Zakros is one of those places people discover because they are seeking something apart. Most people who come to Crete island never heard of the place, and few actually visit. But this protected harbor was one of the most important port cities of the Bronze Age, when the Minoans traded with the known world. Located in the far southeast of the island, the town sports a fabulous Minoan Palace, breathtaking nature, and a sunrise like no other place in the world.
One of my favorite places on Crete is the tiny speck of a seaside village named Sougia. At the end of a winding gorge, on a road that appears to go straight to nowhere, lies this quiet, unassuming, and magnificent village. As you can see from the share below, the south coast village has a lot going for it. Myth has it, that the village was the home of the Cyclops in Odysseus’ adventure, but I have yet to see the giant myself.
Have you ever wanted to go someplace where they just don’t care? I’m not talking about a place where people are obtuse or self immersed. What I mean is a place where you can be you and feel like you belong too. On the north coast of Crete, a few minutes from the capital of Heraklion, there’s a fishing village called Milatos where life is just life. The share below shows a bit of this carefree spirit. I would love to have a house in Milatos.
Another one of my favorite towns on Crete is Kissamos. Famous for its main attraction Balos Lagoon, the municipality has a lot more to offer than most visitors realize. This share from our friends at Paragliding Crete Power Fly shows off some of the stunning landscape.
In the heart of the island, the Amari Valley is a place of so many wonders. They say the god Zeus played here as a child. When you visit, you’ll understand why this makes total sense. There’s Minoan history here in the Palace at Monastiraki. The Cretan resistance heroes are remembered here, for both the Ottoman and the Nazi occupations of the island. Arkadi Monastery is one of Greece’s most famous. And Patsos Gorge is truly an Eden-like garden of magic. When you go, stay with my friend Lambros and his family at Aravanes. You will never want to leave this place. And no, I am not ashamed to promote them. I would be letting you down if I did not. Really.
Here’s a recommendation for you. Fly to Crete. Book a luxurious suite at the amazing Fodele Beach Holiday Resort (below). Then for lunch or dinner, drive or bike up the river to the village of Fodele, the birthplace of the master painter El Greco. Our friend Eleni who owns Giasemí Taverna is absolutely an angel of Crete cuisine mercy. (order the lambchops – best in all Crete).
When you are done stuffing yourself, travel farther upstream and burn off those calories in a separate world from the luxurious one you left at stunning Fodele Beach. Santorinios Gorge and the surroundings are something out of a Hollywood flick about the dawn of time. If primeval fit anyplace on Crete, this dividing line of landscapes and lifestyles is it.