Monday, 7 November 2022

An Estonian in Crete

Last week I did something I rarely do, I went on an autumn holiday. I wanted to go some place warm, somewhere to enjoy a last bit of sunshine before winter arrives. To do this I had to head south and after consulting the map I decided upon Crete, one of the most southern points in Europe and also Europe's oldest civilization. I've never been to Greece before so everyday was an adventure.

I flew into Chania, Crete's second largest city and stayed in a villa not far from Kissamos. To my surprise, autumn had not even begun here yet, flowers were still in full bloom and the weather was lovely and warm, everyday the temperature was 22-24 degrees celsius. 

Elafonisi Beach

Crete is very mountainous and often you have to drive through narrow winding roads in the mountains to reach the best beaches. Elafonisi is famous for its pink sand on some of its shore. It's a bit of a trek to get there but absolutely wonderful once you arrive. 

One of the best things about travelling to Crete in late October - great weather and no crowds. 

Another beach I visited was Falassarna, it had beautiful crystal clear water.

Greece's second most popular tourist site is The Palace of Knossos. It is located near Heraklion, Crete's capital city. 

The Palace of Knossos was built by the Minoans and is approximately 4000 years old. It covers an area of 20,000 square metres and contained more than 1000 rooms.

One of the throne rooms remains fairly intact.

Artwork from the Bronze Age. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to explore the palace ruins.

One thing I enjoyed about Crete was the landscape. It was very different from home with its abundance of  olive trees, cactuses and even gum trees.

Every church I saw in Crete looked immaculate.

Stavros Beach

The 1964 film Zorba the Greek was filmed in Crete and the theme song is still popular to this day. A famous scene from the movie was filmed at Stavros Beach so I went there to take a look at the area.

Many things impressed me about Crete but two things that really stood out were the reasonable prices and the quality of the gift shops. Unlike souvenir shops elsewhere that often sell cheap tacky items made in China, I found most souvenirs in Crete were locally produced and good quality. Shop owners took pride in what they sold. There were so many delightful things to choose from.

It was really good to get away for a week and explore Crete. I really loved the fact that there is less light population on the island of Crete and so you can see the stars clearer in the sky at night. Simply wonderful!.