As a magnification of all of Greece’s Aegean glory, boasting soul-thumping history, agonisingly beautiful scenery and gastronomy to-die-for, Crete dials your Greek experience up to 11. The one caveat, however, to a tour of Crete is the finite supply of one key resource: time. To truly appreciate Crete, in all its historic, gastronomic and oceanic glory, travellers need to either move fast and cover vast distances, or take the time to walk through the ages. With the remants of the island’s Minoan, Venetian, Roman and Byzantine culture on show across the country, the option of taking a tour that gets you to any one location quickly – leaving time for appreciation and a shot of ouzo or two – is well worth considering.
With the promising title of ”Summer Bed under the Stars,” a woman from the town of Paleocastro, near Heraklion, aims to attract tourists who wish to experience Crete’s hospitality …without the benefit of a roof. The woman, who rents her bed in the backyard of her property, describes it on *Airbnb* as a beautiful and warm bed ”which is only one hundred meters from the beach, and thirteen kilometers (eight miles) from the city of Heraklion.” Photo by airbnb She also promises that whoever rents her bed will be able to ”dream under thousands of stars of the night sky.” The bed comes with the “luxury” of a shared kitchen, a toilet and a bathroom. However, the property owner charges only €32 per night*.!!!!!!! Airbnb* informs the people who are interested in this ”property,” that the amenities, unfortunately, do not include air-conditioning, television, heating or a fire alarm. Also, if the visitor desires the luxury services of cleaning, he or she will have to pay €41 per night! People have actually stayed at the property already, and taken advantage of her outdoor bed under the stars, with the resulting reviews being quite favorable. One reviewer notes that everything was good, apart from the fact that an avenue was nearby, and the noise was “quite annoying.” Another wrote that he slept there for one night, remarking that ”the garden was marvelous” and the experience unforgettable. In these days of “anything goes” tourism, this canopied bed under the Cretan sky looks like an inviting alternative for adventurous travelers.
The *Greek* island of *Crete* has just been voted the fifth best of all the world’s top destinations in TripAdvisor’s recent “Best Destinations in the World …Crete was featured among the most well-known and popular tourist destinations anywhere on the globe including London, Paris, Barcelona, Bali and New York. According to Stavros Arnaoutakis, the local governor of Crete, the TripAdvisor award is an indicator of the excellent job that has been done in promoting the island as a spectacular destination, with much to offer tourists. The island’s authorities, along with the Greek Ministry of Tourism, work closely together to promote Cretes’ tourist product. The first three places on the TripAdvisor award list were taken by Paris, London, and Rome, while destinations such as Istanbul, Tokyo and New York ranked lower than Crete on the list. Crete and Bali, Indonesia were the only two island destinations to be featured in the top ten locations this year.
THE biggest Greek Island and the fifth biggest island in the Med, Crete has endless vast landscapes and dramatic coastline to explore. Head there to discover the island’s ancient history, eat delicious Greek food and kick back on white sandy beaches. You can enjoy year-round mild temperatures – 23 to 29C from May to October – and a just under four-hour flight from the UK. Where to start? We’ve narrowed it down with our guide to the best holiday spots on the island. Heraklion area The most popular part of the island is the area around Crete’s capital, Heraklion, which is home to bustling resorts with lively nightlife but also traditional villages and quieter areas if you seek them out. Around Lasithi in the east is arguably the most authentic part of Crete with traditional villages, ancient sites and unspoiled beaches. The upmarket resort town of Agios Nikolaos sits on a hillside with stunning views of Mirabello Bay and Lake Voulismeni – A charming seaside town with a colourful harbour and traditional Greek tavernas, Elounda is a picturesque spot to stay with access to the famous Spinalonga Island. But best of all is at Milatos at Kiveli apts from £20 pn – for a self catering apartment