SEPTEMBER - SIMPLY THE BEST MONTH IN CRETE
With the blistering heat behind us we look forward to the wonderful weather we enjoy in September. The sea is warm, the nights are pleasantly cooler and there are some cool island breezes.
Celebrations this month are:-
The festival of the Cross (Stavros) 13 -14 September. This is when all those with the name Stavros should be congratulated. Name days are far more important than birthdays and always a cause for celebration. It is also the date recognised as the start of the grape harvest.
Another important celebration this month is the World Day of Tourism which is the date set by the United Nations and given as the 27th September.
As a tourist island, Crete celebrates this with some enthusiasm. The old harbour of Chania becomes the centre of celebrations and puts visitors at the heart of the festivities. The major archaeoloogical sites and museums across the island cebebrate too, offering free entrance days to the public.
The capital, Heraklion celebrates with events held across the city in multiple squares. Often there is a chance for tourist to enjoy free local food samples from the Archaelogical Museum Square making this festival the perfect chance for first time visitors to Crete to enjoy a taste of Crete.
More locally in our area is the world famous beach of Matala. The Cretalia Fesival will take place from the 16th to the 22nd September. Do click on the video to get into the spirit of Matala and the festival.
Now onto things a little more real, things to eat and possibly drink. Septepmber is all about grapes and figs. The grapes are harvested and delicious fresh grapes are being sold everywhere. There are many varieties, I have been told almost 40 and you will always see several varieties on offer. As there was some very unusual winter and late spring weather the grape crop is not as abundant as other years, but there is still plenty to enjoy. If all else fails you can of course enjoy it by the bottle. Cretan wineries have come a long way and there are some excellent wines to enjoy. For now my personal favourites are the red wines from the Alexakis winery This winery also does wine tours and has a fine restaurant.
Figs ripen this month and once again there are many varieties. Trees, where the branches overhang the road or fence are considered ok for any passer by to pick and enjoy. One sees the locals standing on the bonnet of their cars to reach those, sweet, tasty and delicious figs once the lower branches have been stripped of their fruit.
Crete is a wonderful place to learn to snorkell or dive, the sea is so warm that wet suits are not needed and Crete provides many snorkelling tours. These are most rewarding during September and October when certain species move to the shallow waters for reproduction. It is best to go early in the morning or later in the afteroon. In our area Mare Sud diving school gets good reviews. The scuba diving season in Crete is from April until October or even November. Close to Plakias is the Kalypso Diving School which is fortunate to have a protected sea cove to learn and practice in to view this option click here
If you are not here, we wish you could be, maybe next year?