At Photos of Crete .com we are regularly being contacted by our followers & members to answer your questions about the largest of the Greek islands. So we thought we'd put together an FAQ that allows you to get your burning Cretan question or query answered in a straightforward and helpful manner. And if you want anymore questions answered in our FAQ then email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to our frequently asked questions answered list below.
Is there a shopping mall on the island of Crete, Greece?
The short and simple answer in the context of a large shopping mall with a huge variety of shops is no. The Cretans are passionate about local, and as such many of the international retail companies that have tried to penetrate the island have ended up leaving having failed to make significant profits. When you think about shopping in Crete think about local independent often family owned and run retailers. In the bigger towns on the island you'll find the major Greek chain retailers such as Jumbo and some familiar names like H&M for clothes and even Marks & Spencer in Heraklion! Retail therapy on the island of Crete breathes local and walking the winding shopping avenues of Heraklion, Chania or Rethymno is an immersion in independent establishments. You wont want for anything and you'll find all you need and if you want something specific we always advise to ask a local where is best to find it. You'll save yourself the trawl (if shopping is not enjoyable for you!) and the local people will know where the best prices are and the best quality is sold
Is there a 18 hole golf course on the island of Crete?
YES! There is one full 18 hole gold course in Crete. The Crete Gold Club sits adjacent to the Aqua Plus water park up in the hills behind the large coastal resort of Hersonissos. Created with the Cretan landscape at it's heart the international standard course has a luxurious club house and all the refinements of Europe's top clubs such as on course food and drink services, golf buggies, an on course pro and of course stunning Cretan views. Green fees vary in relation to the time of year, your age and at what time of day you play. In high season booking is strongly advised and you can contact The Crete Golf Club HERE.
How big is the island of Crete?
What is the food like in Crete?
Wonderful! Well Ok lets be a little bit more specific! The first thing to say is that wherever you eat on the island you'll find the local meat, vegetables, herbs and spices are simply incredible. Even a simple tomato tastes so much tastier in Crete than back home so whatever you choose from the menu or supermarket you're in for a treat. As far as cuisine is concerned it depends what you like and where you stay. If you like international cuisines such as American burgers along with Chinese & Indian food and this forms an important part of your holiday then opt for the larger towns and resorts like Rethymno or Hersonissos, Stalida or Malia that cater for these desires. However wherever you are we'd absolutely advocate exploring the local Cretan and Greek cuisine. Tavernas not only offer great value (if you get away from the tourist traps) they also offer some of the tastiest dishes you'll enjoy anywhere. From the famous Greek dishes such as Moussaka to bbq grilled chops with potatoes, rice and salad, or maybe if you're a little more adventurous local rabbit or Cretan snails (yes they eat snails in Crete!). Greek fast food is a cut above the American in our opinion and we'd advise you seek out you local Psitopoleio (grill) for some tasty gyros (kebab to others but much tastier ) or souvlaki (bbq cubes of pork or chicken) along with the best burgers you will ever eat in your life... bifteki! Pizzas are just about everywhere and in the larger resorts if you can't be bothered to go out the delivery is available on local fast food. Crete affords the opportunity to escape the brands and the generic chains and explore local fresh produce and food and please do (if only for one night) immerse in the local food culture, you wont regret it! Check out our guide to the cuisine of Crete HERE.
What is the best season to visit Crete?
Is it safe for single women to travel alone in Crete?
What are the most famous places to visit on the island of Crete?
Why are so many houses unfinished in Crete?
TAX! So the lifestyle on the island of Crete can seem a little laid back! But that is not why so many houses have reinforced concrete columns sticking out of their roofs or half finished aspects to their build. There USED to be a law in Greece that if your house was not finished then you did not have to pay the tax on your new property until it was. I guess you can now fill the gaps as to why people intentionally built their houses with an aspect that was never to be completed! However it was the 'national sport' of all Greeks to avoid paying their taxes and as we all know that along with political corruption lead to Greece's bankruptcy and since that awful situation many of the country's tax loop holes have been closed including this one regarding houses. So if someone still has a half finished house it is not just because they either can't afford to finish it or have better things to do!!
Is property & are houses cheap in Crete?
Do people in Crete speak English?
Well I'll put it another way: Do I need to speak Greek in be understood in Crete? The answer is almost always no. English is taught as a mandatory lesson in schools in Greece and almost all middle class parents and above send their kids to additional private English lessons. Then there's the hugely helpful fact (for us English speakers) that the nightly movies on TV are left in English and Greek subtitles are placed at the bottom of the screen. All of the above has meant that a lot of my close Cretan friends both write and speak English more accurately than I do. Even when you get out into the wilds of the island whilst you'll find many that don't speak English if your conversation is either essential or becoming more in depth the locals will soon bring an English speaking villager to translate! This is both the friendly nature and wonderful spirit of the Cretans. They will always help and find a way! In resorts and towns you'll find English speakers absolutely everywhere. German and French too.
Is driving in Crete dangerous?
How can I get to Crete?
Plane or ferry. There are two international airports on the island of Crete: Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport in Heraklion and Ioannis Daskalogiannis International Airport in Chania. You can also fly to Sitia Town Airport with internal flights from elsewhere in Greece. Can I get to Crete by boat? Yes you can. Ferries run daily for Piraeus the port of Greece's capital Athens daily and take between 6 and 9 hours. There are other ferries that take port at Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos & Sitia but they are not daily and it's advisable to check timetables. Check out our guide on getting to Crete HERE.
What is the population of Crete?
The last know population count in 2011 tallied a little over 623,000 people. Around half of those reside in the island's capital Heraklion. Crete is the largest and most populated Greek island of them all. Crete's second largest populated region the town of Chania has approximately 150,000 people living within it's metropolitan area.
What is the currency of Crete, Greece?
The Euro. Crete and Greece are part of the European union and the common currency used my many EU member states. Crete and Greece used to have their own currency The Drachma but this was replaced in 2002 by the euro. Some Cretans long for the return of the drachma but despite Greek politican party Syriza calling a referendums on the country's relationship with the EU ultimately the Greek government remained in the eurozone and voted in favour of numerous EU bailouts of Greece during a long period of national bankruptcy. This is a highly immotive and political subject so I'll stop there! You'll use the euro in Crete and wider Greece.
Is there a football team or club in Crete?
What is the best airline to get to Crete, Greece?
Well that depends on where you are coming from and what you want / need from an airline. If you are in europe then during the summer season (May-September) you'll find direct flghts to the island of Crete regularly both with budget and scheduled airlines. In addition the package holiday companies run flights for their organised holidays that you can book on a flight only basis. Budget airlines fly to both Heraklion & Chania and offer a cheaper but more basic travel experience and if you just want to get there (and don't mind them trying to sell you snacks & gifts) they afford more cramped transport to the island.