Starting to write about Crete is a difficult task. I really do not know where to begin with! The sea and the soil are not the only elements of this special land. Crete is an island with beautiful people, beautiful places and wonderful lifestyle.
When I first visited Crete, I wondered if this was the magical place that all my friends were talking about. I stayed in a few places in Heraklion, but I was frustrated at the beginning. I will not hide it. However, when I started to observe the locals and the permanent smile on their faces, I began to wonder if I did something wrong. And it didn’t take long to figure out that indeed the mistake was mine.
You should let yourself be fashinated by this place. You must visit the country side and escape from the everyday life. You must also visit the hundreds of villages near the sea or on the mountains, with the most genuine people.
I would love to describe all the places in Crete, but since its imposible for me, I decided to say a few words about Heraklion. It doesn’t give you the right impressions at first. But walking through the alleys, exploring the walls around the city center, tasting raki and traditional Cretan dishes, like apaki and antikristo, you realize that the Cretan people know the way to a happy life and they only need a few things to become really happy. And I’m starting to believe that this is the secret of this unique place.
There is no better therapy than a morning walk at 6 o clock , even before the sun comes out, to Koule, located at the harbor entrance and is a 4 km route, offering a unique view of the city and its awakens. Then take a walk in the square of the lions, the meeting place of all the locals, and enjoy a coffee in a forgotten traditional cafe, behind the church of Saint Mina, the city’s patron.
If you plan to visit Heraklion in summer, get ready for an almost unbearable heat! It is a traditional Greek destination and the weather will encourage you to enjoy the beaches. The beaches near the city are not the best you can find. But you can go to Agia Pelagia by car or by bus, which is located at the west of Heraklion, about half an hour away. I would also recommend you to get your friends and go to the southern part of the prefecture of Heraklion. There are pristine, beautiful beaches like those on the cardpostals.
I wish I could give you more advices on how to move on Crete. But you do not need them anyway! The pleasure is bigger if you discover it yourself. Besides, you have nothing to worry about in this city. It is the city where humanity still exists.