Matala, Iraklion, 70200, Greece
More about Crete Island
Venetian windmill, Lassiti Plateau, Crete
Restaurant/Bar entrance from beach
Red Beach from base on the trail.
Ammos Bar (Gouves)
Those anyone know where you can visit artists who paints icons in Crete?
There's one well-known and very successful icon painter in the village of Oia on Santoroini, Dimitri Kolioussis.
Religious bookstores in Greece usually sell icons. You can ask at the religious bookstores in Heraclion, Rethymno or Chania, as well as at the local churches. Icon painting is also a usual activity in many Orthodox Monasteries. I don't think that the museums in Athens can give you a proper answer, they will guide you to rather extravagant exhibitions.
Travel Tips for Crete Island
Just about sums up Cretans really.
Whilst visiting the very good Lychnostatis open air folk museum (see seperate tip) I came upon this poem on a wall, which I thought summed up Cretans rather well.
It evokes rather well the slightly belligerent history of the islanders and the slightly macho gun culture which apparently still exists in places.
"the gun of a Cretan
Should never be sold.
It's place is in church,
Never to be used again.
High up on the wall should it hang,
Surrounded by spiderwebs,
And as the dead hero shall turn to dust,
So shall his gun turn to rust.
I really liked it.
The Island has a long history that goes back to the Neolithic times. It is however known for the Minoan civilization the flourished from 2600 to 1100 B.C. The island is full of relics of the Minoan ages the most famous being the palaces at Knossos and Phaestos.
Spincat is a coffee addict, so:
-Greek coffee is great; very strong, tiny cups, at very best a delicious aroma of caramelised flowers! It comes 'gliko' (very sweet) 'metrio' (medium') and 'sketo' (without sugar). If you don't specify that you want greek coffee you could end up with a 'Nes'.
- The 'Nes'. I've somehow convinced myself that coffee is good for me, and part of this is the conviction that only instant coffee is bad for me. Hence, I am wary of the 'Nes' (short for Nescafe) and I avoid!
A very nice drink that is made with 'Nes' , however, is the 'Frappe', popular throughout Greek. At simplest it just involves instant coffee & cold water being shaken together - then served in a glass with a straw and sometimes ice. You can have it 'me gala' (with milk) too and it also comes 'sketo', 'metrio' etc... It is so popular in Crete that in cafe districts the rattle of frappe straws drowns out all other sound.
... I'm getting round to the final point... the Cretan Cappucino. Much as I love Greek coffee I often get an urge for Italian coffee too - 'macchiato ' is my favourite but cappucino is essential at breakfast time. Not a hard drink to make - infact I make it at home & I'm lousy in the kitchen. It is on the menu all over Crete, but what you actually get... and this is really what I love about the independent Cretan spirit... is , for example, nice coffee but with a spiral of cream on the top, (I've even been served a sparkler in the cream); or 'Nes' with cream on top; or weak coffee with a thin film of milk + lots of cinnamon. Even in Rethymnon's most sophisticated cafe, where I thought I'd been served with the perfect cappucino (aroma was perfect and the milk looked thick and frothy ) the milk was freezing cold and yet frothy (how is it possible?)
I hope any Cretan will take this in the spirit it is meant. I might seem to be laughing at the Cretan Cappucino, but really I'm laughing at myself for being such a tourist as to go in search of the unavailable when Greek coffee is so good!
Things to take
A strong comfortably fitting rucksack preferably one with external pockets so that you can get at your water bottle without having to remove the rucksack each time. Alternatively invest in a hydration system such as a Camelback. Strong walking boots, the Cretan terrain is unforgiving at times and will quickly wear out less sturdy footwear. A sun hat is a must, it can get really hot and shade isn't always easy to find. For those who wish to walk the mountains don't forget a fleece and waterproof. Sunscreen, never leave home without it! Insect repellent, Crete is not a hotbed of nast bitey things but I was bitten a few times by them, can't hurt to take some repellent along cam it? Don't forget the camera! A polarizer and UV filter are recommended for mountain photography
Malia's Old Town
This was just one of the many old windy streets we found just up from our apartments, they were beautiful, so clean and so fresh. we liked it that much we went back and ate there every night.
Opposite this church was a small but very pretty square where they gathered during the day,surrounded by trees it was so tranquil I never wanted to go back !
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Address: Matala, Iraklion, 70200, Greece