Scoot service introduces us to wonderful Crete

After finding the Scoot Airlines service from Australia to Greece was ideal for senior travellers heading for Europe, we decided to test the island of Crete as an initial destination.

Soon after landing in Athens in a Scoot 787 Dreamliner, we hopped a domestic flight to Heraklion, the administrative capital of Crete.

After finding the Scoot Airlines service from Australia to Greece was ideal for senior travellers heading for Europe, we decided to test the island of Crete as an initial destination.


Soon after landing in Athens in a Scoot 787 Dreamliner, we hopped a domestic flight to Heraklion, the administrative capital of Crete.

It was our first visit, but we had an itinerary mapped out;

* checking out the ease of Heraklion Airport and ferry port – including their transfer links

* examining the city centre’s pedestrian access

* visiting Heraklion’s huge archaeological museum.

* travelling into Crete’s mountains to the famous massacre village of Anogeia.

* seeing the ruins of the Minoan palace of Knossos, about five kilometres from the city.

* visiting the Agios Titos Church.

We achieved all of this during our brief three-day stay in Crete, but the biggest impression caught us totally by surprise.


The people we met in Crete were among the friendliest imaginable.

Strangers approached us in taverns, thanked us for visiting their island and insisted on paying for our coffee.

If we puzzled over directions in the streets, locals would immediately stop and offer help. And the staff at our hotel – the Atrion – were delightful. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was done with a smile.

Bus drivers politely offered advice at our handful of faltering Greek words delivered with an Australian accent.

And when we once accidentally overpaid a taxi fare, the driver handed back our money and explained that the fare was actually much cheaper.

Crete is wonderful land and there’s a lot of which it’s people can be proud. But, from our brief stay, it seems the island’s greatest asset is the warmth of its people.

And, did we mention the food?

This was another surprise: Cretan food is an explosion of taste – similar in some ways to the traditional Greek cuisine, but with its own variations and recipes developed from the island’s distinctive natural environment.

On our first day we called into internationally-recognised restaurant, Pesketi – and we’re delighted to find a table without reservation.


The food was incredible: we shared a Cretan salad that was to die for – and then we tried pork strips suspended on hooks over smoking herbs. In a word: incredible!

This was followed by Pesketi’s own honey, cream and nut desert, all washed down with white wine from the vineyards of Crete a a cleansing liqueur.

The centre of Heraklion is a vibrant mix of modern restaurants, fashion shops and traditional street stalls.

Cobblestone streets meander Italian-style from square to square, between fountains and through architecture that reflect the city’s Turkish past.


In the busy 25th of August Street we gazed at beautiful Neoclassical buildings in Heraklion. they housing banks, travel bureaux and tourist shops.

Locals explained that 25th of August Street may have been first cut by the Arabs in the ninth or 10th centuy – and has always been the main thoroughfare of Heraklion, linking the town centre to the harbour.


During the city’s Venetian period (13th-17th century) it was called the Ruga Maistra (Main Street), while in Ottoman times it was known as Vezir Tsarsi (Vizier’s Market) after the Vezir Mosque.

The modern name of the street is due to a tragic event. On the 25th of August 1898, a mob slaughtered many Christians, including 17 British soldiers and the British Consul.

Midway down this impressive pedestrian street, we were stopped in our tracks by the simplistic beauty of the Agios Titos Church.


Probably the oldest church in Heraklion, this building was erected in the 10th century, but later became a mosque. Re-built in 1872, it contains the skull of Saint Titus, a disciple of the apostle Paul.

The excavations of the Minoan palace of Knossos is easy to reach by bus; fascinating to see; and perfectly complements Heraklion’s huge archaeological museum.


If incredibly old civilisations are your thing, then you will certainly get your fix at Crete.


We found the transport links to and from the airport and ferry port to be excellent – and ideal for all travellers – including seniors.

Bottom line: we loved Crete, its people, attractions and it’s food

Watch for our upcoming review of the Hotel Atrion, Heraklion.

.

2 thoughts on “Scoot service introduces us to wonderful Crete”

Thank you for reading and please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s