Are you heading over to the enchanting island of Crete? This island is so rich in culture, history and beauty that some of its mysteries are bound to remain hidden forever. Before you go, however, you can still get to know Crete a little bit better! Take a look at our list of things you may not have known about this stunning island and enjoy it even more when the time to visit has finally arrived:
1. Zeus Was Born Here
At least according to legend! It’s said that Rhea gave birth to this god at Ideon Cave, located at Mount Ida, the highest mountain in Crete. Legend also says that Mount Ida sees the sun before the dawn, which helped expand the myths surrounding Zeus, the Father of the Gods.
2. ‘Yes’ Means No
An upward movement of the head – combined with the eyebrows – means ‘no’ in Crete. There are different ways to do this and different types of ‘no’ to convey, so it can get confusing at times! While you don’t have to learn Greek to enjoy your holiday, you might want to learn to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in Greek before you go!
3. You’ll Get Free Raki and Dessert
It’s common for restaurants to offer complimentary raki and dessert, so don’t be surprised if someone appears at your table with this delicious drink and tasty sweets! Because food portions are so generous in Crete – just like locals – you might not have enough space to actually want dessert or even an alcoholic drink.
4. 10% of Plants are Endemic
This means that, from the total indigenous flora of 1,600 species, 10% of them can only be found in Crete and nowhere else in the world. This is mainly due to the relative isolation of the island, which resulted in many unique geographical, cultural, faunal and floral features. This biodiversity only makes it more important to practice sustainable tourism.
5. There’s so Much Blue All Around You
You could kind of guess this one… Crete is an island and, therefore, surrounded by water. Still, it’s surrounded by some of the clearest, bluest water you’ll have the pleasure to gaze upon. Even though it might be tempting, you have to resist the urge of just jumping in the ocean whenever you feel like it!
6. There’s Only One Freshwater Lake
Yes, you read that correctly. There is only one freshwater lake in all of Crete, called Lake Kournas, which has a perimeter of 3.5km. you can get on a paddle boat this summer and enjoy the truly amazing sights, as the lake is surrounded by beautiful green hills.
7. Olive Oil is in Everything
Being a Mediterranean island, Crete is rich in olives and olive oil, and it shows in Cretan cuisine! No matter if you’re having a fish, meat or vegetarian dish, you’ll consume more olive oil than you’re used to by experimenting local cuisine. And that’s okay. This oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid, so it’s healthy and offers health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol.
Do you have more unique facts about Crete to add to our list? Have you been to Crete recently and want to share your experience (perhaps you even got married here)? Or are you still looking to go and need to sort a few things out, like accommodation? Give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to talk to you at any time!