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A year-round destination, Crete is more than just a sunbed by the sea, coconut-scented cocktails, and beachside adventures. Plus its gems shine brighter in the offseason, without the summer tourist masses. Discover one of its brightest, Chania, in the winter.
If you are one of these summer-loving types, who’d do anything to avoid the cold –including migrating to the opposite hemisphere– the good news is that you can still spend winter in Europe but not freeze. Unlike other smaller Greek islands which seem to shut down during the colder months, Crete, the largest of them all, remains very much alive and kicking. With a robust agricultural production and an economy that’s not relying solely on tourism, Crete has a population of more than 600,000 inhabitants: Permanent residents and University students, alike –living, breathing, working and playing here, throughout the year.
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New and old seamlessly blend in an enchanting amalgam of Christmas traditions in Crete. Read on and rejoice!
From the snow-capped roofs of Rovaniemi to the sun-dappled beaches of Brazil, Christmas is a magical time of the year throughout the world. The same goes for the island of Crete: Though it’s not your typical winter wonderland kind of destination, Christmas in Greece’s largest island comes with a wealth of wonderful traditions- some new and imported; others with roots that are lost in the depths of history.
Packed with goodness and aromas, Cretan herbs are responsible for an array of health benefits and the heavenly taste of local food and drink.
Crete is known for many things: Its palatable treasures are perhaps the most cherished among them. Sun-kissed climate aside, there is another reason why food tastes great here. Packed with goodness, the indigenous Cretan herbs boast an array of health benefits and delectable tastes. They grow everywhere throughout the island of Crete: In the mountains, in farming lands and coastal areas. A lot of them are endemic- botanical studies show Crete has one of the richest and most interesting ecosystems in Europe- and have been known since ancient times for their therapeutic properties. These aromatic plants also account for the distinct flavours and aromas of Crete’s culinary specialities.
The Cretan Valentine does not go to fancy restaurants, luxurious confectioners and shopping malls. Instead, he opts for nature and the open air, music, song and dance.
February the 14th typically brings along red roses, heart-shaped candy, spicy lingerie and the mandatory fancy restaurant dinner. This year the latter was for obvious reasons skipped, but as tradition demands, the florists got their share of traffic. But how did this all come about?
Celebrate life and the beauty of the world with a vacation in Crete in 2021.
The new year customarily marks new beginnings. And in light of all the gloom and doom, the world has experienced throughout 2020, who doesn’t crave for a fresh start in 2021? Alas, just pressing the reset button doesn’t really work in real life. But there is hope on the horizon. The much-anticipated antidote to the pandemic has finally arrived, and, protestations aside, many countries around the globe have already started vaccinating their population. No doubt this is going to be a lengthy, strenuous process. Acquiring the desired immunity won’t happen overnight. But then again neither was Rome built in a day.
A magical time of the year since the olden days, Christmas in Crete comes with a wealth of enchanting customs and traditions, some of them surviving up until today
Another year is drawing to a close. Normally at this time, we’d be preparing to celebrate Christmas in Crete with typical Cretan, high spirited ardor. Alas on “the year that never was”, festivities will look and feel quite different. There’ll be no big friends and family gatherings, no carol rounds, no all-night parties. Even the cherished, annual Chania Santa Run, won’t be taking place in 2020.
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Whether hard fact or part legend, the tale of the 12 Young Rulers, is an integral part of Cretan history, continuing to inform locals’ mores and beliefs up to nowadays.
With aeons of intriguing, more often than not tumultuous, Cretan history inscribed in their local traditions and way of life, Cretans come across as fierce, proud and imposing. Not unlike true nobles, that is. In fact, while travelling around Crete, it is not uncommon to hear ageing villagers asserting that they are from blue blood: The descendants of aristocracy that once existed in Crete. Before dismissing their claims as old peoples’ ramblings, read on below for one of the most fascinating chapters of Cretan history: The tale of the 12 Young Rulers, though it is in some bits rather loosely documented, it demonstrates that nobility did exist in Crete from the 11th century and even beyond the Venetian era.
Exotic beaches, snow-capped mountains, dramatic gorges and Edenlike plains. World-famous ancient monuments and Unesco heritage sites. Emblematic food, renowned for its health benefits and taste, along with euphoric, potent drink. Proud yet affable locals and an age-old culture of hospitality embedded in everyday life. There are myriads of reasons to love Crete, and the unique Cretan customs and folkways are among the most thrilling. Take the traditional Cretan wedding for instance: An intense, typically multi-day affair to remember, it is marked by enthusiasm and abundance: Food, drink, music, dance, merrymaking, even celebratory gunfire, come in copious amounts. The same motif applies to the guest list. In the case of the traditional Cretan wedding, the more is the merrier indeed.
From the mythological origins of Zeus to the mysterious Minoans with their labyrinthine palaces, truth and fiction have seamlessly blended in Crete from time immemorial. But this is what makes this island, the largest one in Greece, one of the most captivating destinations on the planet.
Granted its incredible cuisine, exotic beaches and ample opportunities for fun-filled adventures, lure a lion’s share of visitors every year. Yet it is Crete’s historical sites, those legendary stomping grounds of men, gods and heroes, that have sparked human imagination since the Iron Age mythographers, that make the difference. Indeed Crete wouldn’t be the same without its one of a kind history and culture. Whether you are into mythology, a lover of literature and art, a history buff or just a worshiper of the sun, a visit to Crete’s historical sites will leave its imprint for life. At the Oscar Suites & Village we are certainly proud of our Cretan heritage and tradition. That’s why we love sharing with you, our dear friends and guests, via our monthly blog posts, the scoop on what to see and do on your visit to Crete. Read on for Crete’s historical sites and the alluring myths that surround them.
Sea-sun-sand -and fun- aside, Crete owes a large part of its allure to the legends of its past. Featuring a fascinating collection of age-old tales and stories hailing from the depths of Minoan prehistory, Mythical Crete continues to capture the imagination of modern visitors.
From divine kings, bull-headed monsters, faux-cows and heroic humans to wild nature goddesses, snake-waving priestesses and the world’s first robot, Mythical Crete never fails to amaze us at the Oscar Suites & Village. In our recent blog posts, we have travelled to the birthplace of the omnipotent ruler of men and gods, Zeus. We also took a peek into his amorous escapades with Europa, the stunning Phoenician princess who would become Crete’s first queen; and then looked into the connections between her son, King Minos, the mighty Minotaur, ingenious Daedelus and valiant Theseus. This time we will be exploring Mythical Crete’s powerful female deities and its gigantic proto-robot.