One of the biggest islands in Greece is Crete and with that territory comes a more developed island with all your typical high street retailers. There are also some delicious restaurants or tavernas as locals call them, hidden from the main path to the fountain within in Heraklion, the main city. There are archaeological treasures in the main fort that have been restored and displayed in a free exhibition. Crete was a port that many ships used to stop and refill on supplies that used to be contained in pottery jars.
There are also ruins from 1900 B.C. 30 minutes outside the city in Knossos. There is a lot of history in Crete that has survived earthquakes and the occasional invasion over thousands of years. Greek mythology explains that Zeus was hidden in a cave in Crete so he would’t be devoured by the antagonist, Kouretes. Later he returned and had a son Minos with Europa who turned the island into a mighty empire of the sea. Now days the island is a a reflection of the wealthy neolithic civilisation that once was.
One of the best features of the island are the beaches that are scattered across the island like Elafonisi and even a fresh water lake Lake Korunas. The beaches are more relaxed than some of the other islands that are more like night clubs with a less glitzy crowd.
Church in the city
Ouzo and rice wrapped in vine leaves with greek yoghurt
If you are there for a few days, renting a car is the best option. If you don’t have much time there are hop on hop off busses that can take you to all the main areas. Visiting the areas furtherest away first that you want to see will mean that you won’t miss out as the busses run until about 4pm. They can also take you to the beaches just outside the city if you are looking for a more relaxing day.
It isn’t that easy to find good local food and escape the chain restaurants that you find everywhere. Antipodas was great (Korai 13 Plateia Korah,Heraklion) and otherwise Tipadvisor has an extensive list to consider.