August is the month for holidays and here in Greece and Crete you can expect the pace to slow right down as many Greeks take time off work to relax and enjoy themselves, and their beautiful country. And what a country it is; steeped in ancient history with an impressive and varied landscape, wonderful weather and an abundance of hospitality, is there really a better place to be?
There are so many places to visit and activities to enjoy, something and somewhere for everyone, but how about taking yourself off the beaten track and trying something a bit different?
The palace at Knossos is a must visit here in Crete, but there is also Villa Ariadne, home of Arthur Evans responsible for unearthing the ancient palace. This can make for an interesting and educational excursion.
Looking back at times gone by is something we in the modern world have privilege to do; digital cameras, mobile phones, social media enable the majority of us to have a documented record of our lives, especially photos of our holidays, and it is an easy and accessible way of sharing happy moments. But look at what’s been found…. photographs of life in Greece in the 1900s, beautiful photography showing daily life in this wonderful country. Even in black and white Greece looks lovely!
With an incredible coastline you are never really too far away from a beautiful beach, especially here in Crete, and with there being so many Greek islands it could take a lifetime to explore them all. In recent years there has been an increase in visitors to the small island of Spinalonga, once a leper colony and now a major tourist attraction, made famous by a book and television series, definiately somewhere different and something to discuss with your friends.
There are so many things to do on land but what about in the sea? Diving schools and activities have become popular and available in many of the tourist villages and enable you to see what is going on in the waters that surround this island. If getting wet is not your thing a visit to the Aquarium near Heraklion could be just the thing allowing a close up experience of some aquatic friends, while keeping completely dry! Or maybe you would prefer to sail the sea and explore like an Ancient sea farer...take a trip like this...I am sure it would be most memorable.
With all this exploration and activity you are going to need something to eat and what better to enjoy than a souvlaki...great Greek fast food for when you are out and about . Apparently it is the original fast food, possibly even enjoyed by the ancient Greeks at Knossos Palace!
Food and drink is always a big part of enjoyment and brings people together especially when there is something to celebrate. You can expect big celebrations across the whole of Greece, including in most of the villages, on August 15th with the Feast of Assumption, also known as ‘the summer Easter’. It is a national holiday and an important date for Orthodox Greeks involving celebration, food, drink, fireworks and dancing. It is a lovely festival to observe and to be involved in and I am certain there will be some celebration of one form or another here in Agia Galini.
Making summer plans requires good advice or recommendations and in the past everyone would seek out this special person …the oracle… but here in Agia Galini, now we have the info point in the harbour … they are up to date on everything that is happening in the village and can offer plenty advice on activities and events that might make your summer even more enjoyable, or at the very least more memorable! Happy summer, everyone!
Photo credit: Palazzo Greco, Agia Galini