Do you have an occasion worthy of special celebration coming up? There’s nothing like celebrating in an extraordinary setting to make it truly memorable and unique. Here are our 8 reasons to celebrate in Crete.
8 Reasons to Celebrate in Crete
1. The excitement of holiday plus the comfort of home
In a gorgeous villa, you have the luxury of really having quality time with your family and friends, without the obligations of home, and without the sometimes frantic schedule travel demands. Celebrating on a villa in Crete offers the best of both- the exotic location and exciting diversions of a holiday, and the complete relaxation of having a well-appointed home away from home, where all you need to focus on is the people you are with.
2. The flexibility of a home
There’s something incredibly liberating about being away from your usual environment with fewer responsibilities. But you also want to comfort and flexibility a villa offers. For instance, if you’re having a family reunion in Crete, a villa give you the opportunity to let you have breakfast when you like, and not worry about finding a restaurant for dinner unless you want to.
3. Why abroad?
Sometimes, the people who are closest to in heart us are not actually that close, geographically. We travel anyway in order to spend time together. But rather than taking turns traveling or hosting, maybe everyone should travel, and no one should host. A family reunion in Crete means all play, and no work.
4. Why Crete?
This fabulous island has a distinctive culture. It has everything you love about Greece, but in a slightly amplified version. The landscape is more rugged. The people are famously brave. The figs are sweeter; the wine is richer, and the lyre is played here like nowhere else in Greece. Even the archaeology is different. The mainland may have the Acropolis and the glorious ruins of classical Greece, but Crete has the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization, like the palace of Knossos- blood red, and steeped in mysteries of the labyrinth and the Minotaur.
5. Variety of Experience
Crete is a place that’s just as perfectly suited to a multi-generational family reunion as it is to a lively bachelor or bachelorette trip, or a reunion of old friends wanting to have a new experience. This is because the island excels in every direction: sophisticated luxury, rustic authenticity, quality nightlife, and cultural enrichment.
6. A landscape to conquer
Crete is rugged and exciting! In addition to the many watersports and pleasures of the endless beaches, there are the famous mountains- like Psiloritis (Mt. Ida), and gorges- like the world famous, glorious Samaria gorge. Lush forests, streams, and many famous caves are waiting to be explored. Crete is an ideal destination for hiking, caving, biking- anything to get your adrenaline pumping and your spirits soaring– perfect for group bonding activities.
7. Live- and shop- like a local and discover true Cretan delights
To really partake of a culture, you need to eat well. The Mediterranean diet is at its apex in Crete- the olive oil is excellent, the greens and herbs are gathered from the mountains, the fish freshly caught, the cheeses homemade. With your own Cretan villa, you are not dependent on tavernas for meals- you can explore the local farmers markets, bakeries, and specialty shops to discover the best in local products. Crete, in addition to having Greek cuisine, has some standout specialties of its own. Famous for goat herding, the island has some incredible cheeses- try “myzithra”- a creamy soft goats’ cheese with a gentle tang, which is used in salads or in crisp fried “kalitsounia” pies.
There’s also graviera- a semi hard cheese that the locals sometimes eat drenched in honey. Speaking of honey, theirs is excellent- the bees adore the pollen of the wild thyme, and you can taste the sweet mountain fragrance in their honey. Try some tiny “tsakistes”- the word means “smashed” and refers to the small green olives hat are crushed a little in order to let the lemon or bitter orange they are soaked in to seep in completely for a zingy delight. There’s good bread too, but Cretans also specialize in barley rusks- a wholesome and delicious alternative to the crouton, good for soaking up all the juices in a tomato salad.
8. …and drink like a local
Crete is known for “tsicoudia”- a fiery distilled spirit of grapes of outstanding purity. This is always enjoyed with food on the side- often in the mountains the famers and herders have it with peanuts salted in the shell, and it is also served in with meals. Their wines are excellent too. If you see a wine that is a pale brownish red- like a sherry- point to it and ask for some. This is “mavroudi”—an ancient wine with a rich aroma liked to sherry or even cognac. It is potent- made to be savored slowly. Both mavroudi and tsicoudia are usually not bottled- they are lovingly made by small producers, and sold in recycled plastic soda bottles. Cheers!
We hope that our 8 reasons to celebrate in Crete will inspire you to plan your next holiday reunion in Greece.