Improvements in national income and other indicators of economic growth in Crete are thanks to the rapid development in the tourism sector over the past three decades. The economic meltdown in Greece has not hit this small Mediterranean tourist hub as hard and Euros are still flowing in.
Crete has much to offer. The natives are a hospitable and welcoming sort, making tourists happy to share their good experiences with their friends. The slow, relaxed pace of life has changed little over the centuries and there are still out-of-the-way villages with only dirt roads and open markets to attract the adventurer. In addition, the natural landscape is gorgeous.
Crete boasts a rich archaeological, cultural, and historical heritage. The archaeology tourist never runs out of museums and digs in which to spend hours and days musing over the past. Knossos was the capital of Minoan Crete. It is more grand and complex than other well-known ancient palace complexes and located only twenty minutes south of the port city of Iraklio.
Phaistos, south of Heraklion, and Malia with the necropolis at Chrysolakos are famous for the gold artefacts locals occasionally find. Today, they are tourism gold.
Car Hire in Crete
To take full advantage of a vacation in Crete, one simply must have a car. Concerning car hire Crete is one of the safer places in Europe to rent. Automobile theft is not the problem it is in Romania and Hungary, where a thriving car theft industry exists due to the proximity of borders with nations that harbour chop shops. (It’s more difficult to get a stolen car off on island.)
Numerous companies vie for the tourist driver. Driving in Crete is not particularly daunting, but local customs must be observed.
The summer is long in Crete and sandy seashores plentiful. Crete is attractive to tourists year-round for the lure of beautiful seashores dotted with picturesque villages. Hospitality geared toward seaside vacations is well-practiced and tourists rarely find much to complain about. Seaside tourism is the dominant industry in Crete.
Finding small, remote villages that welcome tourists but are relatively unknown to the industry at large is surprisingly popular. Agriculture and traditional culture is still to be found on Crete, but very few villages do not welcome the tourist Euro. Whether it is a café, a small inn, or a traditional market, the tourist will have ample opportunity to spend a little money for an experience to tell friends about.
Hand-crafted leather-wear and shoes are popular items with tourists. Ottoman-era antiques and gold or silver jewellery imitating ancient styles found in the archaeology digs are also in demand. In local markets, you can find locally-grown herbs and more varieties of olives than you knew existed. Small stalls display a bewildering variety of fresh produce and household goods, including copper coffee pots, olive wood bowls, and delightful hand-painted ceramics. Consider purchasing a Cretan herbal tinsane renowned for curing all manner of aches and pains.