Crete Island is a world within a world. A paradise to live out fantasies and dreams from childhood. The largest of the Greek islands, this is the land the ancient Egyptians called Keftiu. Once the center of the mighty Minoan Civilization, it’s a vacation getaway rolled up in myths, covered in hidden nature gems, and famous for Cretan hospitality. It’s the end of July now, so we thought we share some sweet highlights from the island via Instagram.
One of Crete’s most unique places, Sitia is picturesque and something more. The vibe of the town is just surreal. Quiet, laid back, and somehow exciting, the town of about 10,000 has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Legend has it, Sitia was the home of Myson of Chen, who was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. In Minoan times the port was called Iteia. As you can see from the Instagram sweetness below, the town also has a population of friendly cats.
For those who’ve never been, Loutro in Crete’s Sfakia region, is maybe the most transformative place to stay in all Greece. Accessible only by boat (unless you’re a Billy goat), the tiny fishing village is a retro paradise. The village takes its name from the Greek word for “bath,” because of the many ancient baths found in the area. This postcard perfect little town sits on the former site of the ancient city of Phoenix (Finikas), which was the port town of ancient Anopolis. If adventure and legend are your thing, Saracen pirates once used Loutro as a lair to attack ships sailing to and from the ports on the south of Crete.
Preveli is a natural wonder. Located beneath the historic St. John the Theologian on Crete’s south coast, Preveli Beach and lagoon are sometimes referred to as “Palm Beach”. The river that exits the mouth of the Kourtaliótiko gorge and into the Libyan Sea is one of those places visitors simply must visit. As you can tell from the sweet Instagram below, when you catch yourself alone here, visions of Eden are bound to happen. Legend has it, the Greek hero Odysseus stayed here at the end of the Trojan War, on his return to Ithaca from Troy.
Ahh! What can I say? I tried hard to get my best friend to invest the peanuts it would take to own a section of this amazing beach. He’s busy building an Airbnb empire in North Carolina and isn’t interested. For anyone who is, just contact me! It’s a place that corresponds to the name of my youngest son, for those out there who know me. I’ll let the Instagram below speak for the sweetness of the spot.
Another hidden Crete gem, Katholiko Beach is a small private stretch of sand and stones at the tip of the Akrotiri Peninsula in Chania prefecture. It used to be part of the monastery of the same name, but Also in the area are numerous natural and historic attractions like the cave of Saint John the Hermit, the Cave Arkoudiotissa with the ancient temple of Artemis, and Monastery Katholiko, just to name a few. Getting to the beach is quite a hike, but the journey is well worth it as you can see. To find out more, and form more photos, Elizabeth Real Estate Agency has some great info here.
Crete has a lesser publicized value that really sets the island far apart from many other Greece destinations. As a family paradise, I doubt there is a better place on the planet to enjoy a vacation or a lifetime. We moved here four years ago because of this, and because Poseidon made us. Seriously, as you can see in the share below, the island is a playground like no other. The testimony in the Sfakia share, says it all.
Photo credit: Katholiko Seitan feature image – Courtesy Notos Mare Marine Adventures