Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands and the fifth largest island in the whole Mediterranean Sea. It is more like a small country than a part of Greece, such is the depth and diversity of the island. Crete is host to a quarter of Greece’s tourism and is therefore well equipped for the holiday season and the visitors this will bring from across the globe. Knowing what to expect when you travel to Crete can make your trip even more enjoyable and certainly give you more of an insight than just what the tourist board tell you.
The language spoken in Crete is Greek, although there is a Cretan dialect spoken in some remote villages. This dialect is no longer widespread but most locals will understand and be able to use it if asked. It is interesting to hear this dialect spoken as not many variations on the mainland Greek still exist. Most Cretans also speak near perfect English as they are taught it in schools from first grade, due to the economic reliance on tourism.
Cretans largely follow what’s referred to as the Mediterranean diet, which is employed in the UK for it’s many health benefits. It consists largely of fish and fresh fruit and veg, with meat only being eaten about once a week. The many restaurants in Crete serve a mixture of meals following this diet, and also many other traditionally Greek dishes which are richer in taste. Cretans tend to eat late, at around 10 or 11 so wait up if you want to experience Crete like a local. Most bars and restaurants do still allow smoking, whatever the signs say to the contrary, so if this is likely to bother you it’s best to opt for a table outside.
Heading abroad armed with a little knowledge on your destination can make your trip much more enjoyable as you can plan ahead and decide what to do. Holiday in Crete this year, but do your research first, there are many hidden gems you will miss if you stick to the well-trodden paths.