Snapshot of Crete

Although it could not be more Greek, Crete is a country within a country with its own history, folklore and traditions.

The island was the birthplace of Europe’s oldest civilization, the enigmatic Minoan culture that flourished over 4,000 years ago.

Crete is the largest island in  Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean. It lies at the Southern Aegean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents Europe, Asia and Africa.

The island has a population of 600,000. Approximately 42% live in Crete’s main cities and towns whilst 45% live in rural areas

The island stretches for 260km  in length but is only 60 km at the widest point.

Cretans still preserve the bonds with their rich folk traditions and cultural heritage. The Cretan dances, Pentozalis, Haniotikos, Pidihtos, Maleviziotikos etc, are still danced at every opportunity

Unemployment is relatively low on Crete, with a large proportion of its labour force employed in the services sector, notably in occupations related to tourism.

The main sources of wealth in Crete are agriculture and tourism. The cultivation of the olive tree is very important in Crete and excellent virgin olive oil is produced here. Other important products include oranges, grapes and vegetables from greenhouses. Honey, cheese and herbs are of excellent quality also. Finally, big numbers of sheep and goats are raised in Crete.

The traditional time to visit is April to October but the best time to visit is May or June when the weather is not so hot and the sights are not crowed with hoards of tourists.

 

 

Advertisements

Comparing 3* to 4* All Inclusive Resorts

This year we are visiting Lanzarote, the fourth largest island in the Canaries. We are choosing to stay in Playa Blanca, the resort furthest from the airport, but an area that offers the best deals.

During my research I compared the 3* Marconfort Atlantic Gardens Apartments to the beach front 4* Hotel Hesperia Costa Dorada, that includes a nine hole pitch and putt golf course and a Spa with Turkish baths.

Both resorts are close to the beach, and rated high on http://www.tripadvisor.com. Both offer the standard all inclusive package that includes, all meals, snacks, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and on site entertainment.

The 3* Marconfort Atlantic Gardens Apartments is a 30 minute stroll from the Marina Rubican, the heart of the tourist centre in Playa Blanca. It offers a restaurant, bar, and pool bar. Activities include: two swimming pools, tennis courts, volleyball, mini golf and a gym.

The beachfront 4* Hotel Hesperia Playa Dorada is located a 10 minute stroll along the seafront promenade to Rubican Marian.  The hotel offers 3 restaurants, 5 bars, 6 pools, a wellness centre including Turkish baths, 9 hole pitch and putt golf course, tennis courts, a gym,  and daytime activities offered by animation team.  After dark, the hotel offers daily live entertainment in the Atlantic Bar.

The professional animation teams are the main reason we consider the 4* resorts much better value.  (Most 4* resorts offer day and evening entertainment, but you still need to do your research.)

The team offers a variety of daytime activities, usually located around the main pool. Aqua aerobics, yoga, archery , boules, is found on many 4* resorts. The activities and times offered are usually displayed in the lobby, so it is easier to plan your day.

I always look forward to the nightly entertainment over the free drinks. Both the day and entertainment are a fabulous way to meet the other guests.

At the end of our research, my husband and I always opt to spend a little more money to enjoy the full entertainment package, and the best location money can buy.

Check out your holidays options on http://www.sunshine.co.uk. A little bit of planning creates the best holidays.

 

 

 

 

Going All Inclusive in the Canary Islands

The temptation to island hop can be enticing, but I’m glad we decided to slow down, and enjoy the moment.  Going all inclusive keeps the prices affordable.  We can come back to our happy place, and to a different island, year after year.

The holiday package we purchased through http://www.sunshine.co.uk covered all of our needs:  flights, hotel room, meals, snacks, drinks (alcohol and non alcoholic) and day to evening entertainment.

I did not feel compelled to stay on the resort and get my money’s worth. The tropical island was ours to discover, and we could savour the local cuisine, during the day. The final, affordable, price of the holiday package, left me plenty of money in the budget to pay for our lunches out.

We choose island of Tenerife, on our first holiday in the Canaries. Our resort hotel, Green Garden Resort and Spa in Playa de las America soon turned into our home away from home.

I would gladly return, year after year, but my adventurous spirit beckons me to try something new.

From our first night wandering along the seafront promenade, lavishing in sunsets more beautiful than I had seen before, I knew I’d found my happy place.  I also realized that paying all inclusive would allow me to enjoy the Canaries, at my own pace.

Year after year, I have found the best all inclusive deals with a dedicated online holiday company called http://www.sunshine.co.uk.  They rate 4.8/5 on http://www.reviewcentre.com. Each year I check out other tour companies but http://www.sunshine.co.uk always offers the best prices and so many choices for hotels and flights.

If your looking for fun in the sun, any time of year,  check out the Canary Island.  Check out http://www.sunshine.co.uk and enjoy the advantages of going all inclusive.

 

 

 

 

 

Who were the Guanches of Tenerife?

The origins of this pre-Hispanic race are a mystery, but it is widely accepted that they came from North Africa.

What is known about the Guanches is taken from the writings of the Spanish Chroniclers and archaeological discoveries that have been made.

The Guanches were hunter-gatherer tribe who lived a lifestyle like the people from the Stone Age.

The research into these people revealed that they shared a number of cultural characteristics with the ancient Egyptians.  Their biggest link to the Egyptian race was the Pyramids of Guimar located not far from the town of Candelaria.

The nine statues that line the Candelaria seafront is an unforgettable reminder that this brave race existed.

I was immediately drawn to them as I approached the harbour front of Candelaria.

Statues of Tenerife’s original inhabitants can be found all over the island, but nothing can compare to the emotional impact of starring up at Candelaria’s brave soldiers.

 

teneriff 130