5+1 wonderful things to do in Crete in October
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
October is simply amazing in Crete. The weather is warm enough to be #stillsummer for beaches, while the autumnal terrain in the inland of the island is the perfect setting for daily excursions. Can you combine both destinations, sea and landscape? You would have then the perfect match. Let's see our suggestions for October in Crete; and don't forget: we are in the middle of the month, there are 2,5 weekends remaining, plus the National "Ochi" Day on the 28th, so take it to the most!
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1. Visit Toplou Monastery and Vai palm forest
Vai beach is one of the bucket list destinations in #Crete, a unique place as a natural palm forest in Europe. The palm forest is consisted of the Cretan date palm (Phoenix theophrasti) species. The palm forest of Phoenix theophrasti at Vai, unique in Europe, is located in a small coastal valley at the NE edge of Crete; actually one of the driest parts of Greece. The Cretan date palm is a specie native to the eastern Mediterranean, and especially specific places in Crete. Moreover, the three gorgeous beaches at Erimoupolis and the archaeological site there (ancient Itanos), just a couple of kilometer to the north, are worth to visit.
2. Visit Monastiraki, Cha gorge and Agriomandra
Monastiraki village, #Lassithi area, is named after a small monastery existing previously there. Actually, remnants of a byzantine monastery have been discovered there and the site is listed as a monument by the Greek Ministry of Culture. The village was abandoned and now is reviving; it's so scenic on the foothills of the mountain range of east Crete and nearby the impressive mouth of Cha gorge. Great place to eat there and have a coffee!
Agriomandra beach is really a hidden gem! Less than 10 kilometer from Monastiraki, this scenic place is a sheltered and secluded cove totaly worth a 15-minute walk from the parking area.
3. Visit Kera Monastery and Krasi
Krasi is really a great destination in the Cretan landscape. The place is a natural wonder and a historic site as well, combining a monumental tree with a significant manmade monument of the past everyday life. One of the oldest and thickest plane trees in the world, the plane tree at Krasi, has been listed as Monument of Nature by the Greek Ministry of Environment, fits perfect with the neighboring listed complex of fountains in the village. Through all the years of its existence, the monumental plane tree witnessed many historical events, and the presence of the great Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis.
4. Visit Psiloritis mountains, the Idaean Cave and Schinakas observatory
Mount #Ida (#Psiloritis), is the highest mountain in Crete, and is located in the centre of the island. This mountain has always an impressive look to the inhabitants and visitors of Crete, from the Minoan era till now. There are three ways to head to the summit of the Ida mountain, Timios Stavros (Τίμιος Σταυρός), 2,456 m. The summit is named after the drystone chapel there, dedicated to the Holy Cross. The trails are signed, crossing a rough, arid and rocky, landscape.
In 1986, the year that the Halley’s comet passed close to Earth, the Physics department of the University of Crete in collaboration with Greek and German institutions built the observatory on the peak called Skinakas (1750 m. elevation), west of the higher peak of the mountain. Skinakas observatory is a landmark of Psiloritis.
5. Visit Agia Pelagia and Fodele
Fodele, a scenic village about 20 kilometers to the west of Heraklion, is located in a picturesque small valley with lush vegetation, orange groves, olive trees, and water resources. The village is mentioned in Venetian-period written sources, even from the middle of 13th century. The prosperous area however was inhabited from previous periods, as the archaeological remains indicate. Moreover, during the first half of the 20th century some scholars proposed that a famous Greek painter who became famous for his work in Spain in the 16th century, El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), was born in Fodele. This hypothesis fostered the development of Fodele as a touristic destination, however is not proven. A small Museum however outside the village, dedicated to El Greco, is worth to visit. Of course, Fodele is a great place to eat!
6. Visit Agioi Apostoloi beach, Keritis bridge and Agia lake
Agioi Apostoloi, a great place for sports and recreation in the suburban landscape of #Chania, in a scenic natural environment. This area is characterized by sandy coves and small rocky capes, and is a listed archeological zone by the Greek Ministry of Culture, a fact that, as we have already pointed out elsewhere, has undoubtedly contributed to the preservation of the landscape and the public space, at this popular place of Chania.
Keritis bridge, an impressive listed monument, collapsed on February 25, 2019, except of the western arch of the bridge which is still standing. This historic monument initially was a three-arched bridge on #Keritis river, near #Alikianos, less than 12 km from #Chania. Visit this place, took photos and spread the word of this historic monuments, it’s important to take action in order this bridge to be reconstructed again! Keep in mind that a close approach to the remnants on both sides of the river can be dangerous, as crossing the river as well, so better keep distances and take photos from a safe range.
Fly to Crete, rent a car and start exploring the island from the East to West! Crete is like a small continent!
For your excursion you may need to bring supplies and beach gear with you to those beaches!
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Do you want to find out more about sheltered beaches in Crete, available to visit even in windy days? Read about our top 5 beaches in Crete for 2019!
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