Your travel guide on Crete

Patsos Gorge

The spectacular gorge of Patsos is located in the inland area of Rethymnon, at Amari region. It is a beautiful gorge with a small river running through it

Into the Patsos Gorge mysteries

Patsos Gorge is located inland of Rethymno Prefecture, at the municipality of Amari

Before the entrance below, you can find a small tavern/cafe. It will be useful on your way back…

Visiting Patsos gorge would be a kind of resting/relaxing experience, so to end the day long tour. There was no hiking in the tour schedule (it was late anyway), but along with Maria we decided to do it on our own, just for the experience.

Click to open image!Agios Antonios Rethymno Crete

The whole day tour was so amazing that gave us the kind of energy we needed, to decide to hike through the gorge.

At the entrance of the gorge, there is the cave-chapel of Agios Antonios (Saint Anthony).

There is a spring there with cold fresh water, lots of shade and outdoor tables to just site and relax.

The gorge is not very well marked but in specific places are red marks on the gorge walls. You can’t really get lost.

We have to say that at some points we really needed to think and find the way to proceed further. But there was a way through in all cases.

The total length is 3km (total, back and forth). That length is not too much in normal asphalt road walking conditions.

Yet, inside a gorge with huge rocks and obstacles, it can be long enough.

When there is still water (not so much in August) there exist small but shallow lagoons with impressive waterfalls.

springs at Spili village

Some areas of the gorge route are crossed through wooden ladders, with additional ropes (already in place) to get a grip. There is no actual “climbing” with ropes. They are there for safety.

Make sure you wear proper hiking shoes or sandals. No flip-flops, as we saw some doing the gorge with such and they -indeed- mentioned it was difficult.

At the end of the gorge (exit), there is an artificial lake created by Potamoi dam. A variety of ecosystems is hosted there.

To get to the lake simply walk under a cement bridge. You will easily find that as the route stops there.

Just go under it. The lake It is just 50-80 meters after that.

Precautions for Patsos Gorge, Cret

Make sure the weather is fine without any chance for rain, since the gorge doesn’t have side exits and it may become dangerous with rain.

Also, make sure to do it during day time (preferably during morning), in order to avoid being in there in late afternoon. Sun light is reduced fast in such places due to high gorge walls and plantation.Patsos or Agios Antonios gorge Rethymno Crete

SOURCE : A Greek Adventure

Foto: @mastrohimios

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Anogeia village

Anogia is a small town in Mylopotamos municipality, 52 km from Rethymno city at an elevation of 700-790 meters, on the chine of mound Armi.

Its name translates as “upper floors” and is due to the location on which it is situated. Thanks to the steepness of the land of Psiloritis and the rebellious spirit of its inhabitants, Anogia has always been on the forefront of liberation struggles of Cretans against various conquerors. It was conquered by the Turks in 1648 and constituted a monastery village, dedicated to the mosques of Valide Sultana, while it has also served as a revolutionary center. In May 1822, the Anogians defeated the Turks, under the leadership of Vassilis Sbokos. This triumph triggered the looting and burning down of the village by Serif Pasha on July 14, 1822, when its inhabitants had left it in order to fight at Messara. This was the first holocaust of Anogia, while two more holocausts ensued. A few months before the Cretan Revolution of 1866, a meeting was held in Anogia for the election of the chieftains of Eastern Crete. In the same year, three Anogians were included among the warriors killed during the holocaust of Arcadi, which deterred Seriz Pasha from occupying the region in a heroic way. In 1867, Omer Pasha occupied Anogia, and in November 1867, Resiz Pasha burnt down the village for a second time, only 45 years after the first holocaust. The inhabitants of Anogia also took part in the revolutions of 1878 and 1897, as well as the Macedonian and Epirot Struggles. During the World War II, the Anogians were among the first to participate in the resistance against the Nazi conquerors, creating armed groups in cooperation with the Allied Headquarters of Middle East, under the leadership of Ioannis Dramountanis (Stefanoyannis) who was executed by the Nazis on February 12, 1944. As a culmination of the resistance of the Anogians, the village was totally destroyed in August 1944. The third holocaust of Anogia began on August 13 and lasted until the end of the same month. At Armi, the central square of the village, there is an inscription bearing the order of the German commandant of Crete, which ordained the destruction of the village. German soldiers began mobbing Anogia on August 13, 1944 and initiated the gruesome task of executions, looting and destruction. Men and boys had fled to the hide-outs of the rebels and the inaccessible gorges and caves of Psiloritis. A great part of the non-combatant population found shelter in neighboring villages and survived thanks to the solidarity of their inhabitants who hosted whole families for years, in harsh conditions. Nowadays, Anogia is part of the Network of Martyred Towns and Villages, “Greek Holocausts”.

source: checkincreta

An interactive map of Odysseus journey

one of Homer’s two great epics, narrates Odysseus’ long, strange trip home after the Trojan war. During their ten-year journey, Odysseus and his men had to overcome divine and natural forces, from battering storms and winds to difficult encounters with the Cyclops Polyphemus, the cannibalistic Laestrygones, the witch-goddess Circe and the rest. And they took a most circuitous route, bouncing all over the Mediterranean, moving first down to Crete and Tunisia. Next over to Sicily, then off toward Spain, and back to Greece again.

If you’re looking for an easy way to visualize all of the twists and turns in The Odyssey, then we’d recommend spending some time with the interactive map created by Gisèle Mounzer“Odysseus’ Journey” breaks down Odysseus’ voyage into 14 key scenes and locates them on a modern map designed by Esri, a company that creates GIS mapping software.

source: openculture.com

Krasi Village

Image result for Krasi village

Krasi village is a traditional mountainous village at an altitude of 600 m, 46 km from Heraklion and is situated northwest of the foot of Mount Selena (1559 m). It is located above Stalida and is just 8km after Mochos, on the road to the Lassithi Plateau. The visitor, while ascending the uphill and the winding road in the direction of Krasi, has the opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the north coastline of the Municipality of Hersonissos.

Map of Krasi 700 05

Northeast of Krasi village, at the foot of Mount Selena, we can find a forest that consists mainly of evergreen oaks and kermes oaks that are found mainly in Crete. The forest is accessible through paths that start from Krasi and Malia. The terrain in the area is characterized as rocky with the exception of a small plateau at the foot of the settlement at its northeast side which has a very fertile ground. Krasi is a rural settlement and the main occupation of its inhabitants is the olive cultivation and the animal husbandry.

From an archaeological point of view, one of the areas’ main attractions is an Early Minoan Tomb, discovered in 1929 by Spyridon Marinatos and is located at Armi, just next to the western edge of the village, about 300 meters away of Agios Georgios church. It is a circular arched tomb, influenced by Cycladic effect and contained scattered bones and shells of Minoan Period. Archaeological researches revealed residential and burial remnants of Minoan times in the wider region. References to the Venetian censuses confirm the history of Krasi as it is proved by contracts of 1280 (Crassi) as well as in 1583 where there were 169 inhabitants (Kastrofylakas, K94). No Turks inhabited in Krasi during the period of Ottoman domination.

krasi villageAs for the village itself, visitors, arriving at the square of Krasi, can see three huge plane trees and Vrises (water fountains) that dominate the landscape. Among them, the largest perennial (2400 years old) plane tree is found next to “Megali Vrisi” (large water fountain) which consists of two fountainheads that flow clear and potable water all year round.

Krasi village is also known that Nikos Kazantzakis spent several summers with his friends during the decade of 1910-1920 in Krasi which is his wife’s, named Galateia Alexiou, birthplace. In Krasi, he was calm and felt inspired which was reflected in his works. For instance, in “Kapetan Michalis” there are many scenes which were set in the shade of the old plane tree in Selena. People of the Spirit chose Krasi in order to get rest and it was a place of inspiration and creation for them. For this reason, “The House of Literature” was created in the village in 2009 in a building of 1882. This building was formed by the technical direction of the Municipality so as to have the ability to accommodate new writers and people of the spirit. There are 13 houses of literature in Europe. The countries participating are: Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Slovakia and Sweden. In 2000, the International Literary Translation Centre was established.

krasi villageA walk in the picturesque narrow streets of Krasi, where stone-built houses of Cretan architecture and well-preserved historic churches are found, is enough for the visitors to experience at first hand the warmth and hospitality of the local residents. There are also several cafes and traditional taverns that are famous for their traditional dishes cooked in wood ovens.

The settlement of Krasi belongs to a protected natural area (NATURA 2000) while the monumental plane tree was proclaimed with the Presidential Decree 29/8/2011 as a preserved monument of Nature.

Source : http://landofexperiences.gr/travels/krasi-village/

Tailor made or private tours

Individual, private or tailored tours for you…what is it?

And what is the difference between group tours and private tours?

There are many tourists visiting Crete who wish to travel a lot.They have their holiday plan and want to see most famous places of the island. So what is the options to travel on Crete, if you don’t want to rent a car or take a public bus?

Guided coach tour and traditional routs

Some of them just book common excursions with big group and big coach and follow usual or traditional routs. This is the easiest and  cheapest way to visit Crete’s must see places.  The excursion usually follows the exact rout with exact stops, and it can more than one language in the coach. Yes, it is the cheapest way, but is it the best? The minus of this tours is that you have to follow routine tour, routine stop, you are tied to other  co-tourist. You have no choice where to stop, or where to spend more time, if you like the place. You follow the group, time ad rout.

Guided tailor  made mini group

This tours are made for you!!! You can choose your rout, stops, places to visit, you can make your excursion plan according to you interests.

Usually individual tours are by mini bus up to 7 seats and private guide following tailor made rout only for you.

It is not as cheap as traditional big coach tours, but the advance is obvious: comfortable mini group, private tour guide, only one language of your choice, routs and stops made according to your wishes and interests.

Guided tailor made tours by big coach

It almost the same as mini private tours, just by big coach. This means, that these tours are offered to the groups up to 15-70 people. Tailor made big groups tours are very suitable for corporative travelers, big teams, big families or big group of friends. It is cheaper than mini private tours, but still provides you possibility to travel your own rout, with private guide.

So don’t miss the opportunity to travel on Crete!!! Crete is covering deep in it’s mountains, caves, small beaches, in it’s history, culture and monasteries.  Open that secrets fr you!!!

 

Fishing on Crete

In our previous post about yacht tour we were talking about romantic evening with your beloved on yacht with good cocktails and DJ. For more details click here. But some of us find romance in other things such as fishing …SO…

Get ready to travel around the quaint coastline and enjoy the crystal clear waters of the deep blue sea, impressive shores, golden sand beaches, pebbled bays surrounded by white, reddish, yellowish or blackish rocks, under the brisk morning light. Take delight in fishing on our professional fishing boat under the leadership of our captain, who always picks up the richest fishing spots according to the season, the weather and the “fish passages”, as they are called by the local fishermen.

The trip starts at around 10:30 a.m. and ends at 16:00 p.m. When on board, you will enjoy your coffee, while relaxing on deck admiring the deep blue until we reach the spot where you can start your fishing with rods provided by us. Of course, whoever wishes to cool off can dive in the crystal clear waters. At the end of the fishing trip, you will have the chance to visit the city of Agios Nikolaos for about an hour.

An unforgettable trip and a unique experience that will surely be etched in your memory forever.

Cretan olive oil: how to choose the best

As we tried to introduce the tradition of Cretan olives and olive oil, now we will try to answer the question, asked by tourist most: what are the types of Cretan olive oil? What is the difference between those types? How to choose to the best? What level of acid is the best and etc

Types Of Olive Oil

It is good to understand the different types or grades of olive oil to help you select the appropriate uses for this healthful and flavoursome type of fat.

The basic types of olive oil are:

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • virgin olive oil

  • pure olive oil

There are other forms described below, but these are blends and are not part of the formal grading process.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oils are sometimes treated like fine wines, and, as with wines, some people will argue that no two olive groves will produce extra virgin olive oils that taste alike. The seasoned palate is able to detect distinctions in taste and aroma, and these subtleties are extensively discussed and intensely debated.

To be certified for the “extra virgin” label, an olive oil should satisfy four criteria: it must be produced by mechanical extraction methods (no chemicals or hot water applied), come only from first cold-pressing, have an oleic acidity level of less than one percent, and must have a perfect taste.

Acidity level is the most important factor that determines its grade. This is a measure of the percentage of free fatty acid content: the best oil has the lowest acidity. The oil should also be free from perceptible defects in taste or smell. Extra virgin olive oil is valued for its perfect balance in terms of flavour, aroma, colour, and acidity level.

One reason extra virgin olive oil is prized so highly is its high content of vitamins and nutrients. Also, it is pure and without any additives. The fruitiness of its taste and the complexity of its aroma give it universal appeal. The light, delicate consistency of extra virgin olive oil makes it perfect for dressings. It is also the preferred oil for use in cooking by more discerning users.

Extra virgin olive oil comes in four sub-types:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (regular)

  • Organic extra virgin olive oil

  • Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

  • Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

Different extra virgin olive oils may share the same characteristics but there is marked variation in taste. There are many nuances, and connoisseurs categorise its flavours as mild (delicate, light, or buttery), semi-fruity (stronger, with more taste of olive), and fruity (oil with a strong olive flavour).

If you wish to become familiar with the different olive oil flavours, you should try to taste as many of them as possible; one cost-effective way to do that is to split several large bottles of different extra virgin olive oils with your friends.

Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil also comes from the first pressing, and is also produced without refining. In a technical sense, virgin olive oil may have an acidity level of up to 3.3%, however, industry practice in the producing countries is to maintain under 2% acidity. Its flavour intensity can vary and its taste is less mild than extra virgin olive oil.

Pure Olive Oil

This is now simply called olive oil and is a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. Its label will bear the designation “pure” or “100% pure”. However, refined olive oil has very little vitamin E content. This is why producers need to add unrefined virgin olive oil to impart some of flavour, colour and aroma into the blend. The proportions of the two components may vary from one producer to another, depending on the flavour the producer desires to create.

Pure olive oil actually has the same acidity level as virgin olive oil, and for that reason it has good resistance to high temperatures. Its lower nutrient content than virgin olive oil makes it less expensive. It cannot be used for dressings and is better suited for heavy-duty, high-heat cooking.

Olive Pomace Oil

Pomace oil is the lowest grade of olive-based oils. Pomace is that part of the olive that remains after all the oil and water in it has been removed by pressuring or centrifuging processes. With the use of certain solvents, there is still some residual oil that can be extracted from the olive pomace. This oil may then be refined, which results in a product bereft of any specific taste or colour; it also contains none of olive oil’s vitamins.

To make pomace oil acceptable to consumers, the producer blends it with virgin olive oil. As with pure olive oil, the producer may vary the proportions between the pomace oil and virgin olive oil; however, the virgin olive oil content is generally quite low. The blended product is called olive pomace oil. Like pure olive oil, it is suitable for use only in high-heat cooking.

Lite Oil

There are certain light-tasting, light-coloured oils containing minute proportions, if at all, of virgin oils. These are pure rectified oils called lite oils. They are being marketed with a particular slant that would have people believe that they are buying oils that have lower in fat or calorie content. The truth is, lite oils have 125 calories per tablespoon – exactly like all olive oils, and all fats, for that matter.

Grading of olive oil is done, to a less significant degree, based on colour. Most olive-based oils have colours ranging from pale yellows to deep cloudy greens. The latter colour may indicate that the oil is from green, barely ripe olives – but not always. It is possible that an excess of olive leaves slipped into the crusher, sometimes inadvertently sometimes not, resulting in pale oils acquiring a deeper aura (which can give it a better price). The authentic green colour should indicate a wholesome, intensely fruity taste and freshness.

Yellow oils indicate that the olives were black and ripe when they were picked late in the season, yielding a sweeter, rounder oil. However, a lighter colour may also signify oxidation arising from exposure to sunlight. If that happens, the delicate aromas and vitamin E content in such oils generally have suffered, and the oil may taste rancid.

In general, olive oil is a good source of vitamin E and is rich in monounsaturated fats. However, extra virgin olive oil has the highest content levels of these healthful nutrients and has the most exquisite flavours. It should come as no wonder that extra virgin olive oil is known as the queen of oils.

Olive oil acidity

The maximum acidity by quality oil down by November 1, 2003 in accordance with Reg (EC) from 1513 to 1501, amendment to Reg 136/66/EEC as follows:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil       Max 0.8°

Virgin Olive Oil                      Max 2°

Lampante Oil                          > 2%, < 3%

Olive oil productions process

The production process of olive oil is :

Picking the fruit from olive trees.
Washing. The washing is done after separating leaves and other light objects. The good washing of the olive is necessary for superior product quality.
Grinding. Grinding takes place in a special mill with sprockets which crushe the olives and the nucleus.
Massage. After grinding, the olive mass is kneaded for about 30 minutes. Then, depending on the type of machinery either it’s been drived to hydraulic presses at 27°C where oil is being extracted or heated to about 40°C and then is been drived in centrifugal separators where the oil is separated from the olive paste, from water and other remaining ingredients.

In any case, the processing of olives and the extraction of its olive oil, is entirely mechanical, without using chemicals or other substances. This oil, classified as ‘Virgin’, which according to the severity is classified as extra virgin or not. Then the oil is filtered and stored or packaged.