Greece, Crete: Trip to the Largest Greek Island II.
Last week we have lured to you to our trip to Crete. This hilly island hides many things, no healthy tourist would miss that. Today we will take a look on one of the largest cities of Crete, Rethymno. First, we will talk about local cuisine. Next week will visit some landmarks.
Rethymno On the north coast of Crete, about halfway between the capital Heraklion , which lies to the west, and Chania in the east. p>
Once in the city center, you'll notice the omnipresent tourist noise. Crowds of tourists flowing aimlessly through the streets, photographing, examining the souvenir shops, monuments, fountains and probably drinking a cold drink or attempts to cool the ice cream.
The major boulevards of Rethymno are quite crowded with shops of all kinds. There you will find shops selling newspapers, magazines, books, mainly in English, German, Russian, and Greek, but it is not rare here to see a book on Greek cuisine in Czech or various guide books or readers in an attractive and readable form about Greek mythology.
But what the streets of a relatively small historical center of Rethymno really hide are, of course, restaurants, pastries and snack bars. It is very hard to resist, especially after long hours of walking under the relentless Greek sun, so you will want to sit down somewhere for a while and refuel energy.
In this case, we really recommend you to read about some restaurants in the center read in advance on the internet. Most of the restaurants rely mainly on the atmosphere. Often you will find them in places where there is a great view of the sea or the main square. In Rethymno prefer to avoid restaurants along the Venetian harbor. They need are not certainly the worst, but ...
If you want to really enjoy Greek cuisine and not have a plate a variety of strange mixes in which the missing fries, chips and similar foods that do not have anything in common with Greece in common. Rather try less crowded side streets. For example, restaurants Avli in Xanthudidu No 22. Once you peek inside, you'll want to immediately go here. Comfortable seating in the inner courtyard, complemented by excellent service and superior mainly modern Greek cuisine is the right combination for lucn or dinner. Price for main dishes ranging from 12 to 22 euros, but your taste buds will thank you long after.
After a fine lunch or dinner there is a time for a dessert. Hot weather naturally calls for some ice cream. One of the best you will find in the street Paleologou . The easily overlooked place seeks to highlight signboard with a replica of a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci. Inside you will meet old owner, which boasts one of the best ice cream, which you can taste in Greece. It is made from sheep's milk and because of the very good price you will have really tough time to choose. You will definitely would want to visit this place one more time. At least.
Text/photo: Maxim Kucer
The last day before leaving Crete by plane we did want to spend in Heraklion. Most of all at the most famous Minoan palace of Knossos. At around 8 o’clock in the morning we left the camp of Sissi. About one hour later we were in front of our hotel. We parked the car and went for Knossos right away. This largest tourist attraction on Crete is only 5 kilometers to the south from Heraklion. Buses depart every twenty minutes for the palace and you pay 3 euro per ticket.
I go up a moderate hill to reach Asklepion where Hippocrates had his “office”. How Asklepios became a god? It was like this: Appollo, a god of health, wanted to teach his son Asklepios. He perfected heiling powers and thus became the god of medicine.
There was a large testing staircase in the center of Asklepion. To ensure good reputation of the hospital, the patients were supposed to walk up the stairs to the sanctuary without any help. If some died, they removed his body quietly in the night so nobody would see it...
One of the most popular holiday resorts in recent years has been Greek island of Samos, the birthplace of famous Pythagoras. What reason stands behind large numbers of tourists coming there between June and first half of September? There are actually couple of them!
Today we visit Greece's forgotten corner.
Last time, we wandered around the best beaches you can find near Thessaloniki. Unfortunately, these are not as close for you to reach it on foot. However, beautiful environment should do.
Last Friday, we visited an underground museum that is, honestly, not very interesting except for being underground. Today, our trip goes to other, more interesting museums.
We return to Greece again to see another less known place. Well, more or less...
A delegate of the company we rented our car from had been already waiting for us once we arrived at the airport. It was apparent that there is some fierce competition among car rental companies. The way how they treat their customers is the consequence of the fierce competition. Once we had settled all documents we needed we get in our car and drove to the west. There are no official freeways so you don’t pay any toll.
We woke up to nice and shinny day. Nobody was on the beach we went to so we just laid around. I recommend you Camp Mithimna, the camp we stayed at. Its owner was very kind and helpful. After a short talk with him we left for Balos, the beach in the northwest on the Gramvousa peninsula.
The longest European gorge of Samaria was another point of interest. The Samaria is located in Crete’s western half. The gorge is in the middle of the White Mountains (in Greek Lefka Ori). The gorge became a national park in 1962 when the inhabitants of Samaria village was displaced. It was situated in the middle of the gorge. Also, the gorge is a world biosphere reserve.
On this day, we planned to make a short trip to the Lefka Ori mountains. Bad weather prevented us from going there. Therefore, we decided to travel to Moni Preveli monastery instead.
We left early in the morning the Agia Galini camp for Phaistos (Faistos) palais. It is considered the second most important Minoan palace (the first one is Knossos). The palace is situated on Kastri Hill which is in central area of the Mesara Plain. Up from there you can get beautiful vista of the Idi mountains.
The next day’s morning we woke up while it was still being dark. Because we spent the night at a cottage, we quickly packed our things. At 6 o’clock we were already heading to Kato Zakros, another important Minoan palace. Unfortunately, the weather was not good. It rained all day. Yet this was no thing that would make us to loose our spirits. At around 8 o’clock we reached our destination. The information in the book guide said it the opening hours start at 8. However, right there we found out it would be at 10. Two hours of additional time meant we made use of them and walked along the coastline.
Based on Hippocrates the present Hippocratic oath was formed. Right in a shop I buy a papyrus with full oath in Czech!
Today we travel to Greek island of Kos. I met there Iva, a nice Czech, so we travel together. On the ship are all kinds of nationalities – French, Italians, Germans, English, Hungarians and us, Czechs! It is funny that I understand almost everyone yet they don’t have a clue. Our journey is pleasant. It takes around 50 minutes.
In today’s article we say farewell to Crete. This farewell is will be more in historc manner for we visit the most important landmark in the island – the palace of Knossos.
Kos is one of many Greek islands. It is a popular destination not only for Czech tourists. It is located in the Aegean Sea near the Turkis shores near the Bay of Koss. It is a small island – it is 45 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. The shore is 112 kilometers long.
After unveiling gourmet side of the Cretan city rise from the comfortable sitting in one of the local restaurants and we will explore the historical legacy left by several millennia of human habitation.
In Rethymno we have already spent a lot of time. We saw something of its historic heritage, even if there is yet much more to see. We just randomly mention some of them.
We left Rethymno. It slowly fades behind us. We travel towards Cretan nature in the Samaria gorge.
After Samaria we move today to Agios Nikolaos.
Last look at Agios Nikolaos and a trip to Spinalonga.
The fashion is to fly to exotic countries and bring home the images of white beaches. Paradise of islands, beaches and beautiful nature hides a much closer - in Europe. Greece is a country, that you can´t know during one summer vacation - you'll want to come back again and again.
The city with cultural traditions, with known rhetorical school (attended by Cicero and Caesar) and the famous sculptural school. Ever since its foundation (408 BC) the capital of the island is Rhodos, lies in whose northern tip.
The third part of our little serial about the island we will finish by its greatest attraction is beach, where in 1980 wrecked smuggler ship.
Local people don´t call the island other way than tell Zante. This home of giant tortoises, not about a typical Greek island with countless historical monuments, but if you will go there, you spend nice a very pleasant holiday, at which you will surely like to remember.
After several articles on London we jump across Europe to the Mediterranean, actually to the east part of the sea. Today we will have a taste of sun after rains of London, and warm waters of the Sea of Crete.
In the first part of our journey across the island of Zakynthos, I suggested that this place is indeed an ideal holiday destination, but there are not too many attractions. It is waste to invite every lovers of ancient architecture, because frequent earthquakes destroyed everything in the past, what could be kept from the time of Homer.
The last and final part of our journey around the island we will finish in places where I had the opportunity to spend summer holidays - Limni Keri.
One of the most attractive places on Rhodos east coast is Lindos, a city built in the rock. It has a acropolis and the temple of Athena of Lindos. The knights of the order of Saint John built the greatest local landmark.
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