Τρίτη 21 Μαρτίου 2017

Greek Tourism 2017/ TripAdvisor Names the World's Top 25 destinations in 2017 Travelers' Choice Awards. Crete ranked 6th.

The place you visit and always return...Crete!!

The island of Crete is a Greek jewel floating in a sea of melted turquoise.
The beaches are godly stretches of pillowy sand and smooth pebbles.

Its historical and mythological significance can not be ignored: Crete is said to have been to be the birthplace of Zeus, the king of the Gods, and was the site of Europe's first modern civilization...

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is a paradise for tourists seeking sunshine, beaches, and culture.

TIME Magazine puts Crete in 3rd place in world!

“If the last time you thought about Crete was in a lesson on Greek history, now is the time to think about visiting it”, writes the TIME magazine, which considers the Island to be the 3rd most important place in the world, to visit for 2017.

In the annual awards that the magazine gives, choosing 10 destinations within the U.S. and 7 in the rest of the world, they include Crete.

“It has world renowned sites, such as the Palace of Knossos, beautiful beaches and wonderful tavernas which serve fresh seafood, homemade raki and local cheeses”, the article states and puts the Greek Island in third place in it’s list of worldwide destinations.

The magazine suggests that now is good time to visit Crete, as the prices of flights and hotels have fallen.
They also suggest that anyone visiting should not miss seeing Elafonisi and Balos.

The top destinations for 2017 according to TIME and the cost of a weeks visit, for two people, from the U.S. are as follows:

Hanoi, Vietnam (2,600 dollars)
Bali, Indonesia (2,579 dollars)
Crete, Greece (3,642 dollars)
Cusco, Peru (3,005 dollars)
Paris, France (3,918 dollars)
Marrakech, Morocco (3,364 dollars)
New Delhi, India (2,564 dollars)

Moments in Crete

Crete simply has it all! 
One of the best short videos, made from VisitGreece
Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea.

Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountainscapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture.

Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!

2nd Crete Marathon

The 2nd Crete Marathon will be held at the beautiful town of Chania on Sunday April 9, 2017.

Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a memorable race in the historic centre of Chania starting from the Old Municipal Market, runners will pass from the old Venetian Harbour and then follow an impressive course by the sea. It is a course of unique beauty which will provide the participants an unforgettable running experience.
 Apart from the Marathon Race, the event also includes a 10km run, a 5km run, a 2.5 fun run as well as a Marathon Bike fun run.

The Event of 2nd Crete Marathon will be launched on Friday 7 of April with a ceremony for the cutting of the olive branch "kotinos" from the Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves which will be used for the wreath bestowed upon the Marathon winners, act that constitutes an Olympic symbol, and on Saturday the 8th a torch relay in memory of Metropolitan Irenaeus Galanakis will take place as well as an Opening Ceremony.

The 2nd Crete Marathon is organised by the Chania Road Runners Health Club and various local authorities. It is held under the auspices of SEGAS and the Hellenic Association of Mass Popular Sports and Ultra Running Clubs and it is certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
For more info: crete-marathon.gr

Greek Blue Flag Beaches in World’s Top 3

Greek beaches have consecutively been listed in the top three spots of the highly coveted Blue Flags Program, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) said on occasion of the 30th anniversary of the project.

According to EEPF, which has been responsible for the Foundation for Environmental Education’s (FEE) Blue Flag program in Greece since 1992, its aim is to achieve the first position for Greek beaches and coasts. Indicatively, in 1987, the Blue Flag was awarded to 244 coasts worldwide and seven beaches in Greece. Of the 3,568 beaches awarded today, 430 are in Greece.
“The Blue Flag is a collective effort, and the EEPF would like to thank all the administrators of beaches and marinas, supporters, sponsors and volunteers who have backed the program over the years. With unparalleled diligence, common goals and vision, we will act together for the best results towards the development of sustainable tourism for the benefit of our country,” said EEPF President Nikos Petrou.

On the initiative of the FEE, the Blue Flag Program labels beaches and marinas as well as sustainable boating tourism operators appropriate for swimming based on cleanness, water quality, organization, safety and services, environmental management and protection and certifies the best every year ahead of summer.

Greek Moussaka: Tradition meets taste!

By: Tina Webb | Greek Classics, Meals |Mediterranean Cooking|

It doesn’t get more Greek than a plate of Moussaka though Turks may beg to differ. In Arabic countries the dish is served cold whereas the Balkan Moussaka is served hot. What differentiates the Greek version are the layers that are separately cooked before being combined in the final baking process. The modern Greek version was probably formulated by chef Tselementes in the Twenties…

Serves: 1 full dish Preparation time: 20m Cooks in: 2 hours Ready in: 2 hours and 20 minutes


6 large eggplants
Frying oil
For the minced meat sauce:
700 grams of minced beef
1 large onion, grated
1 glass of white wine
1 coffee cup of oil
2 table spoons of tomato paste
5 grains of spices
6 table spoons of finely chopped parsley
salt, pepper
For the bechamel sauce:
6 tablespoons of butter
8 tablespoons of flour
800 ml milk
3 eggs
salt, pepper


Step 1
Cut the eggplants into slices of 1 cm each. Salt these and place them on a sieve for half an hour. Rinse these with water and squeeze out the juices.

Step 2
Dry out the slices and fry these in ample frying oil until they are golden brown on both sides. Place these on kitchen paper to absorb the juice. Another option would be to brush them with olive oil and grill these.

Step 3
Prepare the minced meat. Heat the oil and saute the finely chopped onion. Add the minced meat and keep stirring. Add white sauce. Dissolve the tomato paste in some water and add it to the minced meat. Add spice, parsley, salt and peper and keep stirring until all the juices have dried up. Put the minced meat to the side so that it cools down.

Step 4
Prepare the bechamel sauce. Heat the butter in a pot, add the flour and sauté until the mixture darkens. Add warm milk while constantly stirring the mixture. Pull away from the heat, as soon as the bechamel sauce thickens. Add the spice, salt and pepper. Add cheese and keep stirring while folding the eggs into the mixture. Stir fast until the mixture sets.

Step 5
Heat the oven to 170 degrees. Place half the fried eggplants at the bottom of the dish. Place the minced meat on top and level with a spoon so that it is evenly spread. Add a second layer of eggplants. Pour the bechamel sauce on top and spread it out evenly. Place the dish in the oven for one hour until a golden crust forms on top of the sauce. Let it cool down for half an hour before serving.

Calls for Minoan Civilization, Spinalonga to be Named UNESCO World Heritage Sites

On occasion of an UNESCO Committee Convention held in Heraklion, Crete, last weekend, Crete Region Prefect Stavros Arnaoutakis and Heraklion Mayor Vassilis Labrinos called for the inclusion of Minoan Civilization and Spinalonga island on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

Delegates from 18 countries gathered on Crete last weekend to discuss the inclusion of Minoan Civilization and the islet of Spinalonga – once a leper colony – on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list.

Experts from Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America convened at Heraklion’s St Mark Basilica chaired by Culture Ministry Secretary General Maria Vlazaki to discuss the protection of cultural property from antiquities smuggling activities, while committee members had the chance earlier that day to visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and learn more about the Minoan Palaces including Knossos, Phaistos, Zakros, Malia and Cydonia via a video presentation.

“We are confident that the UNESCO Committee will contribute to the common effort for the protection of the world’s archaeological treasures and the Region of Crete is present in this action,” said Arnaoutakis.

Δευτέρα 13 Μαρτίου 2017

Time for Greece to Capitalize on Safety, Its Strong Point

By Maria Paravantes in Berlin

It’s time for Greece to capitalize on its leading strong point – security, Michalis Vamiedakis, Crete Tourism Commissioner told the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) during the ITB Berlin on Thursday.

“The good news is that we are seeing increased bookings and more reservations for the off season period like April and May, the bad news that many of these bookings have been made very early when hoteliers made extremely low offers which is bound to take a bite out of revenue,” Vamiedakis told the GTP, adding that the resultant increase in tourism due to the situation in Turkey must be taken advantage of.

“It is vital that we capitalize on the current demand for Greece, offer the finest services at competitive prices and promote the added advantage of Greece right now, namely that it is a safe and secure destination,” Vamiedakis said, echoing the sentiments of many of his colleagues at the ITB.

But he was quick to point out that stakeholders must also “remain wise, keep their prices down and spread the word that Greece is value for money due to the safety it offers”. 

“We must also aim parallel to the sea and sun concept to promote new tourism segments like agro-tourism, health, conference and other forms of the product offering diversity and at the same time focusing on what brings in travelers.” 
(source: GTP)