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When Can We Travel To Greece Again? (updated 19th Apr 2021)

With summer approaching and after months upon months spent within the confines of our own four walls, when all the travel we’ve done has been to the grocery store or the nearest park, our minds inevitably drift to sunny islands with pristine beaches and laid-back vibes. Our minds drift to Greece. Before too long, there will only be one question lingering in our thoughts: When can we travel to Greece again?

This guide is here to show you how and when it will be possible to travel to Greece again and it will be regularly updated to include all the latest developments regarding travel restrictions to Greece.

The Current Traveling To Greece Situation

Since November 7, 2020, Greece has been in lockdown with measures against the spread of the new coronavirus varying from strict to very strict. International travel may not be altogether banned but non-essential travel within the country isn’t allowed. Therefore, traveling to Greece right now makes little to no sense for many reasons.

First of all, not all international travelers are allowed entry to the country at the moment. Greece is only open to visitors coming from the European Union, the Schengen Countries, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Israel, United States of America and Serbia.

All international arrivals must fill in a Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours before travel, provide a negative Covid-19 test result, and self-isolate for seven days. The latter means that, if you’re planning to visit Greece for a short trip, you may as well spend the better part of your vacation in your hotel room.

Moreover, traveling to Greece now means that visitors would miss out on experiencing the country’s unique dining scene as all restaurants, bars, and cafés are closed, with only some of them offering take-away and delivery options. Museums, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, and other indoor places of interest are also closed. On the contrary, archaeological sites are open to the public.

Last but not least, wearing a face mask is mandatory in all public areas, both outdoors and indoors.

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When Can We Travel To Greece Again And How?

The good news is that the current travel requirements to enter Greece and the restrictions that are in place once you are in the country won’t be here for much longer. As the Greek government announced, Greece is ready to welcome visitors from all over the world, including the USA, earlier than expected. With a complete protocol planned out for summer 2021, Greece is looking to re-open international tourism on May 14, 2021.

Unlike the 7-day quarantine period that applies today, the Greek government plans to welcome tourists entering Greece after May 14 with no self-isolation requirements. To achieve this, all international travelers will be required to provide documents proving one of the following:

  1. They have been vaccinated.
  2. They have a negative test result.
  3. They have recovered from the disease and, hence, have antibodies.

On top of that, there will be random testing at entry points, such as Athens International Airport.

As of April 19th 2021, only permanent residents of EU+, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Israel, USA and Serbia are exempted from the 7-day quarantine.

This roadmap to the Greek tourism recovery can set a brilliant example for other countries to follow in an effort to restart international travel and support local economies. The details of the grand re-opening procedure are yet to be revealed by the National Public Health Organization and the Greek Civil Protection, so check back with us as we will be updating this guide with new information once they are announced.  

One thing’s for sure: the wait is almost over. The answer to the question When can we travel to Greece again? is no longer wishful thinking. This summer can and will have the scent of Greece. A scent carried by the Aegean Sea breeze, a sweet blend of jasmine, herbs, and freshly baked bread. A scent that will find its way into our souls regardless if we’re wearing face masks or not.

In the meantime, make sure you check out our itineraries and get inspired!

Top 7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Greek Islands

With more than 6000 islands scattered across its glistening blue waters, Greece is the ideal destination for a memorable beachside vacation. Some of these islands, such as Santorini, Mykonos, or Crete, are famous all over the world. However, there are many off-the-beaten-path Greek Islands that are definitely worth a visit, too. Here’s a list of our favorite among them.

Tinos

Formerly known and visited solely as the most important site of worship for Orthodox Christians in Greece, Tinos is now being rediscovered for all its other charms. This barren mountainous island in the Cyclades is dotted with traditional villages, sandy beaches, and natural wonders, which include otherworldly rock formations and incredible lunar landscapes.

The wild beauty of Tinos comes in contrast with its artistic heritage, which is best appreciated at the island’s historic marble workshops. Moreover, this off-the-beaten-path Greek Island is ideal for travelers longing for the great outdoors and activities like hiking and wind-surfing.

Amorgos

No words can describe the feelings Amorgos evokes. This stunning island is the epitome of raw beauty and that’s probably what drove director Luc Besson to use Amorgos as the backdrop for his epic 80s movie The Big Blue.

Carved in rock on a steep hill overlooking nothing but the endless blue of the Aegean Sea, the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa is probably the island’s ultimate highlight alongside the romantic Old Town, one of the prettiest medieval settlements in Greece.

Patmos

The Island of the Apocalypse; the Jerusalem of the Aegean; whatever way you like to call it, Patmos is a unique island that has managed to preserve its authentic vibes even though it’s considered one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the Mediterranean. Yes, the island is home to the Cave where John the Revelator wrote The Book of Revelation, but Patmos is so much more than just that.

The Old Town of Patmos is an architectural masterpiece as it winds its way around the imposing Monastery of St John. Moreover, Patmos is abundant in pristine beaches and secret coves and one of the best islands to enjoy a sailing trip in the Dodecanese.

Folegandros

It’s not an overstatement to say that Folegandros is the fairest of all the Cyclades Islands. Its well-preserved Old Town seems to have sprung straight out of a fairy tale or a midsummer night’s dream. Whitewashed and beyond words charming, the walled medieval castle on the edge of the cliff is the ultimate highlight of Folegandros Old Town.

The island is also home to one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the Aegean Sea. The Church of Panagia is built on a hill overlooking the Old Town and the enchanting blue sea for as far as the eye can see.

Spetses

Spetses is one of the loveliest off-the-beaten-path Greek Islands near Athens. Thankfully, the island’s proximity to the busy capital hasn’t altered its character. With grand captains’ mansions and an unparalleled aura of nostalgia and old-fashioned grace, a trip to Spetses feels like a journey back in time.

Combining luxury, art, and a rich history of war heroines and maritime legends, Spetses is an island like no other. The best time to visit the island is September for a chance to attend the incredible Armata Festival and watch the re-enactment of the 1822 Naval Battle of Spetses. 

Anafi

Resting silently in the shadow of nearby Santorini, Anafi is equally beautiful yet altogether different than its famous neighbor. This windswept rock in the heart of the Aegean Sea is the ideal island for those seeking absolute seclusion and unfathomable charm.

Anafi is one of the remotest off-the-beaten-path Greek Islands. Life in its dazzlingly white Old Town seems to go by at an irresistibly slow pace, while the island’s barren scenery promises moments of utter relaxation and a much-needed reconnection with nature.

Serifos

Serifos is often dubbed the Greek Island with 72 untouched beaches. This would be reason enough to visit in its own right. But there’s more. Built on a steep cliff and whitewashed to perfection, the Old Town of Serifos boasts magnificent traditional architecture and a laid-back ambiance that’s hard to put into words.

Moreover, Serifos is hiking heaven. One of the best places to explore on foot is the area where the island’s former mining facilities used to be. Once there, you can wander around and admire transport wagons, rails, a loading bridge, and even a gallery.

So, which of these off-the-beaten-path Greek Islands would you like to visit first? Come to think of it, why choose only one when you can visit all of them during your next trip to Greece? 

Best Honeymoon Destinations in Greece

There’s no better feeling than the sweet anticipation shared by newlyweds across the world who set their hearts on spending a fairytale-like honeymoon in Greece. Yet there’s nothing worse than have this wonderful feeling marred by stressful thoughts on how to plan a Greek honeymoon to the last detail.

To make all these negative thoughts go away and take this burden off your shoulders, we’ve created this ultimate guide of all the things you must keep in mind while planning your dream honeymoon in Greece. Of course, the team of Curated Greece is always here to help you with everything!

Top Places To Add To Your Greek Honeymoon Itinerary

Greece is an incredibly diverse country. Therefore, choosing which places to add to your Greek honeymoon itinerary is no easy task. That said, there are some places in Greece that are ideal for an unforgettable honeymoon, each for different reasons. Let’s find out why!

Athens

With some of the world’s most glorious ancient relics and an inescapably contemporary aura, Athens is a historical and modern city at the same time. Yet Athens can be very romantic, too. One of the best things for newlyweds to do in the Greek capital is to enjoy a candlelit rooftop dinner under the shadow of one of the world’s most recognizable wonders: the Acropolis of Athens. If that’s not a moment to cherish for life, we don’t know what is.

Monemvasia

Monemvasia is a medieval castle town in Southern Peloponnese that provides the perfect setting for people in love to live the movie-like moments they always dreamt of. Dimly lit and mesmerizingly silent outside of the sound of the crashing waves, the Old Town of Monemvasia is almost unbearably romantic with its century-old mansions, cobbled streets, and endless views of the sea.

Santorini

With picturesque architecture lining the edge of dramatic cliffs over an impressive caldera and the most epic sunsets imaginable, Santorini is THE honeymoon destination. Indulging in a once-in-a-lifetime sunset cruise, sipping on exquisite wine grown on the island’s blessed volcanic soul, and swimming in the crystal clear waters of black, red, or white sand beaches are the kind of experiences that will render your Santorini honeymoon truly unique.

Crete

Honeymoons are all about sharing romantic moments with your better half. But some couples just can’t imagine a vacation that doesn’t involve at least a bit of action. If that’s the case, Crete is both adventurous and idyllic. From fantastic hiking opportunities, such as the magnificent Samaria Gorge trail, to the romantic historical cities of Chania and Rethymno to endless sandy beaches adorned with palm trees like Preveli and Vai, or lagoons like Balos and Elafonisi, Crete has it all.

Mykonos

Far from being just the mecca of glamor and celebrity watching, Mykonos is first and foremost the island of top-notch services, luxury, and elegance. In other words, exactly what you need on your Greek honeymoon. Add to this a superb dining scene, epic nightlife, and some of the best beaches in Greece and there you have it: the perfect Mykonos honeymoon that combines romantic moments with beautiful nature and a tiny bit of fun.

Naxos

If you’re looking to add a touch of authentic Greece at its best to your Greek honeymoon itinerary, there’s no better place than Naxos. This stunning Cycladic Island combines all those elements that guarantee the ultimate Greek Island experience: pristine sandy beaches, a jaw-droppingly beautiful Old Town, and the most mouthwatering food, prepared with nothing but fresh local products and love.

Paros

Just a stone’s throw from Naxos, Paros is yet another delightful addition to your Greek honeymoon itinerary. As one of the easiest islands to get around, with beyond words beautiful beaches and excellent services, Paros is ideal for newlyweds looking for a little bit of everything: experience the Greek hospitality, explore at a leisurely pace, and relax in luxury hotels by the sea.

Milos

Quaint Milos is a unique island that seems to have romance written all over it. Boasting rock formations that resemble lunar landscapes and impossibly turquoise waters, Milos is the perfect backdrop for the most memorable trip of your life and the ideal island for newlyweds in search of a quiet yet classy destination to spend their honeymoon.

Best Time To Enjoy a Honeymoon in Greece

The best months to plan your honeymoon in Greece are May, June, and September. During these months, you have all the goodness of summer, such as warm weather to enjoy the outdoors and swim in the sea, but without the crowds and excessive heat that July and August bring.

Choose Your Honeymoon Accommodation Wisely

Greece has no shortage of excellent accommodation options. However, when it comes to planning your honeymoon, you should shoot for the stars. Only the best rooms can add that special touch that will make your honeymoon in Greece stand out from any other vacation you’ve ever taken.

By best hotels, we mean elegant, stylish, and most importantly, one of their kind. For instance, a cave hotel in Santorini with a private pool carved in the volcanic rock or an imposing stone built mansion in Monemvasia dating back to medieval times are among the most dreamy places to stay on your honeymoon.

Let The Experts Curate Your Dream Honeymoon in Greece

No matter the excitement of planning what’s probably the most special trip of your life and even if you’ve more than carefully thought it out, there’s still room for that tiny little thing that can go wrong and ruin it all for you. Is it worth the stress? Definitely not.

If a fully customized yet seamless experience is what you’re after, we’re only an email away. Our expert team will take care of every aspect of your Greek honeymoon; from activities, experiences and accommodation to transfers and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. All you have to do is relax and enjoy as we curate your dream honeymoon in Greece, tailored exactly to your needs and desires! Fill up our quick questionnaire and let’s start curating!

Simple Greek Recipes
to Try: Dakos

In our last post, we talked about Crete. Among the many wonderful things to enjoy on Crete is the incredible and unique cuisine, and since the recipes used by the locals depend on local products, it’s almost impossible to find authentic Cretan food anywhere else in the world. It’s safe to say, the food is one of the things you’ll miss when you go back home.

Harvested fresh olives in the hands of farmer, Crete, Greece.

Thankfully, if you’re lucky enough to visit the island, there are plenty of products you can purchase and bring back home. Olives and olive oil, for example, are obvious but always appreciated souvenirs, and really good EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) makes all the difference when you want to try your hand at making any Greek dish. Oregano is another great flavoring to bring home. At smaller markets and any place that sells spices on Crete, you’ll find bouquets of dry oregano. To bring it home easy, crumble it up (discarding the stems) in a bag or a jar. Jars of local capers and caper leaves are also sold in almost any store in the villages. Tiny bombs of flavor, they make for excellent additions to salads and dips.

Cooking Traditional Pies
Olives in Greece

Finally, dakos, the Cretans’ famous bread rusk rings. Made with barley and baked twice, they are rock hard, and keep for months. Once softened with the right toppings, they’re also delicious. While you won’t find a perfect recipe for them (the recipes are considered valuable secrets), you’ll find the actual product at bakeries, delis and supermarkets, and they’re a must-buy for any foodie.

Got all the ingredients? Follow our instructions below and prepare a traditional and simple, perfect Cretan meal at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 large round rusk
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • a splash of vinegar, optional
  • 3,5 oz (100 g) Cretan ksinomysithra cheese, or feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. capers or a few caper leaves
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • a handful of olives

Directions

Grate one of your tomatoes, and chop the other one finely. If using, add the vinegar to the grated tomato.

Place the bread rusk in a deep serving dish, cut side up. Sprinkle it with up to a tablespoon of water – this is necessary to make it soften slightly, but don’t overdo it, the tomato and oil will finish the job.

Top the bread rusk with the grated tomato, and then the chopped tomato.

Crumble the feta cheese over the tomato, and top with oregano, capers (or caper leaves), olives and extra virgin olive oil.

Serve, and savour, immediately!

11+1 Things to do When in Santorini

Santorini is probably one of the most photographed spots on this earth and at the top of most travelers’ bucket list. But what do you do when the time finally comes to visit this desired destination? Curated Greece has put together some essential recommendations that will let you get a good “taste” of the island:

1.Admire the view from the caldera

Remember all these times when you saw postcards and gorgeous photos of Santorini? Full of white fairy tale like houses and blue windows? Well, it’s time for you to see all this in real life. There is no way that this stunning view won’t leave you amazed!

2.Discover the island’s gastronomy and delicious local produce

Santorini’s volcanic soil and microclimate is the perfect environment for the growth of delicious local produce full of flavor and taste. Fava beans, capers, eggplants, tomatoes, grapes are among the popular products of Santorini. Moreover, the island hosts some of the best restaurants in Greece, with famous chefs creating distinguished dishes based on local products.

Tip: Taste Santorini’s popular cherry tomatoes, you can’t go wrong.

3.Stay in a cave house

You can’t go to Santorini and not live the experience of staying in a traditional cave house, with their characteristic earthy smell. Cave homes used to house the islands habitants as they provided protection from winds and they didn’t need a lot of materials to be constructed. They are built on the 400m high caldera (crater) of the island, they have an extraordinary view to the volcano while most of the rooms in each house are caves dug into the earth.

Tip: Not recommended for claustrophobics

4.Visit the local wineries

Santorini is home to several ancient varieties of grapes that can only be found on the island and the habitants of the island have been cultivating grapes in a unique halo shaped way, adapted to the climate of the island for thousands of years. The tradition still holds strong and nowadays the island has several award-winning wine producing houses. Visit them, learn about the particularities of the Santorinian wines and of course do some wine tasting.

5.Take a dive at the colorful volcanic beaches

Yes, it is not Mykonos but whether you prefer white, black, red or brown sand, Santorini has it all. Make sure to visit the island’s beaches and see the beautiful rock formations and colors of Santorini’s volcanic beaches. You won’t believe when you see how one white beach can co-exist next to a red beach.

6.Time travel to Akrotiri prehistoric village

Archaeologists claim that the first habitants of Akrotiri date back to 5000 BC but what you can see there today is a flourishing village of 30000 inhabitants at its peak, that was buried under the hot lava 3000 years ago. Walking around the paved streets of the village, the squares, the multi-level houses feels like travelling in time.

7.Watch the sunset from Oia

Who hasn’t heard of and seen photos of the Greek sunsets? However, there is one that is the mother of all sunsets and that is Oia’s. Every day hundreds of the islands visitors rush to find the perfect spot to witness the popular Oia sunset and see the sun diving directly into the Aegean sea. It is undeniably beautiful and worth watching.

Tip: Try watching the sunset from Faros, the lighthouse located in one of the island’s southernmost and westernmost parts.

8.Have a romantic dinner on the rim of the caldera

Remember what we mentioned above about the dazzling caldera view, the stunning sunsets and the delicious local cuisine? Combine all these and you get the most memorable romantic dinner. Sit at a table on the rim of the caldera, taste the island’s delicacies and enjoy the scenery.

Tip: If you were thinking when to propose, now it is the time.

9.Ammoudi for fresh fish

Ammoudi is a small fishermen’s port located right under Oia. Enjoy its tranquility and cuteness and make sure you go there during sunset for an unforgettable fresh sea food meal by the sea.

Tip: Walk to the end of the harbor, take the path and discover a hidden rocky beach with a great spot for fun dives

10.Night life in Fira

Santorini is mostly known as a romantic destination. However, visit Fira, the island’s capital, and you will be amazed with its vibrant night life. The town has plenty of bars of all kinds. From chilled lounge bars to dance clubs that stay up until early morning hours. Make sure you try some of the delicious and creative hand crafted cocktails served in some bars.

Tip: When the party is over, make sure you go to the main square of Fira where “breakfast” is served.

11.Take a boat tour to the Volcano

You have all heard the stories how today’s Santorini has been shaped by a volcano. Well, now it is time to meet the creator. Go on a boat tour or even rent a private boat and visit the still active volcano of Santorini where you can smell the sulfur coming out of the earth, feel the warm ground that is still smoking or dive in the bubbling thermal springs.

+1: Visit Thirasia

Practically it is another island, but Thirasia used to be one with Santorini until the volcano broke them apart. Take one of the small boats that go to Thirasia and walk around the small settlements of the island. Compared to its big and cosmopolitan sister, Thirasia has a totally different vibe and it feels like time hasn’t passed there.

Top Reasons to Use a Luxury Travel Advisor

If you are considering planning a vacation, you have a lot of work to do. From booking flights and transportation, to finding the perfect resort and planning a travel itinerary, you almost need a second vacation just to recover from planning the first one! While some travelers tend to be more budget wise and save money wherever they can, they often overlook one factor that will save them both time and money. I am talking about using a luxury travel advisor. Now, you may be thinking “How is that going to save you money?” and that is a good question. Read along and find out as I share with you the top reasons you should be using a luxury travel advisor when planning your next vacation.

First, we have luxury hotel upgrades. A luxury travel advisor has a wide range of industry resources and they can often find you the best hotel deals at some of the world’s leading luxury hotels and resorts. You may even find that you can get a better room or a better view for the same price of a lower quality room had you booked it yourself.

Speaking of upgrades, most upgrades are based on availability at the time of check in. A luxury travel advisor can confirm upgrades at the time of booking and can often get you better upgrades that include more benefits. Knowing about these upgrades will save you time searching for them when you arrive at the hotel or resort.

A luxury travel advisor can also find you many hotel or resort perks that you might not know about. From complimentary meals and hotel spa services, to hotel credit, local excursions and more, it is just another reason to use a luxury travel advisor.

Need help with business or first class flights? A luxury travel advisor has more experience than anyone else when it comes to business class and first class flight bookings. Use their experience to ensure you get the flight you need and the level of comfort you want.

Finally, a luxury travel advisor offers assistance when you need it. They are usually available almost 24/7 and can make your vacation a memorable one. Their ability to open doors in some of the world’s most prestigious resorts will make planning your next vacation hassle free and convenient.

Don’t wait any more! Let us curate your own perfect holiday!

5 Reasons to Visit Crete in the Fall

There are many reasons why Crete is one of Greece’s most famous islands. Boasting ancient sites, medieval cities, jaw-dropping beaches, world class resorts, mountains, and absolutely incredible authentic cuisine, it’s such a well-rounded destination that, with the right planning, it’s pretty much impossible not to find something to love here. In fact, with its proud people, deeply rooted traditions, and sufficient food production to feed both locals and the 3,5 million visitors drawn here every year, Crete is almost like a country of its own (and could possibly function as one, some argue).

Crete is not just a top destination in the summer, but all year round. In fact, we’d like to put in a word for visiting the island in the fall. Here are five experiences you can have in Crete this season:

Hiking and Trekking without the Scorching Sun

Crete is Greece’s largest island, with mountains so tall you’d think they belonged on the mainland. It takes about 28 days to hike the 500km E4 path from one end of the island to the other, and trekkers travel from near and far to do so. However, you don’t have to be skilled in advanced mountaineering to discover Crete’s landscapes on foot.

Two of the most famous hiking routes on the island are the “Strata of Psiloritis”, a stone-paved path which takes you up to the 2456m summit of its highest mountain, Mount Psiloritis, in just two hours, and the path through the Samaria gorge, a beautiful 16km route which starts at the entrance of the National Park of Samaria and ends at the village of Saint Roumeli, and takes about six hours.

Less famous is the Zakros Gorge, known as Gorge of the Dead, which features a two-hour hike past a series of Minoan burial caves, and the path through the Ha Gorge, which takes four hours. The latter path requires some skill, but whoever takes it on is vastly rewarded in amazing views, including 28 waterfalls.

There are many more possible hikes and treks all around the island, and no matter what your physical abilities and preference of vistas are, there’s one for you.

Taking Day Trips to the Mountain Villages

While the seaside hotels and resorts around Heraklion, Chania and Rethymno still make for beautiful places to stay well into November, the fall is also the perfect time to explore the island’s higher altitudes. Day trips to the mountain villages reveals architecture and landscapes much different from the well-trodden tourist paths of the coast, and provide unique sneak peaks into authentic Greek everyday life. Here, traditions live on, and visitors are always welcome to experience them.

The picturesque and quaint villages of Crete’s highlands are too many to mention here, but here are a few we love:

  • Near Heraklion: Myrtia

With its whitewashed houses, Myrtia resembles a typical Cycladic village. Come here to meet the locals at the lively cafes in the village square. Notice the quotes written on the walls of the houses – a tribute to author Nikos Kazantzakis, who was born here. The Kazantzakis museum is worth a visit as well.

  • Near Chania: Vamos

A testament to the Cretans’ love for their homeland, the village of Vamos, which had been on the verge of being completely, was recently rebuilt by a group of young people, who wished to see it return to its former glory – and they succeeded. This is now a lovely place for a stroll and a meal.

  • Near Rethymno: Anogia

Strongly associated with Cretan musical tradition, the square in Anogia fills with people in the summer and on warm fall evenings. They come all the way here (700 m above the sea, on the slopes of Mount Psiloritis) to drink raki and listen to live music. One of Greek music’s most iconic figures, lyra player Nikos Xylouris, was born here, and his childhood home has been transformed into a museum well-worth a visit.

Indulging in Comfort Food

It’s one of the most famous diets in the world; Cretan food is known as an archetype of Mediterranean cuisine, rustic and super healthy. What you may not know is that its roots are as old as any of the ancient ruins you’ll visit on your trip. While flavor preferences change through the ages, the Cretan cuisine has stayed the same since Minoan times in one important aspect: it is almost exclusively based on the produce of the land, meaning that what doesn’t grow on Crete doesn’t make it into the rich recipe canon, which is passed down through the generations. That’s not to say there’s no import.

Pre-Minoan farmers imported lentils, grains and meat (pork, sheep and goat), which are now Cretan staples, and modern supermarkets do carry peanut butter and frozen spring rolls. But dining out at almost any taverna, the food you’ll taste is made with ingredients sourced from local, family-run farms and the vegetable patches of the taverna owners themselves.

While the lighter dishes made with fresh summer vegetables are delicious, fall and winter is actually when Cretan cuisine really shines. Often prepared with homemade wine and tomato sauce that’s been prepared and saved from the summer’s harvest, meat and pulses are slow-cooked into hearty stews that are the ultimate comfort foods. Try rabbit stew, snails cooked in an array of ways, and lamb cooked with artichokes, in a fricassee with wild ‘stamnagathi’ greens, or the ancient way, ‘antikristo’, on wooden spits over a fire.

Anyone in need of fattening up for winter should also try ‘staka’ and ‘stakovoutiro’. Made by simmering sheep- or goat’s milk with flour until it separates into a thick paste (the staka, served as a dip), and a clarified butter (the stakovoutiro, used for cooking).

Other local specialties to try year-round are gamopilafo (wedding pilaf), kaltsounia (sweet or savory cheese pies), bread rusks, honey, ‘xerotigana’ (a honey-soaked fried pastry dessert), ‘apaki’ (smoked pork), and some of the local cheeses: unpasteurized cheeses made in the ‘mitata’ (stone-built shepherd’s huts) such as ‘tyrozouli’ and ‘kefalotyri’, the local ‘graviera’, ‘xygalo’ cheese from Sitia, and the two versions of ‘mysithra’ – a soft cheese which can be either fresh and sweet or sour.

Visiting Farms and Tasting the Island’s Liquid Gold

Another reason to venture away from the sea, especially if you’re a foodie or traveling with kids, are the island’s farms. Most of them are small and family-run, and besides producing the ingredients that are invaluable to Crete’s famous cuisine, many of them also specialize in agritourism, offering tours, tastings and interactive experiences. In the fall, when the sun no longer burns, you can even try being a farmer for a day. Try your hand at milking goats, picking vegetables, and baking bread.

The most common farming experiences on Crete, however, involve the island’s incredible liquid gold; visiting in the fall, you’re in time to join the olive harvest, which takes place from September to December. After a day of harvesting, the experience is usually followed by a tour of an oil mill, an olive oil tasting, and a delicious traditional meal.

Discovering the Archeological Sites without the Crowds

Last but not least, fall is the perfect time for sightseeing. The lower temperatures make it a joy to stroll around ancient sites, not to mention that without the crowds of tourists, you get a real sense of what they might have been like in their glory days. On Crete, the sights are many, and during shoulder season you might even get some of them all to yourself.

Even the most popular of the island’s archeological sites – Knossos, in Heraklion – takes on a serene atmosphere in the fall. Other sites are even calmer.

Having opened just a few years ago, the archeological park at Eleutherna is less known, but well-organized and worth a visit. For an even more private outing, head to Phaistos (this is where the famous Phaistos disc was discovered), in the western Messaria Plain, where the Minoan remains have many similarities to those at Knossos. Ancient Zakros, at the western side of the island, is another incredible and large site, once an important Minoan port with an impressive palace.

Why you should visit Greece in the fall?

Greece is NOT just for the summer! Sure, you have seen tons of photos and ads and blog posts about gorgeous Greece over the past month and into August it’ll continue. The beautiful beaches, blue skies, picturesque sunsets, cool pool bars. You dream of going to Greece too! Don’t worry, it’s not too late! There is still time for you to enjoy all the pleasures of Greece from September on. Prepare your schedule, pack your bags and get on that flight destined for Greece. Here are few of our favorite reasons to visit Greece in the Fall:

Weather

First step off the plane, you are not suffocated by the heat. Fall temps are cooler than July and August but still warm enough to wear your cutest summer outfits without the endless sweating.

And while we’re on the weather, the sea temps are warmer! They’ve had all summer to warm up and you can enjoy a leisurely swim.

Activities

Are you wine connoisseur and or foodie?  Late fall is the harvest season for grapes and olives. Try your hand at picking or better the tasting of wine and olives. Visit some of the top wineries and vineyards in the country for an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy more activities other than the beach. Beating the heat is key when you want to explore by foot. Discover some of the ancient walking paths all around the country. Hike up to the highest points to view incredible and romantic sunsets.

Crowds

Beat the crowds. No need to wait in line or wait for a table or have a million photo bombers. Elbows out is not necessary. Visit secluded beaches that you’ll have to yourself. Reservations for hotel, restaurants, etc are less necessary than in the summer.

For the organized beaches, sport your hot new swimwear on the beach and find the perfect, first-row beach bed within minutes of arriving! That’s huge when you want to see and be seen on the hottest beaches of Greece.

Prices

Who needs inflated pricing? Fall prices for accommodation and flights tend to drop come September and on. Have a search around and book your trip now.

Upgraded services without the extra price tag. As the summer peak season simmers down, you’ll have the chance to enjoy better services and a few extra freebies in the fall. Now it’s time to book the room with the private pool you were dreaming off!

Winter is coming

Before the freezing season begins, gear up with some sun and relaxation. Get that late season tan that’ll last into the beginning of winter.

No need to hold back on the food and drink consumption. You’ll be in hibernation for the coming months, so go all in now!

Let’s hope that’s reason enough for you to book your last-minute fall trip to Greece. Of course, some things in Greece will never change, the unsurpassable warmth and hospitality of the Greek people along with the chaos and rule bending culture. The food is always good and the beer always cold. Enjoy Greece!

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