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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Just about sums up Cretans really.

    by planxty Written Jan 29, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: 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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • Lilasel's Profile Photo

    CRETE has EVERYTHING!

    by Lilasel Written Dec 14, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Mountain villages, long sandy beaches, rocky bays, beach-bar-boogie & nightlife. There are magnificent mountain ranges, water-sports, tranquil locations and clean swimmable seas. The climate is one of the best in Europe and the cuisine is one of the most healthy in the world!

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    PHAISTOS

    by RACCOON1 Updated Oct 16, 2004

    Favorite thing: Phaistos is a Minoan Palace located about 15 to 20 km from Matala.

    If you are in Matala and getting bored it is an easy half day hike out to Phaistos.

    The Phaistos ruins are not that impressive but the view from the site is worth it and the villages in the area make the trip worth it .

    As per the map in the picture the site measures approximately 120 m by 120 m .

    The area labelled " 13" is The Central Court .

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    IRAKLION AND KNOSSOS

    by RACCOON1 Updated Oct 16, 2004

    Favorite thing: Iraklion is the gateway to Crete and the gateway to Knossos the number one tourist attraction in Crete.

    Knossos is a must see but you should read some Bronze Age Minoan History before you go. The site as per the map in the picture is approximately 100 m by 100 m

    Knossos was probably flattened when the Santorini volcano erupted. The reconstruction of the Palace is impressive but the Santorini Arch. Site of an equivalent Palace is more impressive .

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    SITIA

    by RACCOON1 Written Oct 8, 2004

    Favorite thing: Sitia is a small village on the north east coast of Crete . If you are going to the beaches at "VAI" you will probably stop in Sitia.

    There is not much to do in Sitia except eat Baklava and drink OUZO with the locals in the town bar. If you are lucky they may be serving octopus .

    You can hike up into the hills to the north west . The coast like is quite rugged and can be impressive after a storm ( major waves ).

    Sitia is also a stop for ferries going to Santorini . Check the schedules . If the ferry shows up you are doing good .

    Fondest memory: The ferry ride from Sitia to Santorini after spending some time in the Sitia bar the night before.

    Big waves , a small ferry and ouzo do not mix . But the cliffs of Santorini were worth it.

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    IEREPTRA

    by RACCOON1 Written Oct 8, 2004

    Favorite thing: Iereptra is a fairly large town on the south coast of Crete . It has a good beach and seem to attract a lot of young travveler types.

    They grow eggplant in this area and hence they make the best Mousaka in Greece.

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  • RACCOON1's Profile Photo

    MATALA

    by RACCOON1 Updated Oct 8, 2004

    Favorite thing: Matala is a small resort village on the south coast of Crete . Its claim to fame are some cliff caves overlooking the village beach .

    The caves are eiher burial caves or places of residence for neolithic men.
    I prefer the latter . There are additional caves up in the hills to the south of Matala.
    As we found a wheel like stone in one of these hill caves it is pretty obvious that cavemen lived here.

    There is very little to do in Matala except for sitting on the beach . There is a second beach south of the village , just hike over the hills . A third , much bigger and longer beach is located to the north . Just hike over the hill .

    Fondest memory: Sitting at the entrance to our cave in teh hills looking up at the Milky Way .

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  • RoyJava's Profile Photo

    NAGA - Snake-Goddess

    by RoyJava Written Aug 24, 2004

    Favorite thing: The island of Crete has been a great source of information during my stay. Studying myths, legends and sagas Crete is one of the best places to do research. Because the whole island accomdates so many antiques out of the world of phantasy, which manifest itself in her material arts.

    Well,... maybe too tricky, maybe the right link, but the faience figurine identified as a "Snake Goddess" found on the Aegean Island of Creteat Crete is a beautifull female figurine. The most apparent characteristic of Minoan religion was that it was polytheistic and matriarchal, that is, a Goddess religion; the Gods were all female, not a single male God has been identified until later periods. It is not easy to describe the nature of the Mother-Goddess of Crete.

    Fondest memory: Recognize here a priestess of a very high position, when you look at her eyes and do notice all of the attributes. The snakes, the special dress, and the cat, which was placed later on her special headdress ... all point out a woman using symbolics out of the matriarchy. It will take too long to explain the development out of the Naga into the Snake-Goddess, though one could guess there is a very true connection ... I enclosed her in my heart. Thanks to Crete ...

    Related to:
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    • Arts and Culture

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  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Getting off the path...

    by bpwillet Written Jun 27, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: I remember the hike from Moni Governetou to Tripiti with my friend Adam. It was a great time to just chill out by the water, talk along the way, contemplate the world and solve all its problems. We both made it back to the car exhausted but both glad we took the opportunity to get outside on such an amazing day. Though the water could have been warmer for swimming-we both chickened out!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • chancay's Profile Photo

    Matala beach and the caves in the background

    by chancay Updated Sep 30, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The beach next to the village is small but beautiful and comfortable because that near to the few hotels or hostels. THe water is not always absolutely clean but has got a beautiful green color, you can watch to the ground.

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  • chancay's Profile Photo

    between Matala and the red beach

    by chancay Updated Sep 30, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Near to the little sand beach of Matala just behind some higher cliffs a beautiful beach starts that more or less goes on at the whole south coast of the island until the west end. THe photo was taken on the way back from the beach

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  • chancay's Profile Photo

    "Hippie sleeping rooms"

    by chancay Updated Sep 30, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In the sixties a group of Hippies started to live in the caves of Matala that are already existing since the young stone ages. First it was accepted by inhabitants of the village and the government, because the Hippies organized their life well and also hygienic. With the years more and more "summer" dropouters who did not take care of the caves,. That is why they were closed after that.

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  • Beaches in Crete - Matala

    by ramot418 Updated Sep 12, 2003

    Favorite thing: There are lots of beaches in Crete, of course.
    However, those on the northern coast tend to be a little rocky or at least stony.

    However, we found a nice sandy beach on the south coast at the town of Matala. During the high season it tends to be a little crowded, but it's still a great beach (small, but beautiful). The town itself is very 'touristy'. As for eateries, we preferred the neighbouring (and *much* quieter) village of Pitsidia. There was a choice of about 4-5 restaurants and we had an excellent and relaxing meal at one of them.

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  • janchan's Profile Photo

    The Minoan civilization

    by janchan Updated Sep 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The most brilliant Aegean island civilization, however, was the Cretan or Minoan civilization which flourished in Crete mainly in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and took its name from the legendary king of Knossos, Minos.
    They built magnificent palaces, such as those of Knossos, Phaestos, Malia and Zakros.

    It suddenly and misteriously disappeared at the end of 1500 B.C. after the volcanic eruption of Thera (Santorini) which, according to one view, also caused the destruction of Crete.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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  • janchan's Profile Photo

    Old monasteries

    by janchan Updated Sep 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you have the possibility to rent a car, you can visit the old monasteries (most of them orthodox) placed in the most remote and scenic valleys and mountains of the interior of the island.

    Some of them can be quite hard to reach, even by car.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel

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