5 Reasons why Crete is Not to be Missed

We recently shared the Greek City Times’ article celebrating Crete as one of the top 5 destinations in the world for 2018.  This vibrant Greek isle placed fifth on TripAdvisor’s list, with Paris in first followed by London, Rome, and Bali.

With our upcoming journey,  Mythic Crete with Phil Cousineau and Georgios Spiradakis: A Ten-Day Tour to the Legendary Island of Light,  we wanted to share our list of why Crete will still be one of the top destinations in the world in 2019 too!

The Legendary Island of Light

1. Our Tour Leaders

In our mind it’s not just the place’s location that makes it a destination but how you experience that place that makes it a true destination. This is why we love Crete. We have two amazing tour leaders that make experiencing Crete like nothing else.

Phil Cousineau has led more than a dozen tours in the Greek mainland since the late 1980’s and is a bestselling author, filmmaker, and public television host. His lifelong fascination with Greek Minoan culture floods his “Long Conversations” in the morning with passion and knowledge.

Phil is joined by his friend Georgios Spiradakis, an official Greek tour guide and organic olive farmer. Georgios is a native Cretan and takes pride in Crete’s rich history and culture that is quite unique compared to the rest of the Greek mainland. His local knowledge makes touring with Sacred Earth Journeys a truly authentic experience.

Crete holds a special place in Phil and Georgios’ hearts and together they made a magical mystery tour for one of their favourite places in the world and that’s why we love it too!

Phil and Georgios on our last journey to Crete!

Check out Phil’s and Georgios’ recent conversation about their upcoming tour here.

2. 4,000 years of tradition

Crete has a rich 4,000 years of history that dates back to the Minoan civilization. The history is steeped in the unknown that we are still seeking to understand.  The island is filled with mysterious ruins of this ancient civilization, which is considered the oldest in Europe.

Despite non-stop occupation by other nations for 1,000 years, Cretans have retained their unique way of life through many struggles. Freedom is a national character of all Cretans. Their history and myth are filled with stories of men and women that fought for Cretan freedom to their death. Georgios tries to share these stories from Cretan myth and history when he leads groups on the island to exhibit this character.

The mysterious ruins of Knossos

3. The Heraklion Museum

Crete’s 4,000-year saga is preserved through its culture and stories, but it is brought to life by the isle’s Heraklion Museum. Located in the city of Heraklion, named after the famous Herakles, this museum has been ranked as one of the top ten museums in the world.  The museum has a vast collection that turns artifact to relic as the faience figurine of the Snake Goddess, bull-leaping frescoes, a bull head rhyton, the mysterious Phaistos disc, and several giant labrys (double-axes) from Knossos all connect us with Crete’s rich history and sacred magic.

Figurine of the Snake Goddess

4. A Deep Connection to the Goddess

The Minoans have imparted the ancient knowledge through history on how to respect the Earth Goddess. They taught us how to keep her happy to bountifully provide and nourish us. Cretans believe that it is important to keep the Goddess happy by treating her with respect and reverence and she will pay them back a thousand-fold with good health and happiness.

On a hike to the highest peak of the Asteousian Mountains, Kofinas, you will find the spot where a sanctuary to the Minoan goddess flourished. Although her sacred shrine is no longer present, the Chapel of the Holy Cross was constructed in the early 20th century marking the deep connection the spot has to the divine.  Georgios loves the connection that Crete has to the Goddess and talks a lot about her as if she were still worshiped in towns and villages and at her shrines.

The mythical magic surrounding Crete weaves its history and culture into the larger Greek Pantheon. Gods, goddesses, demi-gods, and monsters traversed and interacted with the human realm leaving us with a vast array of heroic stories surrounding the Island of Light.

The bounty of the Earth Goddess

5. Crete is a place of art

The beauty of Crete is undeniable, with its remarkable beaches, mystical ruins, and colorful tavernas. It is little wonder the island has produced so many artists whose work reflects that beauty.   Musicians, painters, writers, potters, and chefs express the distinct Cretan culture in their work. Their art keeps their distinctly Cretan traditions alive. Nikos Kazantzakis, the author of Freedom and Death is Cretan. Visit the village of Fodele, the birthplace of world-renowned painter sculptor and architect, Doménikos Theotokópoulos, also known as El Greco. Phil and Georgios will introduce you to Vassilis Politakis, a renowned Cretan potter, who uses an exact replica of a Minoan kiln that he and his father built by hand. Vassilis is the only potter in Crete who has official government permission to handle and replicate original Minoan pottery.

A replica (right) of the original (left) by Vassilis keeps the spirit of Crete thriving!

Join us for this amazing trip now

TripAdvisor named Crete one of the top destinations in the world for 2018. Now is your opportunity to travel with best-selling author and filmmaker Phil Cousineau and his good friend Georgios Spiradakis to experience why Crete is a must-see destination.

This ten-day tour to the Legendary Island of Light will run from April 9 – 18, 2019. They will guide you through magical Crete as only they can with their deep knowledge of the history and traditions of the ancient Minoan Civilization and their deep connection to Crete’s enduring culture. Visit artisan studios, explore ancient ruins and artifacts at the Heraklion Museum, follow in the footsteps of the goddess to her mysterious shrines, and discuss ancient stories with Phil and Georgios in cozy taverns. Each day you will truly experience why Crete is more than a just a place and is truly a destination you will be glad you have been to!