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Greek Island of Crete: A Beautiful Winter Holiday Destination

Photo by Manolis Symeonidis

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, located in the country’s south border. It is known worldwide as an amazing summer destination with beautiful cities and numerous areas across the island where tourists can enjoy their vacation. However, the island is just as striking in the winter. In fact, some would say that you cannot really appreciate the beauty of Crete until you visit during the winter.
_MG_4569Chania – Old Town
Chania, the second largest city of Crete, has a rich cultural background, due to the town’s long history and its interaction with many diverse civilizations over the years. The Old Town has always been a great tourist attraction, but in the winter the city is quiet, making the perfect place for a relaxed vacation. Take a stroll around the old port to see the “Faros,” the famous lighthouse located at the edge of the port, and keep in mind that the weather conditions can completely change the landscape in just a matter of seconds.
_MG_4643Omalos – The Plateau
Omalos is a small Cretan village in the Chania region. The Greek word Omalos means even, plain, regular or smooth, referring to the plateau. The area has a long history background and it was one of the few areas that the Turks were never able to penetrate during the Ottoman occupation in Greece. The area is full of tavernas offering traditional Greek and Cretan recipes in very good prices, cooked with local products. In the winter, the plateau is usually covered in snow, however, it is always easily accessible through the Chania-Sougia road.
This is a choice for adventurous tourists who like to go swimming in the winter. Seitan is a beautiful beach, located just 20 minutes away from Chania. While the beach is not easily accessible, especially in the winter, it is the perfect place for people who like winter swimming and are also interested in taking a small hike.
Archaeological Museum of RethymnonMuseums
Crete has several museums, scattered across its main cities but also in small villages. One of the most well-known museums, which is also open during the winter season, is the Maritime Museum of Crete, located at the east end of the old port in Chania. The museum first opened its doors in 1973 and contains 13 displays presenting the maritime history of Crete from antiquity to the Battle of Crete in 1941. Furthermore, the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno belongs to the national Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Conservancy. It is housed in the pentagon building in front of the main gate of the Fortezza fortress since 1991. The exhibits present the history of the Prefecture from the Neolithic to the Roman period.
casa delfinoWhere to stay: Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa
Casa Delfino is a boutique hotel, housed in a 17th century Venetian mansion that used to be the private home of the Delfino family in Chania. Paying homage to the history of the building, all the hotel areas have been sensitively restored to their original splendor. The historic building consists of 24 guestrooms, and each of the guestrooms, apartments and signature suites has been individually designed to cater for a wide range of tastes and requirements. Furthermore, Casa Delfino’s courtyard is a romantic area where guests can read and relax.

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