Destination Platanias would like to give you our Top 5 in different categories so you won’t miss out on anything. Give them a try!
We would also like to include a few tips that a are good to know during your stay in Crete. Some ideas and tricks we have picked up over the years here…
Explore the island, Crete has so much to offer. Don't miss the opportunity to see it when you are here. Platanias is just a small part of it and it holds so much beauty but Crete is also so much more. Walk in our mountains, swim in world famous beaches, eat at a tavern in a small village in the middle of nowhere, bring home memories and stories to tell your loved ones.
Wake up around 10 and slowly head out for your morning coffee. Sit at a table under the shade in a beach bar. Most greeks drink nowadays freddo espresso which is basically an cold double espresso. Drink the coffee for at least one hour taking small, small sips. Afterwards go to the local bakery and buy a cheese pie and head back for your swimming clothes. At the beach you must look for the spot with the most shade! Lay back and relax, order an orange juice and look around you what's going on the beach.
Around two you go for lunch, ordering in many small plates that all of the company shares. Always order much more than it is possible to eat! Have a few beers and finish up the meal with raki. Head back to the hotel room for a nap. When waking up you go back to the beach now being late afternoon. Now you sit in the sun on the beach and have another cold coffee. If you are in a more trendy place the music will be high and the party will end when the sun goes down at nine.
Return to the hotel to get ready for your evening. Meet up with you friend for food say around 22.30, you will probably finish up your meal after midnight. It's time for cocktails and drinks! The night is warm and the music is loud, bars and clubs starting to fill up at 2.00am. To round up the whole night at 7.00 in the morning go for pancakes! Next morning you probably won't wake up at ten more like lunch time…
Vegetables like tomatoes and cucumber has a totally different taste then it does maybe up in northern Europe. The onions are so tasty that you almost would like to take a bit from them like an apple! Eat lots of salad, there is a reason the greek salad is such a loved dish. Crete is heaven for vegetarians you will find so many delicious dishes to choose from and so healthy!
Even if we have almost the same traffic rules as in scandinavia it doesn't mean that they follow them the same here. Most of all be careful crossing the street. Almost no one stops for you at a pedestrian crossing so only cross if you are sure they have stopped or if it's clear from traffic. Tell your children that might be used to the nordic way to be extra careful!
As we all know the economy in greece have seen better days… Help and support the greeks by buying local products. Buy your groceries in smaller supermarkets they have excellent quality on fruits and vegetables and are usually well stocked from what you might need. Buy gifts for friends and family at home that are made here for example olive oil or a nice bottle of wine.
Lots of beauty products are made here in Greece, give them a try. You can find them in the pharmacy. Use a local car rental or book an excursion with a locally owned business. Many greek families on the island depend on the tourism for income and so does the whole country, we are all striving for a better healthier economy.
The most classic snack greek grandmother gives their grandchildren is bread and olive oil. So simple but oh so tasty. Try it with freshly made bread, pour quite a bit of oil on a plate and add some salt and voila there you go.
For a more advanced and more flavoured snack we have the cretan Dakos. Hard rusk bread with tomato, soft cheese and of course olive oil and oregano. So delicious and a healthier choice. We recommend you to give it a try.
But the one snack that all greeks eat no matter age is the famous toast. Made by normal squared bread with ham and cheese, sometimes with tomato slices. The bread is toasted to be warm and crunchy and the cheese melted. Goes with all hours of the day or as a night snack!
Raki is made just after the grape harvest and it's quite the celebration with family and friends. Raki is an Cretan local drink and is loved by its inhabitants. It's usually served chilled and together with traditional products of Crete like cheese, small plates of meat, olives and pies. You can have a shot of Raki anytime of the day and they say it helps against a bad stomach. If you want to try something with a bit more flavour try the Rakomelo that has a taste of honey.
A good tan is something that most of us is after during our holidays but sometimes it's very easy to overdo it… If you by the end of the day have turned bright red you can always put natural yoghurt on to take away the pain. Another option is Aloe Vera gel that works wonders, we recommend it. It's easy to carry with you and it really helps.
Please use a high sunscreen when you go to the beach at least start with 30 spf. A hat is always a good idea and drink lots of water. Many people suffer from sunstroke during the warm summer months.
We have the best fresh orange juice, drink at least a glass a day. The oranges literally comes from just around the corner and if picked at the right time of the year the taste is unbeatable. In generally eat as much fruit as you can when you are here, especially watermelon they are so sweet and juicy during the summer months and they keep you cool and hydrated.
Mosquito bites is a huge problem for some of our summer guests. Best way to fight these small little bugs is of course to close all windows and balcony doors at night and to buy at any supermarket one of the electric sticks that you plug in the power outlet. They are the best way to keep them away. If you want to try more traditional method you can rub your body with raki, the cretan way!
The greeks have many delicious desserts and a few of them are world famous. We have the Kadaifi and Baklava that most people have heard of. They can be found in any pastry shop. If you would like to try a more traditional cretan dessert we recommend the Sfakianopita with honey, it's a sort of cheese pie.
Another very traditional cretan sweet is Kidonia with syrup, a fruit made as sweet as can be. Halvas is an old classic that you often get “on the house” when you have eaten at a restaurant. Two sweets that are loved by everyone is Galaktoboureko a creamy sweet with syrup and thin layers of crunchy pie and we have Loukoumades that can be presented in different ways, it's a real treat for the sweet tooth.
The water supply in Crete is not that big especially if we have had a dry winter or if there was little snow in the White Mountains. We can all help out by not letting the water run from the tap when it's not necessary and taking shorter showers for an example.
The tap water here in Platanias and also in the rest of the Chania area is 100% drinkable. So there is no need to carry heavy water bottles from the supermarket. If you stay in other parts of Crete like Heraklion it's not drinkable.
Greece and Crete is famous for hot sunny days, the warm summer nights and bright blue skies and that's the case most of the time but it does rain on occasion. If you come early in the season or in the fall be ready for some raindrops. Bring a jacket, long pants, one or two jumpers, sneakers and an umbrella to stay warm and dry.
Don't be too sad for missing a day at the beach. See it as an opportunity to see the island, rent a car, visit a small village in the mountains, go to the city, sit all day at a tavern eating healthy cretan food with the company of delicious cretan wine. Take a spa day, go to the hairdresser, paint your nails or book a makeover with us! Don't worry bad weather doesn't stay long, usually we have one or two stormy days and then the sun is back to shine on you.
One drink that is loved by many is Ouzo. You can drink it with or without ice, most people add a little water that helps to release the oils from the aniseed. By adding water or ice the drinks turns a bit cloudy and heightens the aromas. Alway pour first the Ouzo and then add the ice or/and water. The drink goes excellent together with many kinds of traditional greek mezes. Ouzo is considered the national drink of Greece.
The Masticha tree is produced in Chios and only there. Anywhere else they have tried has been unsuccessful, nobody really knows why. Originally they made chewing gum of it and was believed to withhold therapeutic abilities. Today there are lots of products being made from the tree like soap, cosmetics, toothpaste and sweets. Give the liqueur a try, it's used in many cocktails for that special flavor.