Crete

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Crete Money-Saving Tips

English Language

There’s no need to pack a phrasebook – the younger generation (especially those working in tourism) speak English well, so communication is rarely a problem. Most signs are also posted in Greek and Latin script.

Sun smarts

Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing light cotton clothing, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol consumption to avoid dehydration.

By sea

Crete is served by daily ferries and high-speed catamarans from Piraeus (Athens). In summer, there are also ferries from Santorini, Rhodes and Karpathos to Heraklion, and from from Gythio (Peloponnese) and Kythira to Kissamos, near Hania.

Dining late

Be aware that Cretans tend to dine late: lunch can run from 2pm to 5pm and dinner from 10pm till well after midnight. During summer, however, many restaurants stay open all day.

After hours

In Crete, the party doesn’t start until around midnight, when most venues start filling up. Bars are typically open until 3am or later; many dance clubs rock until dawn.

Religious modesty

When visiting Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries, both men and women should dress appropriately: no bare chests, no bare shoulders, and no bare legs.

Cretan cuisine

Cretan specialities include mizithra (a sheep's milk cheese similar to feta), salingaria (snails), htapodi (octopus), loukanika (sausages), and dakos (bread rusks drenched in olive oil and topped with freshly chopped tomatoes).

Cretan drinks

Cretans toast their guests with a glass of potent raki (made from distilled grapes). In restaurants, a small carafe of raki is frequently offered on the house at the end of a meal. Crete also produces some excellent wines, both red and white.

Accomodation

Crete caters to all pockets. Upscale choices range from the luxurious modern resorts of Elounda to the quaint boutique hotels in the old towns of Hania and Rethymno. Budget travelers can find cheaper pensions and rooms to let in all the main destinations.

Public holidays

Greece celebrates the following public holidays: Jan 1st, Jan 6th, Mar 25th, first Monday of Lent, Orthodox Easter, May 1st, Whit Monday, Aug 15th, Oct 28th, Dec 25-26th. During these times banks, shops, and even some restaurants close.

Naturism

With the exception of beaches in towns or villages, topless bathing is accepted almost everywhere. Naturism (naked bathing) is officially allowed in a few licensed places, though it is also unofficially accepted on many remote, secluded beaches.

Cruises

Some cruise ships sailing through the Greek islands stop in Crete. The most popular port of call is Heralkion, with an optional trip inland to Knossos Minoan Palace.

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