Crete is a hotspot for talent; there are plenty of celebrities who have come from Crete, as well as celebrities who like to holiday in Crete. Why not consider a cultural tour of Crete, inspired by its most famous people? You might find yourself adventuring in the ancient Psychro Cave, or relaxing in the gentle pools of Elounda. Perhaps you’ll even walk in the footsteps of some of the famous names mentioned below.
Maro Douka is an author from the coastal region of Chania in Crete. She spent her formative years here before moving to Athens in central Greece. She has written a good many books, short stories and even contributed to theatre. If you fancy reading some of her books during your stay in Crete, you might enjoy Come Forth, King and Fool’s Gold, both of which have been translated into English.
In Chania you will find the beautiful Venetian Harbour with its many seafront restaurants. There are a variety of churches, museums and craft stores for you to enjoy, and if you’re hankering for a picturesque viewpoint for taking selfies, there is also the Venizelos Graves.
King Minos is a famous figure from Greek mythology who ruled over Crete. There are a variety of stories surrounding this popular figure – including that he was a son of Zeus – but the most famous story is about the labyrinth and the Minotaur.
In this tale, Minos fails to sacrifice a bull to the God Poseidon, who then curses Minos by imbuing his wife with a lust for bulls. When Pasiphae (Minos’ Wife) finally satiates her desire, the minotaur is born from her illicit union. The minotaur was then placed in the labyrinth on Crete by Minos, where several youths were sacrificed to it every year. That is, until the hero Theseus vanquished the beast.
You can still visit the Palace of Minos at Knossos in Crete. It’s thought that the city of Knossos once held around 18,000 people in 2000 BC, which is thought to be around the time when the first Cretan palaces were constructed.
Psarantonis is a famous Cretan composer and singer. His favoured instrument is the lyre, a bowed string instrument. He is the brother of another famous lyre player, Nikos Xylouris, and his younger brother, Yiannis, is also a popular musician.
Psaratonis was born in the village of Anogeia in Crete in 1942, only a couple of years before the village was completely destroyed in the Second World War. Anogeia has since been rebuilt and is known for its farmers’ charm, Cretan weavings and musicians.
The mythical figure of the God Zeus is also a Cretan. Zeus was born in Psychro Cave in the easternmost region of Crete – Lasithi. This area is known for being the least tourist friendly, but many tourists still venture out to visit Psychro Cave, Elounda, Sissi, and many more. If you’re looking for beaches in Eastern Crete, you couldn’t go far wrong with the crystal clear waters at Vai.
The walk to Psychro cave can be around 20-30 minutes, depending on your fitness and where you park. There is a small café at the top of the hill, so you can be fully refreshed following your walk. The cave costs six euros to enter and, despite being quite small, is full of geological curiosities. This is a must-see for geology buffs and literature fans alike.
If you’re a literature buff, you might be inspired by the works of Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize winner of 1979, Odysseus Elytis. While the majority of his works remain inaccessible to monolingual English readers, The Axiom Esti was translated into English in the 1980s. His work is a big name in romantic modernism in Greece, not something to be missed if you’re interested in the Romantic movements.
Odysseus Was born in Heraklion which is the fourth largest city in all of Greece, and also the administrative capital of Crete. Heraklion is close to the ruins of Knossos, where King Minos once ruled. If you are flying to Crete, you might touch down at the Heraklion International Airport. Alternatively, there are also a variety of ferries and boats which leave from Heraklion’s port, making Heraklion a truly beautiful place to spend an afternoon watching the ships over an outdoor lunch.
Celebrity Hotspot – Elounda
If you can’t get enough of Eastern Crete, you might like to visit the fishing town of Elounda. Elounda is known as a hotspot for modern touring celebrities who are looking to take a break away from their adoring masses. Big names such as Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio have been known to visit Elounda’s coastline and coves.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Crete during your adventures, why not choose one of our holiday villas in Crete. We have plenty of beautiful villas, including properties by the sea and villas with pools. Why not consider taking your hobby along with you on your holiday in Crete? Perhaps you’ll return home an expert.