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Archive for December, 2006

Crete Local Products Dec 04

Crete Island produces many products of high quality which can be found in the 4 capitals of each prefecture (Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lassithi).Crete Greece is particularly famous for its excellent olive oil, the best in the world. Known for its healthiness, the Cretan cuisine is often based on olive oil. Some of the Cretan specialities (oil-based) are sun dried string beans in olive oil and tomato sauce, rabbit cooked in olive oil and bay leaves, snails with olive oil, vinegar and rosemary and simple but tasty snack called “dakos” which consists of dry barley bread soaked in olive oil and topped with crushed fresh tomatoes, chopped onion and garlic.Lamb is also wonderfully cooked in Crete as well as the goat (usually boiled) and the sausages. 

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Products of Crete Dec 04

For Cretans, the secret of longevity is very simple. They eat anything that their rich soil produces! They consume a lot of fruit, vegetables, greens, fresh produce, legumes, cheese and bread. Cretans use herbs to add flavour to their meals; they make sweets/cakes with natural sweeteners, honey and grape-juice syrup; while the excellent Cretan wine is an indispensable accompaniment to their meals. Cretans do not eat meat or, rather, they did not eat meat until a few decades ago. Meat has always had a ritual quality in Crete, and generally in Greece. In modern times, they consumed meat only a few times a year, i.e. during festivities or, if wealthy enough, every Sunday. The ingenuity of Cretans exploited fully the entire spectrum of ingredient combinations, which resulted in volumes of recipes for meals and deserts. 

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Crete Products Dec 04

In the latest years many mentions have been made about the Cretan Diet and Mediterranean Diet. So it is now well known that the Cretan Diet is not only aromatic and tasteful, but also extremely healthy. The food has already taken the right place in our culture, equivalent to our monumental identity and our sun and sea. The most important product that gave so much credit to Cretan Diet is our virgin olive oil. The contribution of the local wine, vegetables, meat, dairy products (feta cheese, gruere) is also significant. The modern dietology considers the Cretan diet and the Cretan way of life as the reason for long living and good health. Most of the international researches bring Crete forward as the example of the Mediterranean Diet. Since the suggestion that the residents of the island have the lowest mortality rates internationally and the less heart attack or cancer diseases, scientists started searching for the identity of the Cretan Diet that gives the Cretans all these health privileges. But very soon it was obvious that it was all about a story well hidden in the past time. That means it isn’t a result of a research by some scientists but a biological experiment that lasts thousands of years! 

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Getting to Crete Dec 01

Many visitors fly first to Athens on the mainland, which is well served by international flights, and then travel to Crete by air or boat. It’s also possible to fly directly to Crete from Europe, although most direct flights are offered by charter companies during the busy summer months. Most overlanders currently arrive in Greece by ferry from Brindisi (free for Eurail pass holders), Ancona, Bari or Venice in Italy. Most ferries to Crete depart from Piraeus harbour, just to the south of Athens, but there are also departures from Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Kalamata and Glythio, plus some of the Cyclades islands and Kythira. The ferries from Piraeus depart from docks convenient to Larisis train station. Some ferries take much longer than others to reach Crete – check before buying a ticket. Be aware that services in the off season (November to April) are considerably curtailed. 

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Crete Transportation Dec 01

May and early June, as well as September are the best times to visit Crete. The summer months are also a good time, but you will be competing with another 2 million tourists. The Meltemi (Northen winds) pick up between mid-june and the end of August and can become very uncomfortable, but they do provide some relief from the summer heat. At this time the waves make swimming a little more challenging. By Boat The trip form Piraeus to Heraklion takes about eight hours and most ferries leave around 9:00 PM, and arrive in Crete around 6:00 AM. Booking a cabin for the overnight trip is a good idea, although many passengers rough it out on deck or on any comfortable spot they can find inside the bars and hallways. In fact many groups of travelers who do not have a cabin embark early and set camp in the most comfortable corner of the boat they can find. After 11:00 PM the halls are lined with sleeping passengers. 

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How to get in Crete Dec 01

Flight schedules to and from Crete. Information, tips and all scheduled flights to/from Heraklion, Chania and Sitia airport.Also you can find flight news, quick guide about what you can find in this Flying to Crete section and airports in Crete. 

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