Troubles On Crete
There are not many dangerous animals on Crete. You can find more information about the few that do live on the island: More information here.
Also there are not many dangerous or poisonous snakes on Crete: More information here
The crime rate on Crete is much lower than in other Southern European countries such as Spain and Italy. Theft is much less prevalent than in Britain.
Locals frequently do not lock their cars and doors, harking back to more innocent times for many British people. When theft does occur on Crete, it’s very rare that it was committed by a Greek – more often than not, a British or German traveller who has run out of money will be the culprit. Sadly, in the last couple of years there have been more and more stories about professional Eastern European gangs who have come to Crete to ‘work’, having found it ripe with easy pickings. Nevertheless, it is still relatively safe here. Theft is rare, but it still pays to be vigilant.
Always keep an eye on your valuables or put them in a safe. Insurance for expensive items (e.g. cameras) is not a bad idea. Generally speaking, theft is more likely to occur in larger towns (Iraklio and Chania). The worst place in Greece for theft is Athens, particularly the port area of Piraeus.
One of the reasons for Crete’s low theft rates is the draconian punishments; a thief caught for the first time can expect a few months in prison. Secondly, the locals are very helpful should something be stolen; they are extremely proud of their low crime rate and will do everything they can to keep it like that.
In the summer of 2008 the whole world heard about the big fires that ravaged many parts of Crete, especially in the Peloponnese. Crete did not escape these infernos, and suffers them yearly.
In my hometown, Plakias,
there was a enormous fire same years ago in which
thousands of olive trees burnt down. The fire brigade was very efficient, with
thirty fire engines coming to help from all over Crete. In the end, the fire was
stopped a mere 20 meter from the first houses in Plakias – including the Youth
Hostel. Evacuation was enforced in parts of Plakias to minimise human
Mosquitoes are a seasonal problem in some parts of Crete, particularly after the sun has gone down. Thankfully, Cretan mosquitoes do not seem to transmit any diseases (e.g. Malaria, Dengue Fever), but unfortunately that does not make their bites any the less itchy, nor the humming of a hungry mosquito nearby less irritating.
Mosquitoes are more prevalent where fresh water is prevalent, to the point where they can plague anyone nearby – I know an Australian who drunkenly fell asleep by a river for a couple of hours. The next day, we counted more than 500 bites on his body.
Happily, there are many ways you can protect yourself from mosquitoes.