“There is a land called Crete in the midst of the wine-dark sea, a fair land and a rich, begirt with water, and therein are many men innumerable, and ninety cities. And all have not the same speech, but there is confusion of tongues; there dwell Achaeans and there too Cretans of Crete, high of heart, and Cydonians there and Dorians of waving plumes and goodly Pelasgians. And among these cities is the mighty city Cnosus, wherein Minos when he was nine years old began to rule, he who held converse with great Zeus…”
Homer, The Odyssey, Rhapsody T
People from Crete are often accused of being a bit sectionalist. We do love our island, we feel proud of our descendance and sometimes this love seems to be exaggerated. As a matter of fact, there is an old joke about this. The kid returns from school and says to his father “Dad, our teacher asked us to write an essay about the significance of the word “sectionalism”, would you please help me?” The father answers at once “Sectionalist my son is the one who thinks that his home place is better than Crete”!
Overstating as it may sounds, we have to admit that up to a point, there is a bit of truth in that story. Having that in mind, you can understand that it will be difficult for us being objective in answering the questions stated below – however, we will give it a try, and we will be grateful if you would join us for a run. So - why should someone like to visit Crete?
For its magical landscape that combines high mountains and amazing seas. A visitor is able, if desires so, to climb to the highest top of the island (Psiloritis, ~2450m) and in the same day, to swim along one of the many magnificent beaches surrounding Crete. The combination of the Mediterranean climate, along with the complete absence of dangerous animals makes Crete an ideal place for outdoor activities all year round.
For its history. Travelling around Crete can really be travelling through time. Crete is often referred to be “the land of the first European civilization”, Minoan, that rose 2000 years BC. Situated at the crossroad between East and West, Crete has been a part of many different empires and civilizations. Roman Empire, Emirate of Crete, Byzantine Empire, Republic of Venice, Ottoman Empire, they all left markings and relics still preserved today.
For its unique character. All these affections are not a lifeless fossil – instead, they combine in forming a culture unique and vivid. Nikos Kazantzakis (one of the greatest Cretan writers) described it as “the Cretan way”, trying to put in words something you cannot explain. Local cuisine, traditional music and dance, customs and habits that connect Christianity and paganism, festivals with their origins lost in time – all put together form a multicolored kaleidoscope that enchants visitors.
For knowing better contemporaneous Greece. During last decade, Greece is found in the middle of an unprecedented crisis and our country has been associated with economic turmoil. But contemporary Greece is much more than this – it’s a country rich on creativity, on traditions, on culture and a younger generation eager to accomplish their goals. A country that is on its way back up and you can hear about this transition through the eyes and hearts of your local guide.
For all these reasons, and many more, Crete is a great place to visit. We will be honored if you would run with us through its landscapes – and we promise that you will have an unforgettable experience.