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“We are Cretans, not Greeks” How Crete is measuring up to Greece!

Spotlight on Crete Part One

See Crete from a different perspective as Shubhra from Prestige Holidays lets us take a peek into her stay in magical Crete…

CRETE is the birthplace of Gods and Europe. It is the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean and the largest of the Greek islands. It is 160 miles (350km) long and has an area of 3000 square miles. There are 3 mountain ranges as well as lush verdant plains and fantastic golden beaches. Some regard this fertile island steeped in history, legend and natural beauty as a country in its own right. Speaking to the locals, they all call themselves Cretans rather than Greeks. Crete is a cultural centre from Neolithic times. History is in abundance with many sites to visit, since Crete is the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation. What surprised me was that Crete is ideal for those who love their history and culture as well as those wanting a relaxed luxurious beach holiday.

What are the resorts like?

Elounda on the northern-coast provides first spectacular views of the Mirebello Gulf and Korfos with its luxury hotels in the forefront with the backdrop of unique islands, shaded beaches and coves with crystal blue waters. The harbour with its Cretan fishing boats bobbing along the key-side is surrounded by an array of traditional tavernas, cafes, chic bars and shops…from traditional to upmarket. Our hotels are between 1-4kms away on a gorgeous bay with views across to the island of Spinalonga.

Plaka is a village located in the stunning setting of the Mirabello bay, right opposite the island of Spinalonga. It used to be a tiny fishing village and only a few years ago was frequented only by a few individualistic travellers. This has changed and a number of hotels and tavernas have sprung up but it is still a really serene and quiet place. (See photo’s of local shops and restaurants).

Spinalonga is an island across the bay from Elounda. It has a long history, but in the early 1900’s until 1957, it was used as a leper colony, one of the last in Europe. Once on the island the lepers were given food, water, medical attention and social security payments. Today the island is a popular tourist attraction and can be easily visited on a boat trip. It has been made all the more famous after the Book of the Year in 2007 written by Victoria Hislop, “The Island” was based here. Having visited Spinalonga, it certainly makes you feel very humble about its surroundings, the people and history.

But which hotels to stay in? Look out for part two of Shubhra’s diary coming soon!

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