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Location of Thea
Great Things to Do Near Thea
From the village of Hora Sfakia take one of the regular ferries over to this lovely tranquil spot.
Drive through the Amari valley
Perhaps the most breathtakingly beautiful drive on the entire island, in particular the stretch of road between Mount Idi and Mount Kedros.
Visit the Archaeological museum in Knossos close to Heraklion
Open Tuesday – Sunday from 09:00 till 19:00 hrs and visit by far the worlds largest collection of Minoan artifacts.
Pedaloes across Kournas lake
This breath-taking large natural lake is the only one in Crete, and the brillliant aquamarine waters are a wonderful backdrop for a spot of lunch. Afterwards, you can rent pedaloes or a small boat for half an hour and row yourself around the lake, and work up an appetite for supper!
Ela - where?
Elafonisi (Island of Deer) is like paradise on earth, and posessess a wonderful beach with pink coral sand and crystalline waters, a small islet connected to the rest of Crete by a shallow reef that can be crossed when the sea is calm. This islet is lying on the south-west corner of Crete, the journey itself is amazing, with a narrow tunnel and stunning wild Cretan scenery. Beware in high season, it can get very busy, but is so large, there is always a peaceful spot to be found. There is an excellent taverna at the beginning of the sand dunes.
Visit the wonderful Naval Museum in Chania
The Maritime Museum delivers a superb introduction to the History of Crete and is by no means only for maritime mavens, you will learn more here in half an hour than most could teach you about the events that filled Crete's moving past.
One Man's folly is another's delight
On the way out of the village of Kalyves going West to Kalami there is a sign and arrow to Koumos. This place is worth a visit and is known as 'one mans folly'. A collection of buildings including a taverna and a chapel with a domed roof all built from local small misshapen stones. This eclectic mix of buildings are all made from small rocks and all built by one man over a period of 10 years. There are mosaics on the paths; whilst walls display images of fish, snakes and various animals. There are also stone tables and chairs. If you just want to wander around, take photographs or just be amazed,pop along as there is no admission charge. Look out for the occasional ostrich or even a llama - quite surreal as these weren't made out of stone!
The Cretan Runner written by Giorgos Psychoundakis is a great book describing some of the heroic exploits the Cretan resistance along with British soldiers and pilots got up to during the second world war. Giorgios was originally a shepherd but became a member of the resistance after the German invasion. His heroic and selfless exploits and the general population are described in the book. It is regarded as a classic book of its type. There are two British War cemeteries in Souda Bay, however, much of the action took place around Maleme where a large German War cemetery dedicated to German soldiers was until recently tended by Giorgos himself. The British cemeteries are in a beautifully kept place, moving and humbling.
Journey to Anogia in the Psiloritis Mountains
Enjoy a Greek coffee at the square in the upper village (Agios Georgios square), the atmosphere here is wonderful - hospitality and welcomes are surprising in their warmth. 740 metres up on the north face of Mount Psiloritis it's a short hop from here to the stunning Nida Plateau, the Ideon cave (mythology: Zeus grew up here), the observatory at the top of the Skinaka as well as the ancient settlement of Zominthos. In Anogia, excellent local cheese and Raki are available to buy, at the shop on one corner of the square. Here you are more likely to see men wearing the Cretan baggy trousers tucked into their boots, heads decorated with nets, than just about anywhere else. The small church of Agios Georgios is worth a visit if it is open.
Sail to historic Gramvousa and beautiful Balos
From May to October, you can take daily cruises from Kissamos port to Gramvousa and Balos (42 km west of Chania), leaving in the morning and returning in the evening.Gramvousa (also called Tigani peninsula) has a castle on top of the island built by the Venetians to protect Crete from a Turkish occupation. It was one of the last unconquered bastions and it was the first area of Crete to be liberated from the Turks in 1825 (Turks were not expelled from all the rest of Crete until 1898). 3000 Cretan rebels were planning operations from Gramvousa. During this period of turmoil, the residents of the island started looting boats passing through, which gained the island its pirate reputation! The Gramvousa/Balos region is a protected biotope. There are 400 different plants on Gramvousa, 26 of them endemic to Crete. The Anthemis glaberrima (a type of daisy), the Allium platakisi (a wild onion) and the Silene litegripetala are found only in this area and are protected species. In the shallow parts of the sea, the Mediterranean plant Posidonia oceanica thrives, providing shelter for marine life. 98 bird species have been reported in the area. 20 of them are protected and 14 of them are threatened species (like the vulture Europe Gypaetusbarbatus). The Mediterranean seal (Monachus Monachus) and the Caretta Caretta turtle find shelter in this area. Also, a herd of wild donkeys lives on the peninsula.!
Try the Cretan hooch!
Raki or Tsikoudia is distilled from the stalks and skins of grapes left over from wine pressing. It is drunk widely and you are likely to be offered a thimble-full glass of raki wherever you go. It can contain anything between 35-65% alcohol – you have been warned
Friendly and delicious
On the way from from Chania to the beach of Elafonissi via Drapanias there is a sign stating Wine Museum, a bit like the Agroturismo places in Italy. The Pnevmatikaks Winery is a nice and delicious wine tasting venue, a family business that grows grapes and olives. You can taste all they produce: different wines including a wine called Romeiko, produced the way it was done in antiquity. The Romeiko has a taste similar to a nice sherry and is 14.5 proof. Recommended produce is their olive oil and Raki (tastes similar to Grappa). If you purchase wine and/or oil they pack the bottles in such a way that they arrive safely home.
Visit the palace of Knossos
Excavated in the year 1900 by an English archaeologist by the name of Sir Arthur Evans, this is a most impressive palace, and we recommend that you hire a guide in order to benefit from their wealth of knowledge.
Go have a look at Souda
Souda Bay is one of the largest and deepest harbours in the Mediterranean. The word “souda” is derived from the Arabic language, and means narrow passage. This bay is now populated by the Greek Navy, NATO and a large American base and accounts for the eclectic and cosmopolitan feel to the former capital - Chania
Spend a day in Chania
The original capital of the island (since 1971 that honour has been passed onto Heraklion) Chania is one of the prettiest towns in the whole of Greece (perhaps on a par with Monemvasia, Nafplion and Corfu town). The city is reputed to be the oldest city in the world, and the mix and match of Venetian and Turkish influences and architecture.
Wine tasting at the Manousakis Winery Vatolakos
The Manousakis Winery is the culmination of the dream and passion of founder Theodore Manousakis. Ted, as he is more frequently called, was born in Vatolakkos in 1943, and spent his early childhood years in the village until the age of 11. For reasons much beyond his control and much too complex for a young boy to understand, he left his home to find a better future in the far away “Promised Land”, America. Following his university education in the U.S., he entered business and was successful in a number of business endeavours including industrial security, real estate development, and hotels. Meanwhile, he assimilated in the great melting pot of the world, America, and nearly forgot his native language and Cretan traditions. Yet during the years away from his native village he always yearned to return home and find his roots; if not permanently, certainly more than as a mere visitor. Wine was a way of life in the village for as long as he could remember from his boyhood years. What a way to pay tribute to and honour the Cretan traditions and way of life, he thought. And, what a wonderful and civilized way to bring people together to enjoy the simple joys of life! The combination of nostalgia or “nostos”, as the ancient Greeks made reference, along with the perfect soil, sun, and weather conditions of Crete were the driving forces behind our first vineyards in the foothills above Vatolakkos. For Ted, the Manousakis Winery represents his roots; his yearning to return, his tradition, his heritage, and, above all, his family. Our logo with the three flowers called “Manousakia” in the Cretan dialect, (from which our name is derived), represents his three daughters. It is only fitting that the inspiration of this symbol is a blending of the beauty and exquisite fragrance of nature and the warmth and comfort of family! Ted Manousakis has his permanent home in Washington, D.C., but the winery remains a family-run business. His youngest daughter, Alexandra, moved to Chania in 2007 following studies at New York University, and now manages the Manousakis Winery. - See more at: http://nostoswines.com
Chania is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and the second biggest town in Crete, with a population of 60,000 inhabitants.Chania is one of the nicest towns of Crete with wonderful houses, parks and squares.The old city has preserved the charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with many well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets. On Leather Lane near the harbour are plenty of shops selling all kinds and qualities of leather goods and a really interesting indoor covered market. Chania Town is worth a visit just for the shopping. The harbour is beautiful with an old mosque providing interesting architecture. There are museums from the Naval Museum to the Byzantine Museum - something for everyone. Restaurants and Tavernas surround the harbour and boats leave from here for 2-3hr trips and you can also catch a horse and buggy. Have a wander around the back streets, they are mainly pedestrianised and the houses and shops are very Interesting and pretty, with little restaurants and cafés tucked away in corners - very romantic.
All sorts of watersports available in this part of Crete Including Scuba diving,wind surfing, parascending, water skiing, kayaking, jet skiing, Rib inflatable trips and hire. surfing, fishing trips etc. Ask your representative for details.