Crete is one of many Greek Islands that define paradise. From the calm waters that surround it to the rustic Greek culture and all its charms, there's a lot to look forward to in Crete. However, no matter how beautiful a place is, things can still go wrong if you're not traveling wisely. And since Crete is an island all its own, there's still a lot that you may not know about it. Avoid the risk of ruining your trip to Crete by following these useful travel tips. These may help you more than you know!
Know The Best Time to Go to Crete
First thing's first, you need to know the best time to go here. Although Crete remains warm and sunny all year long, you're still better off going here during specific times of the year. Arguably, the best time to visit Crete is from May to October, late spring to early autumn. Although this means you'll inevitably face the summer crowds, the weather during these times is second to none. Unlike in early spring, namely March to April, when it's the hottest time of the year. Now, if you want to avoid too many tourists, come here around September to October. Those months are the off-season for Crete.
You're Better Off Renting A Home
When it comes to accommodations, you're better off renting a home. This isn't to say that the hotels and resorts in Crete aren't worthwhile, but rather, there are a ton of benefits to renting a place instead. For one thing, you get more space. If you brought a lot of clothes or you plan to buy a ton of souvenirs, all that extra space will matter a lot. Also, if you rent a home, it brings you closer to the local community. Getting to meet new people is always one of the best parts of traveling, isn't it? Moreover, since there are many luxury rentals
on offer in Crete, you'll have a lot of options to choose from!
Exchange Currency in Banks
Since Greece is still part of the Schengen Area, you'll probably need to exchange your money for Euros. And as you explore Crete, even starting at the airport, you'll find a ton of money exchangers to help with that. But as helpful as they may seem, it's better to exchange currencies in a local bank instead. In such institutions, you don't risk getting scammed with fake or out-of-date exchange rates, resulting in less cash money than you had anticipated. Also, in this regard, you might want to think about opening your own local Greek bank account
as well. This will make the process much easier!
Get Used to Mixed Spelling
When you explore Crete, as well as other places in Greece for that matter, you'll find that the spelling can oftentimes confuse you. Take Heraklion, one of the main districts of Crete
, for instance. At times, signs will say 'Iraklio' or 'Ηράκλειο' and you wouldn't know that it's referring to the same place. There are a lot of similar signs to expect here in Crete and if you're unaware of them, you can easily get lost along the way. To avoid this, it's better to research the various names of places on the island and their different spellings and iterations.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/Marc Ryckaert
Be Careful On The Road
As a safety precaution, always know that Greek drivers are a crazy lot! Although most of Crete is made up of narrow roads and rock paths, that hasn't stopped locals from driving like a maniac. If you're not careful, you might end up in a serious accident! However, how can you take control of this situation if the local drivers themselves don't care about traffic regulations here? Well, a good option is to avoid the road altogether. If you can walk to your destination, then travel on foot! But if you can't and you have no choice to take public transport, just fasten your seatbelts and pray that you get there safely!
You Can Still Actually Call Other Countries
Although it's wiser to get a local SIM card
when you go to Greece (or any other country for that matter), you can still call overseas nonetheless. In fact, the public phones in Crete still reach other countries, especially the neighboring European nations. You'll find them near government offices, right by shopping centers, and just outside public transport stations. Instead of paying a lot for a local mobile plan to call your folks back home, you simply need some extra change to use these public phones. Don't forget this when you travel to Crete!
Don't Refuse Raki
Finally, as far as Greek social customs
are concerned, it's better that you don't refuse raki, which is Greek wine. Unfortunately, for all your non-alcoholic drinkers out there, it's considered bad manners if you refuse the raki handed to you by the locals. They seriously take offense, oftentimes resulting in harsh reactions and uncomfortable situations. Although you can politely refuse, do note that it's going to be quite the challenge to do so. At the very least, you ought to accept the first cups or glasses of raki offered to you. Once they see you've drunk it at least once, it'll be easier to refuse the next offers!
Even though Crete seems like the ultimate paradise, there's still a lot that can go wrong on your trip here! In order to avoid as many problems as possible, follow these useful travel tips, both while preparing and when you're already here!