This Traveling Writer’s Guide To Crete was created specifically with the needs of a writer in mind. A traveling writer needs to know the history, where to find inspiration, a great place to write, and a great place to lay their head. That way all your energy can funnel into creating!
It is believed that early hominids settled on Crete, as stone tools dating back 130,000 years have been found there. However human settlement seems to have begun around 6500 BCE. Three thousand years later, the Minoan civilization began. Artifacts from this time were just tombs and cases however 1000 years later the Minoans built palaces, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and metalwork.
Crete was inhabited mostly by Minoan until around 1500 BCE when the Mycenae came to Crete and introduced a form of writing used for record keeping. Then after a major earthquake, the Mycenaeans took hold of the area. After this time, around 1200 BCE, the Dorians moved to the land as well.
Over the years, Crete was ruled by the Romans, Arabs, Venetians, and Turks, but never lost its Orthodox religion or Greek language. After expelling the Turks in 1898, Crete returned to Greek rule and was autonomous until it joined with Greece in 1913.
This site was once the Minoan capital of Crete. Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, and has been called Europe’s oldest city. It was inhabited as early as the Neolithic period. Within the city are the remains of an immense palace. Legend has it that this is where King Minos once kept his Minotaur.
The ruins of this ancient city date as far back as the 7th century BC, 3000 years ago. Aptera was once one of Crete’s most important cities but was destroyed in a major earthquake.
Lebena started as a health spa which used freshwater springs that were known for their healing properties. There are still remains of a 4th century BC temple, including mosaic floors which are still visible to this day.
This fortress was built in the 16th century and still stands prominently in the Old Harbor. The fortress helped defend the isnald from TUrkish attacks for 20 years. It eventually became a Turkish prison for rebelling Cretans. Within are 20 different restored rooms, some of which are used for art galleries.
One of the most awe inspiring allures of Crete are the amazing beaches. Many of which have caves, cliffs, and crystal clear waters. Below is a list of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Crete:
Aside from it’s beaches, Crete is known for its amazing food and outrageous portions. In addition, you will find that Greek hospitality is at its absolute finest in Crete. These restaurants in particular have the most incredible must-see views of the ocean below.
Crete is a very large island with endless beaches and therefore endless beachside restaurants. Unlike Santorini or Mykonos, these beach restaurants are much more casual and quaint, making it the perfect place to get in some writing. Here’s a list of some of our favorite beach side restaurants:
The interesting thing about Crete is the diversity of its scenery. There are cities like Hiraklion, yet beaches and port side towns like Chania. Within each of them you will find the most perfect cafe’s to get in some writing. Here’s a list of our favorite cafe’s in Crete:
Where To Stay
There are so many areas to stay in Crete, however if you intend to hold up somewhere incredibly gorgeous with nearby beach cafe’s and cliffside restaurants then Malvezzino Luxury Villas is the best. Each villa has multiple bedrooms rooms with work desks, living room, kitchen, fireplace, and a completely private infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. To visit here is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Anyone will tell you that if you visit Crete, you will want to rent a car. And they would be correct in telling you this. Crete is an incredibly large island with so many towns and beaches to explore. In fact it’s all but impossible to see everything in one trip. You can pick up a rental car at the airport however keep in mind that there are multiple airports in Crete so you will want to make your decisions based on where you will fly in and out of. If you do stay in Heraklion, be advised that driving within the city can be a bit tricky. However, there are parking garages available. If you plan to explore around the city (which you will likely want to do) then you will want a car. Otherwise, the city itself is very walkable.
When To Go
The best time to visit Crete is from the middle of May to June or from September to October. In May, there is warmer water and wildflowers. July and August get quite hot and bring in a large crowd of tourists, as with most European destinations. The weather does remain warm in September and October, with lower prices and much less crowds than the summer months.
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