers sandy beaches at protected bays.


Beach at Vai
Beach at Vai – fantastically beautiful and empty in winter!
The Vai beach (Vai Finikodasos), located at the very east of the island, is famous especially for its palm trees, providing a proper contrast to the surrounding area and tranquillity of Toplou.


The Minoan palaces of Crete

Palace of Knossos
Palace of Knossos
Knossos, the largest Minoan palace on Crete.

Report with location and directions from Heraklion, history, excavations, the palace grounds and tips for a visit.


Palace of Festos
Magnificent location of the Palace of Festos on a hill above the Mesara plain.
The palace of Festos is located above the Mesara plain.

Report on the impressive and not restored Minoan palace in the south of Crete between Mires and Matala.


Palace of Malia
Palace of Malia: the eyes were on the big clay pots for ropes during transport.
The Palace of Malia is not far from the tourist centre of the same name.

Report from the visit of the palace, its history, the palace grounds, the ancient city and hints for the visit and directions.


Palace of Zakros
Palace of Zakros.
The Zakros (at Kato Zakros) in the very east of the island and the nearby ‘Valley of the Dead’.

Report of the visit of the unplundered Minoan palace, still in a state of surprising destruction, and the walk through the Valley of the Dead, where the Minoans buried their dead.


Important sights

Vases from the new palaces.
Vases from the new palaces.
The Archeological Museum of Heraklion is the second largest museum in Greece and one of the most important in the world, as it is the only one that completely covers the Minoan culture and art.

Report with many photos from the visit of the museum.


Lasithi plateau
Lasithi plateau
The Lasithi Plateau is the most important plateau of Crete.

Report of the excursion with route description with map and information, photos and video to visit the plateau, the Kronios and Zeus (Psychros, Dictaion Andron), ruined city of Karfi and Vidani monastery.


Fortress of Spinalonga
Fortress of Spinalonga
Fortress of Spinalonga in the gulf of Korfos.

History of the fortress island and as ‘island of the living dead’. Conditions, escape the life in the leprosy colony and its end. Many photos and video of the visit of the island.


Titos church in Gortys
The ruins of the Titos church in Gortys. It was probably built there, where Titos, first bishop of Crete, was executed by the Romans.
Gortys, the destroyed Roman city on Crete.

The provincial capital was never rebuilt after its destruction by the Saracens and the ruins are in the same condition as they were 1,200 years ago. Report and many photos of the impressive visit and exploration of the ruined city.


Hikes

Lasithi hiking path E4
On the western Lasithi hiking path E4.
Lasithi hiking path and Karfi up to the Minoan settlement of Karfi, exploring the E4 hiking trail in the western part of the plateau and Havga Canyon.

Reports and route descriptions of the hikes on the Lasithi plateau with many photos.


Kritsa Canyon
Kritsa Canyon
The Kritsa canyon for a great hiking tour.

Reports, directions and many photos.


Ways and paths on the Spinalonga peninsula.
Ways and paths on the Spinalonga peninsula.
Walks, hiking and swimming at Kolikitha and other sandy beaches on the Peninsula of Spinalonga in front of Elounda and the fortress island.


Offers for Crete

Elounda
The luxury hotels of Elounda, on the other side of the bay of Poros in the evening light.
Hotels on Crete

If you have now acquired a taste for it and would like to spend a holiday on Crete and are not yet sure which area is best suited to your personal requirements, you can start off with a reasonably priced package tour at any time with relatively little risk. Package tours include both the outward and return flight and the hotel. This is the easiest and most convenient way to book this type of travel.

But of course it is also possible to arrange a Crete trip individually according to your own taste and book suitable hotels and cheap flights yourself.
And it is even possible to travel by car to Crete, whereby the journey by your own car and on ferries is already part of the holiday experience.


Suzuki Jimny Cabriolet SUV
One of the most popular and useful cars for hire in Crete is Suzuki Jimny Cabriolet SUV.
Car Hire: Tips and hints for car hire, driver’s license and age, insurance, fuel, mileage, driving, road traffic regulations and police penalties on Crete.


Crete Aquarium
Shark in Crete Aquarium
Tours, excursions and trips on Crete.

Current offers for great day trips, sightseeing, tours and safaris.


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