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Experience Crete from Your Home


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

There is so much that you can do and experience in Crete, so you have tons of choices when it comes to mimicking a trip there in your home.

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"If there was one word to describe the Greek island of Crete, it would be "diverse." Sandy beaches hide among soaring mountains, palm tree forests grow in the middle of sprawling plains, bustling modern cities share coastlines with centuries-old structures. And speaking of cities — in Crete, they reflect the people that came before. The streets are lined with architecture mirroring the styles of the Minoans, the Venetians and the Ottomans, as well as contemporary Greeks. Despite the visible contradictions, this island maintains a sense of unity, felt whenever you step onto the street, dine at a local taverna, or enjoy a glass of raki at a sidewalk café."
U.S. News

READ MORE: Crete Travel Guide

Here are some ideas of foods to eat and things to do to pretend like you are on the island of Crete!

Authentic Cretan Salad: Dakos

"First of all it’s been described as a Greek bruschetta, but it isn’t, it is a bit different. Here’s what it is: Dakos specifically refers to a recipe that uses the famous Cretan barley rusks. These rusks are made with whole grain barley flour, water and salt. They are super hard and super healthy. Also dakos includes olive oil, tomato, and crumbled cheese, traditionally this cheese is Cretan mitzithra but you often see it (outside of Crete) made with feta.

And that’s it. Sometimes there may be a few capers scattered around, but really it is just tomato, rusk and olive oil."

Olive Tomato

Cretan Sweet Cheese Pastries Recipe (Kalitsounia)

"Extremely soft and highly addictive! These delicious little cheese pastries are a holiday tradition from the island of Crete, but nowadays they are eaten almost everywhere throughout the year at times of celebration. Kalitsounia are traditionally made with the fresh soft variety of myzithra cheese (not the salty type), but if you can’t find it, try them with some Italian mascarpone or ricotta. Serve as a delicious dessert with a drizzle of warm honey and a sprinkle of powder cinnamon. Enjoy!"

My Greek Dish

Cretan Raki (Tsikoudia), Ouzo

"Tsikoudia and Ouzo are the most popular and traditional Cretan Spirits. Tsikoudia and Ouzo are the traditional drinks which can be found in every household in Crete. Almost every family with vineyards produce their own homemade tsikoudia and is usually offered to welcome guests, serve it before a meal accompanying starters or after dinner, as an aperitif, with fruit or dessert."

My Cretan Goods

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Learn About Architecture in Crete

"A drive around Crete island will bring you to many Venetian castles and towers. These castles were later reconstructed by the Ottomans, who followed the Venetians on the rule of the island. The Ottoman occupation lasted from the 16th till the late 19th century and also influenced a lot the architecture of Crete. Many mosques were constructed, baths and public buildings, many of which survive till present.

Today the traditional architecture of Crete is better seen in the mountainous villages. These authentic villages distinguish for the narrow streets, the small squares and the stone houses. The most typical scene in these villages is old men sitting in the square and chatting over a coffee."


Take a Virtual Tour Through the Cretan Art Museums

This excerpt was written by Cretico.

Woodcarving Museum In Axos, Rethymno

Woodcarving is a really important part of Crete culture and arts! In the Woodcarving Museum of Axos in Mylopotamos, at the foot of Psiloritis, are exposed more than a hundred sculptures, handmade artwork created with hammer and a chisel. Visitors have the opportunity to be guided in the museum and the workshop by the artist himself, George Koutantos and discover unique traditional, folkloric, social and historical elements. The dimensions of the sculptures are in life- size and some of them are presented in a larger format. The wood used to create these works was mostly collected from dry trees or trees uprooted by natural disasters.

Musical Ιnstruments Museum In Krousonas, Heraklion

Continuing our tour in Crete culture and arts, we present to you the Museum of Musical Instruments and Traditional Music. It is located in the square of the Holy Trinity in the village of Krousonas, housed in a renovated traditional house. The main purpose of the museum is the acquaintance of the locals and tourists with the Greek Folk Music and its familiarity with traditional instruments of Greece and the neighboring countries. The ambition of the locals is the museum to be emerged in a cradle of culture through various events and activities of traditional music.

READ MORE: Tour In The Arts And Culture Of Crete