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Crete Travel

Rethymnon in 13 photos

February 2, 2019

My family comes from the mainland in Greece. I have traveled to many islands through the years but never been to Crete until recently. Now I understand why it´s such a popular destination. Crete is the largest island in Greece and its geographical position have made the people love and grow their land. Olive groves, orange trees or vineyards can be seen after the roads. I admire people with devotion or meraki as the greeks says. The Cretan cuisine is delicious, more about the gastronomic culture on the island here.

Are you going to Crete this summer? Are you thinking about where to stay? The island is large and there are many attractions to explore. If you choose Rethymnon then you will be able to make day trips to the east and to the west side of the island. Or just explore what is around the city of Rethymnon itself. Here are my best culture tips and photos.

Rethymnon port

The beautiful Venetian old harbor and the lighthouse are Rethymnons citys pride. The lighthouse we see today, 9 meters high, is built by Egyptians in the 1830s when Crete belonged to the Ottoman Empire. The harbor is the meeting point for tourists and locals. Here you will find many cozy taverns and cafes with the tables directly at the dock where the colorful fishing boats are located.

Old town

The city of Rethymnon was already there in the Minoan times. The old city we see today is the best preserved on the island built during the Venetian era of the 1600s. It so nice to stroll around old town and explore the old buildings and the architecture.

Fortezza castle

Fortezza is built on the hill Paleokastro (means old castle) under the Venetian regime. The Venetians built it to protect the city from the Ottoman occupation. But despite this, the Turks conquered the city in the 1600s. The fortress was destroyed during the second World War but is renovated and a mosque and two churches from the 1800s have been preserved.

Preveli

Preveli Monastery is located 37 km from Rethymnon in a beautiful hill overlooking the water of Preveli beach. The monastery is consisted of two main building complexes, the Lower (Kato) Monastery and the Rear (Pisso) Monastery  which is in operation today. The monastery is known for its battles against the Turks 1821 and in the battle of Crete 1941.

The beach is located about 2 km from the lower Monastery, has a nice parking place there. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the beach from the parking area, take the stairs and walk down the hill to the beach. It is a unique and popular place where the river Grand River opens into the sea.

Arkadi Monastery

Arkadi Monasterys church was built in 1587 by Italian architects and was heavily influenced by the renaissance art. But I’m more impressed over the interiors and beautiful colour of ochre on the walls. So nice to be a monk here and have time for reflection and inner thought in this beautiful environment. The Monastery is one of the Eastern Orthodox Monasteries underlining the catholicity and universality of the church and has therefore many visitors and pilgrims from the whole world.

Epirus Sustainable Lifestile Travel

I’m back!

January 25, 2019

I envy the fisherman’s lifestyle, a daily life without stress and deadlines. In the middle of the university city of Ioannina and yet in a calm as few can get away in today’s digital world.

What lifestyle have you chosen in your daily life? Do you live in a big city, in the countryside or somewhere in between? Do you hear the birds in the morning or are you sitting with the headphones on the bus on your way to work? I envy those who left the big city and moved to the countryside and chosen a still life…

Have you heard the story about the fisherman who lives in the present?
A poor fisherman sat on the beach when a rich businessman passed by.
“Why do you sit here with a lazy look? Why are you not fishing?” the businessman asked.
“Because I caught enough fish for today,” said the fisherman. “Now I’m sitting here enjoying the sun.”

The businessman shook his head.
“Now when you have time you could catch more fish, do not just sit here and do nothing”
“What would I do with the fish,” wondered the fisherman.
“You could sell it and earn lots of money,” said the businessman. “Buy one bigger boat with bigger engine and fish even more and earn more money.”

“What would I do then?” wondered the fisherman.
“You should be able to sit and just enjoy life”, said the businessman.
“I do that right now”, said the poor fisherman.

Lake Pamvotis
is the only lake in Greece with an inhabited island within its perimeter. And maybe one of the resons why it’s such a popular travel destination. Ioannina is the capital of the Greek province of Epirus. The city has about 100,000 inhabitants. Ioannina can be followed back to the 900’s but became important as Epirus’s first city in 1204 and became independent in 1913.

The photo is shot from Tzami Pasha Mosque. The island of Nisi is interesting with its history and role as the scene of the murder of Ali Pasha, ruler over Ioannina in the 1800s.