The best months are undoubtedly spring and autumn. The temperature is pleasant, which allows you to enjoy outdoor activities. The sea colors are more contrasted, it's ideal for photography and to watch a romantic sunset on waters. During the time, the sea remains pleasant for swimming, and the beaches are less crowded.
Cretan cuisine is very famous, and many scientific studies have shown all the benefits of this cuisine. People with cardiovascular problems are less numerous in Crete, where life expectancy is the highest in Europe. But what is the secret of the Cretan diet? A very healthy diet with fruit and vegetable products, cereals, fish and little meat, and very good quality local olive oil are the secrets to staying in shape.
As a starter, you can take either a Greek salad, a mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and feta. Or an excellent yogurt cucumber salad with garlic, mint, and olive oil. The main dishes are mainly made with eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchinis. Lamb, pork, or sheep are also consumed and flavored with herbs. Fish is also very popular with Cretans, which can be grilled or cooked in soup. For dessert, Cretans are more interested in fruit. But you will find delicious oriental pastries such as baklava or kadaifis. Make sure to have a glass of Raki, an aniseed alcoholic beverage, at the end of a meal.
Chania, Hania, Chania, the same city in the North / West of the Crete island, has three names. Many civilizations have existed here (Minoans, Venetians, and Ottomans), which make Hania a beautiful and multicultural city. This city is the perfect place just to wander around, have a drink, and visit a museum.
The town of Agios Nikolaos, in Mirabello Bay, is a charming little town with a lot of tourists. It has one of the most charming ports in the country. Established on several hills, the city surrounds a tiny lake. Around it, there are a host of restaurants and bars. You can't really expect to have calm and tranquility here, Agios Nikolaos is undoubtedly touristic.
Elafonissi is a peninsula south of Crete. A lagoon of clear water borders the beach. It is very beautiful and therefore very touristy, the best thing to do is to come during the low season. Elafonissi is reachable by foot or by swimming through a sandy tongue.
Frangokastello is about 10 km east of Chora Sfakion, situated on the coast. The village consists of a few scattered houses, but it has a fort built by the Venetians in the 14th century. Located by the sea, the fortress has never been occupied and gives the impression of being a theatre setting. Frangokastello has a pretty, shallow, and protected lagoon, bordered by a sandy beach.
The Samaria gorges are exceptional. The canyon is about 16 km long, and the cliffs can reach a height of 300 m. The narrowest point of the Samaria Gorge, known as the "Iron Gates," is only 2.5 m wide. The cliffs overlook the small stream, and you can see Kri-Kri, the goats of the country. It's really a beautiful walk if you arrive early in the morning to avoid the tourist buses.
The island of Spinalonga, also known as the "island of lepers," is a small fortified islet in Crete. Facing Elounda, in Mirabello Bay, the fort was built by the Venetians, then occupied by the Turks, and eventually, the lepers were stationed there. It was they who renovated the fort from 1903 to 1957, during their stay in Europe's last leper colony. It is really touching to walk through the now-abandoned streets of Spinalonga.
Loutro is located between Agia Rouméli and Chora Skafron. It is a pretty fishing village with a superb beach and transparent waters. Loutro has managed to preserve his authenticity for the time being. Some of the village's merchants would like to build a road (yes, there are none in Loutro!) to open it up... It is still a real pleasure to enjoy a raki in the shade of a terrace while looking at the turquoise water.
Matala is located 70 km from Heraklion and 4 km from Pitsidia. The small fishing village is known for its caves and hand-dug cavities. At the time of the "Flower Power," many hippies stopped there on the famous Kathmandu road. Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens were there. Too bad, today the place has become very touristic: shops, pensions, restaurants... Make sure to visit the magical Red Beach during your sailing holiday in Crete.
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