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Crete

Crete, due to its geographical position, and climatotological conditions, average temperature in winter months 15o C, sea temperature 15.66o C, perfectly ‘fits’ the needs of senior people. It’s climate is considered one of the mildest and healthiest of Europe’s, but Crete offers also rich flora & fauna and different species of pharmaceutical plants. Among all,  products such as the olive oil, the fresh fruits and vegetables, the milk-products, reinforce the stay in Crete. At last, a sense of security comes from the various medical institutions and centers
which can provide assistance in case of emergency.

Religious

Crete is not just another island of the eastern Mediterranean, but a crossroad of civilization and religion. A sacred place where Gods were born and great civilizations grew up in an old era. In a  minoan necropolis, we still see traces that were left by Minoan priests, up on the mountains, down to the forests and in nature, maybe because they adored  nature as well.

Cretan sanctuaries of the era were famous; Worshippers from all over the world, arrived at that time in the island in order to bow in front of the cave where Zeus was born, up in the sacred mountain of Psiloritis, offering important  commemorative gifts to the great God.  On this island of endless religious memories from the ancient world, arrived apostle Paul in 60 A.D. He first visited southern Crete, the port of Kali Limenes. The new religion began to spread over, and christians loved God with their hearts and minds.

From the 10th century, the christian monuments multiplied; New byzantine churches were constructed and Byzantine Art expanded. But the byzantine period didn’t last long. Soon the island was conquered by the Venetians who were stayed until 1669, when the Turks occupied the island. That was a period of a very intense religious life. Hundreds of monasteries operated in the island at that time. The cretan monasteries didn’t function only as religious centers, but as cultural and strategic poles . Great painters took over the hagiography of the temples and many  monasteries operated as educational centers. Angelos, whose paintings are found in central Crete, and Michael Damaskinos, teacher of  El Greco, are characteristic examples of great religious painters. Although  many of the monasteries were totally destroyed by the Turkish conquest,  there are still some that offer us the possibility to taste cultural treasures and feel a strong sense of religious life as it was expressed in the orthodox world within the strict rules of the monks.

Some of the great important monasteries are:

In Chania:

  • Moni Gonias
  • Moni Chryssopigis
  • Ag. Trias
  • Meleha Kydonias
  • Gouverneto

In Rethymno:

  • Preveli
  • Arkadi
  • Agia Irini
  • Moni Arcaniou

Inland Crete:

  • Odigitrias
  • Moni Vrontisiou
  • Paliani
  • Varsamonerou
  • Epanosifi
  • Agarathou
  • Ag. Aikaterini
  • Heraklion

In Lassithi:

  • Moni Keras
  • Moni Kroustalleni

In Sitia:

  • Moni Toplou

Medical

Crete, being away from the mainland but having a significant number of population, is today  self-sufficient in high level of  medical services of high level. During the last 15years there has been great development both of the University of Crete and the Health Sciences which have reached international recognition. Medical services are provided by the existing Hospital University, Institute of Molecular Biology, Electronic Structure and Laser, and of the Medical school. Thalassotherapy Centers and an extensive range of alternative medicine are also available all year round on the island. Based on the concept of prevention rather than cure, health centers offer among other forms of treatment, osteopathy, homeopathy, phytotherapies, physiotherapy, magnetotherapy,  hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

Sports

For Sports lovers, who like to combine the visit with the satisfaction of a favorite sport, Crete offers many opportunities. Free diving in extremely rich sea beds, mountain bike rides in beautiful landscapes, parapente and trekking in high hills are some of the activities one can enjoy on the island. Also, in the last few years, Crete has developed sporting activities of international standards.

Some of our sport suggestions include:

  • Windsurfing - Sailing
  • Auto-racing
  • Marathon Running
  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Cycling
  • Chess
  • Horse riding
  • Tennis
  • Delta - Parapente

Eco- Tourism & Mountaineering

There are many and various ways for someone to get acquainted with Crete. But one  way in which it can reveal the secrets of the cretan nature and the soul of its citizens in mountaineering. This is the one that gives you free and direct contact with nature, the one that offers you  travel in the various landscapes of the island and allows you to establish relationship with the locals who compose a live continuation of a long lasting history full of myths and legends.

The landscape is variable; high mountains, harsh gorges, primitive nature, isolated sandy beaches, palm trees, castles, ancient cypress trees, abandoned villages and many more elements which all contribute to create this unique Cretan environment. Slopes and innumerable new and existing ancient  paths , can be followed and lead visitors to natural beauties and to traces of ancient civilizations.

Agrotourism

Develops the local community, maintain traditional arts, preserves people’s memory with the revival of traditional events and finaly is a communication channel among isolated populated areas while in the meantime gives life perspective to young people. Agrotourism offers comfortable accommodation, recreation facilities, relaxation, local traditional cuisine, cultural events and  places of  unique beauty.

Culture

Important archeological and historical research has brought to surface rare and unique treasures data and archeological findings which concerns all cultures that flourished in the country from the minoan era to today. Great civilizations were developed and left behind traces of their material and spiritual achievements, which are exhibited in the museums or in private collections. Such places of great importance are found on the island of Crete where one of the oldest civilization was born. The magnificent  minoan civilization, considered as the most ancient of all Europe. The symbol of the era, the minoan Palace of Knossos along with the archeological musuem of Heraklion, are among the most important historical sites of the world.

Above all, Crete offers generously, is the enjoyment of a unique gastronomic tradition called the  Mediterranean Diet. The diet is exclusively based on products cultivated on the island and it is considered the healtiest nutrition in the world. The most important and famous of the products is  olive oil, and certainly the wine which is still produced a way which entails the knowledge and experience of 4000 years.
The secret of the cretan nature,  the herbs, grow on plains and mountains and are well known for their pharmaceutical, digestive and tonic effect.

An  appropriate season to discover this other side of Crete can also be the winter.

Winter visitors’ choose from Crete the sun, the contact with the local residents,the ancient cultures and traditions, the cretan hospitality,the local art unique in variety and the wealth of flora & fauna. The island offers all necessary requirements to be considered as a winter destination. The mild Mediterranean climate initiates visitors to discover real nature and traditional activities.