The largest of the Greek Isles, Crete offers a plethora of pleasures, from a long and storied history, to friendly and welcoming residents, to incredible gastronomy based on the island’s olives, cheeses, produce and seafood. This is the birthplace of the first European civilization, the Minoan – and even today, one can get a glimpse into ancient history while visiting majestic palaces and luxurious mansions scattered about the island.
We are particularly enamored of Chania, said to be the most picturesque city in Greece. Stroll through the Old City, drink a raki (a strong, white, local spirit) at the market with the producers who made it and indulge in Grecian delicacies, from small green olives to freshly baked breads and local cheeses.
Wake each morning in a beautiful boutique hotel fashioned from a fully renovated ancient mansion, then make your plan for the day. Hike at Samaria Gorge, swim in the Libyan Sea, explore the imposing castle of Rethymnon, stop into historic monasteries, marvel at archaeological sites and discover the jewels of the brand-new Museum of Eleutherna. The sheer breadth of experiences is refreshing. In the very same day, you’ll be floating in the private pool of your hotel’s decadent suite, and later, be swimming from a private caique far out in the deep, blue Mediterranean.
Much of Crete is still largely undiscovered and untouched, even by the crowds of August. The nature here is dazzling and we can arrange a 4×4 tour off the beaten path to meet the locals and perhaps dine on traditional Cretan cuisine at a resident’s home, where you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
Partake in the island’s agritourism, and learn about traditional rural occupations and the cultivation of olives and honey. Collect fresh herbs or hunt for truffles with your hosts and try your hand at the local cooking techniques as you prepare lunch or dinner together.
When in Greece, celebrate as the Grecians do, joining in local feasts (panigryi) and taking part in traditional circle dances with your newfound friends. Cretans love their precious island and are abundantly proud of their heritage – you’ll hear often that Crete is the very epitome of Greece. Allow us to introduce you.