General Advice Crete





Time in Crete: The time in Crete is GMT+2; i.e. two hours ahead of British time. Clocks change on the same night, so this is always the case. If it is 6.00 in Britain, it will be 8.00 in Crete.

Laundry in Crete: Anyone who doesn’t like hand washing their clothes can find launderettes in the bigger cities and resorts. They can be ridiculously expensive in some of the holiday resorts, though. You can expect one wash to cost anything between €4-12.

Public toilets in Crete: There are not many public toilets in Crete. Bus stations always have a WC, and you can always use toilets in bars, restaurants and hotels. It’s very important to remember to put used toilet paper (and other sanitary products) into the small bin provided, and never into the toilet – Cretan wastewater pipes are very thin and easily blocked.

Post Crete: The Greek Post has one of the worst and slowest services in Europe. A postcard or letter to another country may make it in three days – or three weeks. Villages do not have postmen, and people must travel to the local post office to pick up mail.

Units on Crete: Greece uses the metric system. Wine and other drinks are often listed in kilos rather than litres on menus. One kilo is equivalent to one litre.

Crime on Crete: Crete is a peaceful island, and things do not get stolen very often. This is a big plus about holidaying in Crete, as opposed to Spain or Italy. Be careful with drugs – you can get sent to jail for days, months or even years even if you only have one joint. The Greek prison system is not one of the most comfortable in the world. Helpfully, there are special tourist police; they speak English, and some German and French, and are useful for disputes.


Public holidays in Crete: Here’s a list of some of the most important holidays throughout the year:-

• 1st of January (New Year)
• 6th of January (very important orthodox holiday)
• 25th of March (Independence Day from Turkey)
• Easter Sunday (the most important holiday of the year, when even ferries are not allowed to sail)
• Easter Monday
• 1st of May (Labour Day)
• 15th of August (Assumption Day)
• 28th of October (Ochi Day, the day when Greece said ochi (no) to the Italian invasion during World War II)
• 25th and 26th of December (Christmas)

The best magazine about Crete in Greek Language is Crete 's magazine : STIGMES

Luggage Deposits on Crete: Only the big bus stations in Chania, Rethymno and Iraklio have luggage deposit services. You can ask in tavernas and bars if you can leave the backpack or suitcase for a while after you have had a drink or a meal.

Souvenirs in Crete: Souvenirs are often leather goods, pottery, jewellery, olive oil and backgammon boards. Leatherwear is quite cheap – you can buy it in the famous ‘leather street’ in Chania town centre. Ceramics are often in the Greek national colours of blue and white. Gold and silver jewellery can be cheap, but you really need to know about prices in the first place. Not everything is handmade, even if they tell you that. Olive oil, the most common souvenir or present to take home, is better bought in small country shops than the souvenir shops. Backgammon (tavli in Greek) played on Crete in all bars. Chess is also pretty popular these days. In Chania, thre’s a shop which sells only tavli and chess boards, along with pieces. The export, possession or buying of antiques is strictly forbidden, and those breaking the laws face high fines and prison sentences. The national drink of Crete is raki, and a bottle of that is the best souvenir for many. Cretan honey is also a popular, tasty memento.

Supermarkets on Crete: Food is cheap in the markets and shops that specialise in a certain kind of food (i.e. butchers, fishmongers, grocers and so on). Supermarkets with packed meat and sausages can be up to five times more expensive – a typical tourist rip-off. Packed cheeses, sausages and meat is always more expensive than at the counter. Convenience foods like frozen pizzas can be more expensive than getting a meal in a restaurant! The cheapest supermarkets by far are the German chains Lidl and Plus. Alcohol is dirt cheap, and cigarettes are €2-3 a packet. The kiosks (Periptero in Greek) are useful; open almost all hours they sell just about everything: cigarettes, drinks, sweets, newspapers and more. You can no longer buy cigarettes from bars or in machines.

Smoking on Crete: Greece is one of the final bastions of smoking left in Europe, and smoking is allowed in restaurants, bars, and many other places. This can be unpleasant for many tourists, who are not used to this anymore. Greece has the biggest smoking population of Europe – unsurprisingly, the dubious title of highest rate of lung cancer in the EU belongs to Greece.

Opening Hours in Crete

Shops: In tourist resorts shops are open seven days a week from 8am through to midnight. In cities, shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 8am-1pm and 5-9pm. Many shops remain closed on Monday, Wednesday and/or Saturday afternoons.

Banks: Banks have very short opening hours, from around 8am-2pm Monday-Friday. There are 24-hour cash machines everywhere, though!

Post Offices: In the countryside, post offices are open from 7am-2pm Monday to Friday. In bigger cities they are sometimes open longer and – rarely – open on a Saturday.

Museums: Museums are often closed on Mondays, though bigger museums (e.g. The Archaeological Museum of Iraklio) are open on Mondays during the summar. Those carrying international student cards (ISIC) can often get half-price or even free entrance. Some museums are free for everyone on the first Sunday of each month.
 

Crete Guide
PLACES
Eastern Crete
Ierapetra
Sitia
Vai
Agios Nikolaos
Kritsa
Elounda
Zakros
Central Crete
Iraklio
Knossos
Hersonissos
Malia
Rethymno
Panormo
Bali
Moni Arkadi
Georgioupolis
Plakias
Preveli
Agia Galini
Matala
Kalamaki
Pitsidia
Lendas
Western Crete
Chania
Platanes
Agia Marina
Kolymbari
Kissamos
Paleochora
Sougia
Samaria Gorge
White Mountains
Imbros Gorge
Chora Sfakia
INFORMATION
Where to go on Crete?
Transportation
Accommodation
Climate Crete
Figures Crete
Money and Prices
Food on Crete
Menu Crete
Drinks on Crete
Fauna of Crete
Flora of Crete
Snakes in Crete
Dangerous Animals
Troubles on Crete
Sport on Crete
Cretan Diet
General Advice Crete
Caves on Crete
Islands around Crete
Other Greek Island