BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

What to know before coming to Crete

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TANGO7174 | CREATIVE COMMONS

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AUGUST 03, 2022

Crete is a beautiful island in Greece with a setting that reminds me of “Mamma Mia!” This location is also home to many Greek myths, including the tale of the labyrinth and the minotaur, the birthplace of Zeus and more! 

While I was enjoying my time on the beach there, I encountered some difficulties. Crete is a popular travel destination, which means you need to prepare before you go. Here are some things to know before coming to Crete. 

The distance between attractions 

Coming to Crete, a must-see sight is Elafonisi beach, where you can go see the iconic pink sand. I was excited about a quick beach trip, as I assumed it would be near my Airbnb in the heart of Chania. This seemed to be a nearby island along the coast, right? Wrong. It was a two-hour drive to the beach and another two-hour drive to the next big town. You’ll need a couple of days if you want to see the island thoroughly. Everything is extremely far apart, which brings me to my next point. 

You’ll need to rent a car

If you don’t rent your own car, you’ll end up stuck in a taxi for hours if you’re trying to see all of the sights. Imagine the price of that ride! Another option is joining a tour group, but the buses are generally crammed full of people. You also don’t get to choose the destinations. Imagine sitting in that cramped bus for hours in 100-degree weather. Most people who visit Crete will rent a car for a good reason, and you’re more likely to save money this way too. 

The drivers won’t yield 

This might apply to most European countries, but seriously, these drivers here are intense. Local drivers seem to love zigzagging between cars, and they tend not to use their signal. I don’t know where they learned to drive, but I can’t remember being taught this in driver’s education! 

The roads are winding

Although the photo ops will display breathtaking views from the top of a mountain, what you likely can’t capture is the struggle of the journey that brought you to this moment. You’ll probably encounter these winding roads that go through steep cliffs when you’re driving anywhere. Cranking the steering wheel every five seconds was rough. Good luck navigating these twists combined with the drivers that will try to cut you off while you’re pulled off on the side of a cliff.

You’ll be offered free raki with every meal

On a more enjoyable note, every restaurant I went to offered a free shot of raki after every meal. If you didn’t know, raki is a strong alcoholic drink. All the locals will provide you with a drink as a sign of hospitality. It’s often offensive to decline the drink, so even if you don’t drink it, at least mimic the motion by smelling the bottle and then putting it back down to show respect to the restaurant workers. 

Crete was definitely a fantastic experience, but just beware of drivers and any goats crossing the road! 

Contact Annabel Chia at 

LAST UPDATED

AUGUST 03, 2022


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