Monday, December 17, 2007

Dreaming Of Crete (2 from 2)

Now, staying in Crete won't be a problem since it offers up-to-date facilities for everyone. From the 5 star exclusive resorts by the sea to rooms to rent and organized camping sites. The choice is yours depending on your finances and the service is mostly good especially for foreigners. The majority of the locals can communicate in foreign languages such as English, German, French or Italian. There are a lot of rent-a-bike or rent-a-car agencies with reasonable prices. If you want to get to know Crete better, then you would proabably need a good 7 to 8 days to discover the beauties of Crete. I would suggest avoiding places like Hersonissos village near Heraklion which was developed for the sole entertainment of Western backpack tourists who live on beer and greek salad most of the time - instead go for the genuine character of the island, like visiting Samaria Canyon with the unique Kri-kri goats that live only in Crete, or the lake of Kournas hidden into the mountains in Rethymnon or the famous birthplace of Zeus, Mount Ida, or have a swim at the palmy beach of Vai in the south for instance.
Did you know that Heraklion was the birthplace of Domenicus Theotocopoulos - known to most of us as El Greco? Or that Nikos Kazantzakis, also Cretan, was the writer of the famous play "Zorba the Greek" which was based on a true story? Even Athens' international airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" was named after the late Prime Minister who was Cretan as well.

Ah, Crete is such a mesmerizing place to be! I always return with a desire to find out more of its unique character. How can you go to Crete? Easily, with a connecting flight through Athens' Intl' Airport (half an hour duration) or direct charter flights from Europe. Alternatively, there are frequent boat trips from the port of Pireus in Athens or Salonica to Rethymnon and Heraclion. The day trip lasts around 6 hours and the overnight trip lasts approximately 9 1/2 hours. The fleet is modern and spacious.

I hope I have given you an alluring idea about how to get to know Crete better! Now all you have to do is to set your mind on going to this very special island that is part of Greece.

By Marialena Lioulia