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Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean, its culture and civilisation
offer a unique atmosphere with mountains and picturesque fishing villages, the two
Venetian ports at Hania and Rethimno. A beautiful and unpolluted island, it is unspoiled
for the main part from mass tourism. The island is lush and green in the North West,
wild and rugged in the South which has superb unspoiled beaches and the climate
is warm and dry. 12c in winter at the lowest and up to 30c in the summer, with more
than 330 days of sunshine every year. North and South are divided by two spectacular mountain ranges, the
Lefka Ori and Oros Idi, and they are snow capped from early December to late May.
Many people think that the East of Crete, the province of Lassithi is touristic
and spoilt because they might only pass through the main road from the airport and
see villages like Hersonissos and Malia, however only 1km inland or seawards from
the main road there are many unspoiled Cretan villages where property prices are
still exceedingly low.
The coastline soon after passing Agios Nikolaos is majestic and rocky slopes go
down to a sparkling blue sea interspersed with little sandy coves. Sitia in the
far East of the island has lots of gorgeous sandy beaches, some of them completely
deserted. The airport has recently been extended making it more accessible but as
flight paths cannot cross the land in Crete there is no flight path problem. The
South East of Crete is also comparatively quiet, with many splendid beaches.
The South West of Crete is also very unspoiled but it is necessary to reach there
by winding roads through the mountains so that a journey of only 35kms can take
one hour, but it is worth it for the breathtaking views of the beautifully clean
On the North West coast of Crete there are the two major towns of Hania and Rethimno
both having quaint, historic "old towns" where there is plenty of night
life and activity and both have sandy beaches walking distance away. However just
a few kilometres from both towns it is possible to step back in time very quickly
and the whole of Crete is dotted about with little villages) some of which seem
untouched by this or the last century.
The capital of Crete, Hiraklion, should not be forgotten. It is not a very pretty
city but it does have interesting museums and of course it is the jumping off point
for Knossos - not to be missed by any visitor to Crete.
Crete is very fertile, producing its own very excellent wines, olives, olive oil,
honey, gorgeous organic vegetables, fruits and yoghurts. Most Cretans live to a
very old age because of the healthy lifestyle and diet. The sea is unpolluted as
there is no industry there, it is mainly an agricultural island.
At the moment there are only direct flights to Crete from the end of March
until the end of October (plus some charters during
the Christmas period) and during the winter it is necessary to change planes at
either Athens or Amsterdam. However, Crete is to be served by scheduled flights
from the UK for the first time next summer. British Airways franchise carrier GB
Airways is to fly to the Greek island twice a week with return fares starting at
£129.00. The Gatwick-Heraklion link is due to start next May with flights on Tuesdays
and Fridays. GB will offer a two-class service to distinguish itself from charter
flights which currently provide the only non-stop air links between the UK and Crete.
Easyjet have daily day flights from Luton airport and it is easy to pick up an internal
Athens to Crete flight when you get there or book in advance.
Although the season officially finishes at the end of October, the actual winter
is very short, and many people still swim into the middle of December. Night falls
about 5.30 p.m. in the middle of winter so there is still a lot more daylight than
in Northern Europe, and when the sun is out the weather can be glorious in winter.
Also the island is quite lively, friendly and laid back out of season.
The Cost of Living
Studies indicate that the cost of living in Crete is about 30% lower than Cyprus,
while Cyprus is 30% lower than Spain and Portugal. Over and above the lower cost
of living, the buyer will be amazed of how inexpensive prime real property is in
There is diverse landscape and environment. Crete has lovely beaches, majestic mountain
peaks, some capped with snow until early June, impressive gorges, hidden caves,
ancient sites, picturesque and literally untouched villages of character and tradition.
Winters are without hazardous road conditions, imagine no freezing fog or black
ice, and summers without rain, on average there is 310 days of sun.
Region Information - Chania