East Crete accommodation. Palekastro - Kato zakros - Xerokambos Hotels and apartments - Palekastro Kato Zakros Xerokambos | East Crete - Palekastro Kato Zakros Xerokambos | East Crete http://eastcrete-holidays.gr Mon, 22 Jan 2018 05:03:35 +0200 By www.web-crete.net en-gb Traditional Cretan Food http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/114-traditional-cretan-food http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/114-traditional-cretan-food

Cretan Traditional food


We damp dacus (toasted and hardened bread - wheat orbarley bread).We add salt, olive oil, finely chopped tomatoes.


They are made from large intestines of pork and filled with rise, small pieces of liver, onion and almonds. Cooked in salted water.


Is made from various pieces of fresh fish. We add pieces of onion and potatoes in the saucepan. We then add fish, olive oil and water until the food is covered. We sprinkle salt and pepper and cook in high temperature.

Skari with tomato

We fry skari (native fish with a distinct taste). We add sauce from fresh tomatoes, pepper, salt, parsley and capsicum.


We first prepare dough from flour, olive oil, water and lemon .Then we make a pastry and with an (ordinary) glass we make circular pieces. In half of each piece we place mizithra (Iocal traditional cheese) and cover with the other half. We deep fry them and serve.

Artichokes with broad beans

We cook fresh broad beans in olive oil and water. We add fresh artichokes, garlic, anise and salt. When cooked we make a dense mixture (from flour and water). We then pour it in the saucepan letting it cook for a while.

Octopus in Vinegar

We cook the octopus until it softness. Then we add olive oil and vinegar. Instead of vinegar we can add wine or water.

Chochli (snails) boumbouristi

We wash well large chochli (snails) and fry them with their tongue lacing the frying pan. We add salt and olive oil. When fried we add tomatoes and vinegar.

Dolmades with vine leaves

We take half a kilo of vine leaves, 700 gr. Of rise, potatoes, onion, pepper, cumin. We then roll them up and place them to boil over medium heat.

Traditional Cretan Sweets


We first prepare dough out of one kilo of flour, lemon juice and olive oil. Then we make rectangular pieces of pastry. We wrap them up and deep fry them in olive oil. In the end we pour over honey, sesame and sugar.


We make a pastry from one kilo of flour, 4 cups of olive oil, and 2 cups of orange juice, sugar and soda. We then cut pastry into small pieces and fill them up with grated raisins and bake them in an oven.


We make a pastry with 1 kilo of flour, sugar, olive oil, 4 eggs. We cut the pastry into circles using a (drinking) glass. We then fill them with fresh mizythra (Local traditional cheese) in which we have added sugar, honey, cinnamon, vanilla. We bake them in an oven.

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Nutrition and Products Mon, 08 Aug 2011 09:09:10 +0300
Tradition and Modern Culture http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/26-tradition-and-modern-culture http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/26-tradition-and-modern-culture

East Crete and traditionThere the variety of music and the literal folk tradition is revealed. In every popular festival you will experience unknown emotions by taking part or watching the ancient local dances, the different kinds of live music, the Sitian "kontilies" (the mastery of the lyre) and "mantinades" the old or improvised folk Cretan couplets, traditions in which Sitians the born revellers are unrivalled. Usually simple or casual meetings of locals or foreigners turn out to become a party.

In autumn the "kazanemata" the very old process has become very attractive to the Europeans the last few years, ends up to be a modem Dionysian feast. The freshness and innovation inherited by the Minoan civilization still survive in the artistic production of more traditional fields as woodcarving, metal work, and goldsmiths' ware and textile industry.

And it is the unique technical capability of the potters that create things on the tracks of the great ceramic tradition of the Minoans. It is the Byzantine icons that continue the great tradition of the Cretan School, the ancient are still manufactured with the same artistry up to this day. The characteristics and the rhythm of life that are impressed upon the fortunate travelers on the long lived Cretan land survive above all in the simple daily joys and habits.

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Culture Mon, 01 Aug 2011 15:32:29 +0300
The Wine http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/19-the-wine http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/19-the-wine

Cretan WineAlong the long and narrow body of the province of Sitia stretching from west to east, a high mountain range lays as a protective shield against the strong hot south winds blowing from the Libyan Sea.

Thus protected in the north side, overlooking the Cretan Sea, the Sitia's vineyards (part of the Cretan, the most traditional vineyards of Europe) begin from a height of 600 m. above sea level and stretch downhill towards the sea. They dominate the hillsides with the ancient terraces in a calcareous and sandy soil.

It's growing in the polymorph landscape of Sitia following it in its ever changing alteration of hills and valleys which pleasantly surprises and fascinates the visitor. In an ancient long co-existence with this natural environment, the local varieties of grapes endow the territory with a priceless richness of bio-diversity. The mild and without extremes winter, combined with long hot and dry summer, the long periods of sunlight during the year and the cool breeze of the Cretan sea, ensure ideal conditions to the germinate cycle of the vine. Thus it's not strange that Sitia holds a 4000 years old tradition in winery and vine cultivation. the confirmation comes from the Minoan Palace of Kato Zakros where the oldest cultivated vineyard was found.

Indeed, the wine production in Sitia region met great commercial success. Most notable periods, during its historical course, were the Roman era when Sitia's wines were transported to Rome and other Mediterranean destinations into well sealed amphoras and during the Venetian presence in Crete (12th-16th century) when the Cretan wine reached the zenith of its fame.

But even today the wine holds an important role in the model of the Cretan nutrition. A fact that contributed a great deal in the recognition of the local wine's values concerning health and longevity. And let us not forget that recent findings detected a great number of components which are acting as anti-oxidant in the human body.

The favorable soil and climatic conditions and the systematic cultivation of the area since the ancient times, produces excellent varieties of grapes from which the re-known Sitia wines originate.

The most common varieties are those of Liatiko, Muscat, Myrodato, Dafnato, Asyrtiko, Roman, Mantilari, Kotsifali, Vilana, Plito, Athiri, Thapsathiri and many more which upon and with their different combinations, the local producers depend to create the Sitia's wines. Wines for all gastronomic demands and stable tastes which last and remain intact through the years.

Visitors in late August and September will witness the grape harvest and will more than likely be offered an armful! Wine is still made in the traditional way by treading the grapes. The must left over is used to distil the local drink Raki. During October, the "Kazanemata", (raki-making sessions) are held you may see them at the roadside. Visitors are always welcome and given a sample. It is quite an exceptional experience!

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Nutrition and Products Mon, 02 May 2011 13:06:53 +0300
The Secret of Cretan Longevity http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/98-the-secret-of-cretan-longevity http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/98-the-secret-of-cretan-longevity

Cretan longevityΑnzel Keys' renowned study of seven countries, which was published in 1980, revealed that the health level of Cretans was the highest in the world. Cancers and cardio-circulatory disease were rare, since out of 100.000 people on Crete, there were only 9 deaths attributed to these diseases as opposed to 466 in Finland.

It was further proven that this was largely due to the dietary habits of the Cretan, people, whose basic ingredient is olive oil.


For Cretans, the secret of longevity is very simple. They eat anything that their rich soil produces! They consume a lot of fruit, vegetables, greens, fresh produce, legumes, cheese and bread. Cretans use herbs to add flavor to their meals; they make sweets/cakes with natural sweeteners, honey and grape-juice syrup; while the excellent Cretan wine is an indispensable accompaniment to their meals. Cretans do not eat meat or, rather, they did not eat meat until a few decades ago. Meat has always had a ritual quality in Crete, and generally in Greece. In antiquity, Cretans consumed only the meat offered to the gods on the altar of sacrifice. In modern times, they consumed meat only a few times a year, i.e. during festivities or, if wealthy enough, every Sunday. In other words, the dietary code of Cretans has deep cultural and historical roots.

This, however, should not be considered as a limiting, or even a coercive practice that could undermine the richness of taste. On the contrary, the ingenuity of Cretans exploited fully the entire spectrum of ingredient combinations, which resulted in volumes of recipes for meals and deserts. Snails, for example, are cooked in 40 different ways! Pure olive oil is the sine qua non for all preparations! Fresh produce grown under the most suitable climatic conditions has a prominent place on dinner tables. Cretans do not require doctor's orders to consume large amounts of fruit and vegetables. Grapes, raisins, oranges, etc. are a way of life. Even on days strictly associated with meat-eating, such as the Easter Day, Cretans do not eat only meat. On the contrary, they cook meat with artichokes, wild greens or vegetables a delicious choice!


Mr. Serge Renaud, a French researcher-scientist said, "Following a 15-year follow-up study, it was concluded that Crete manifests the lowest mortality rates irrespective of the cause of death". There is no doubt that the above statement attests to the benefits of the Cretan diet. The French scientist was referring to wide scale research on nutrition that was conducted with the participation of seven countries, including Greece, in 1956 by Dr Ancel Keys, a pioneering investigator and health revolutionary American. Today, the international community has adopted the Cretan model of nutrition by recommending it, as the basis of human nutrition.

Ancel Keys, 1986 compares mortality rates among various regions of the world, including four Mediterranean regions. Crete is last with respect to death causes with a significant difference from the country before last.

Also we have a comparison between the results from the above mentioned study in the seven countries (up to 1986) and pertinent statistical data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) per 100,000 participants (Serge Renaud, 1995). Again, Crete is at the bottom of the list with regard to mortality rates.

In addition to the above, we have the results from a French study in Lyon. The French doctors divided their patients with heart diseases in two groups. The first group was put on a diet recommended by the US Society of Cardiology -- a low fat/cholesterol diet -- and served as control group. The second group was prescribed the Cretan diet to be followed during their normal way of life. The results were statistically significant. In two years mortality rates in the second group dropped by 75%!

Modern Cretans feel the urge to share their secrets of life with the world. Besides their history and culture, they are also willing to share with people their prized cultural heritage known as CRETAN DIET.

Cretans would like to let the world know of a gigantic effort taking place on the island to preserve traditional values and nutritional customs, in spite of the influx of promotional activities favoring foreign nutritional habits, mainly that of fast food.

Cretan producers and local processing, packaging, and marketing companies warrant that all Cretan products are pure, without chemical substances or other preservatives and additives.     Cretan products, being part of a centuries old tradition, are treated with the same respect as that afforded to them by our ancestors

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Nutrition and Products Tue, 12 Mar 2013 11:04:15 +0200
The Olive Oil http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/18-the-olive-oil http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/18-the-olive-oil

Crete Olive oilA truly priceless treasure indispensable in the daily nutrition of the Cretans since the dawn of history. It is produced in the beautiful olive groves which cover the hilly and mountainous embossed soil of the Sitia's land, under ideal soil and climatic conditions (extensive periods of sunshine, (mild and sweet winters, cool summers, natural fertile soils, clean atmosphere).

The fresh fruit juice of olives is produced in Crete since the Minoan era and it is a product obtained by mechanically processing the olive crop. It is consumed in its virgin form without further processing. It has a wonderful aroma, a fruit's like taste but mainly it is rich in remarkable biological, nutritional, preventive and therapeutically properties with beneficial action in the development and protection of the human system.

The olive oil centralizes the most benefits by comparison to any other oleaginous substances of those humans are consuming. On this fact agree and have concluded long and extensive laboratory and clinical researches. In additional to these conclusions, the same result has been reached by many independent epidemiological researches around the world. But the experience, deriving from the excellent results of the highly successful diet of the Cretan population, based on olive oil for many centuries ago; possibly represent the best possible proof. Among others those researches proved that the olive oil:

Cures gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases
Deters the development of cholelithiasis and protects urinary system.
Comforts the diabetic patients
Protects the human skin against the sun rays
Exercises beneficial influence in the development of the human skeleton.
Extends the young ness of the human body
Precludes the appearance of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer.

This is probably the main reason that more and more people in the developed world try to subsume to their eating habits the Cretan diet.

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Nutrition and Products Mon, 02 May 2011 13:06:21 +0300
Rural Life http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/21-rural-life http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/21-rural-life

Rural life in East CreteAs rich and beautiful the nature in Sitia - Itanos district is so interesting and alive is the rural life there. The grounds of Sitia - Itanos, the plains, the valleys the hills and the feet of the mountains are cultivated while the rest of the land, the mountainsides the holly and olive tree forests the acres covered with prickly brooms, sage, thyme and other aromatic plants offer lodging and food to many free-range flocks of sheep and goats.

Furthermore near the biotopes which are suitable for shrubs and wild flowers, "clusters" of bee hives the so called "bee gardens" are placed. The majority of the population in the province are farmers.

Olive-growers, vine-growers, vegetable growers in greenhouses or outdoor, cattle-breeders, bee-keepers while in the villages along the coast they are fishermen. The visitor in the province will be delighted to find nice pictures of rural life which may be primitive and moving: Old people who insist oil using old methods for example olive-harvest with a stick the so called "katsouna" vine-harvest with the basket, digging with a mattock, sheep shearing and milking, going fishing with the boat and the fishing-nets, transportation with donkeys, and so many other activities that tend 4 to disappear quickly due to the modernization and the mechanization of farming.

Of course you will see modem farmers as well, with farming machinery, automobiles and processing and packaging facilities; the inevitable technological development in our times that allows the mass production and the standardization of rural products in order to reach the consumers far away having reasonable prices and being of good quality.

In Sitia district the traditional and the modem coexist not only in the farming but in any sector in a harmonious and impressive way most of the times.

A typical example is the harmonious coexistence on the Chandra Plateau where old windmills are used to draw water for watering while the modern wind generators are producing electricity out of wind power. You can see clusters of those generators, the so called wind parks, in other places of this district as well for example near the villages Achladia, Xerolimni and Palekastro. These modem windmills strike a different note in the mountain scenery and "stand for" the ecological landscape

Due to these pioneer wind parks that have caught the European attention, Crete is the first island in the world to have recovered mild renewable energy sources. The rural landscape of Sitia district is marked by the predominance of the olive trees. The visitor can see everywhere the holy tree of Athena with the silver -green leaves standing there playing with the wind and receiving in rest the hot sun rays, transforming its juice to the magical elixir of life and health, the olive oil.

Plains, hills, valleys and mountainsides are all so similar and so different but always covered with this blessed tree whilst every now and then small and large vineyards, gardens and fruit-bearing trees with their dark green shades and their vivid and joyful colors lay oil the appealing picture of the Sitian landscape.

But it is not only about the beauty of the landscape. The thousand-year-old experience of the peasants teaches that the olive oil and the wine - the latter in small quantities- are beneficial for the health and prolong life. The scientific research in the last years confirms these two facts in the most celebrating way!

It has been proven that olive oil protects people from heart diseases, cancer and many other diseases, gives vitality and prolongs life. Furthermore the red wine has a salutary influence oil prevention of cancer, osteoporosis and other diseases. The research has proved that the Cretan nutrition based on the olive oil and inclusively the consuming of legumes, vegetables and fruits, low fat meat, dairy products and small quantities of wine, is the cause of the good health and longevity of the Cretans which is the longest in the world - and is recommended by all specialists and nutritionists.

The wine of Sitia has been famous since the antiquity. Lucullus used to transport by ships the wine from Sitia to Rome for his renowned Lucullean feasts! Today the Sitian wine is of excellent quality and is selling like hot cakes in Greece and abroad while the olive oil of Sitia is best olive oil in the world.

It is extra virgin oil of high quality designation of origin controlled by HACCP and 150 9002 and for many years now is awarded the first price in many contests. This year it was awarded the first world price by the contest for extra virgin olive oils organized by the International Olive Oil Council (a United Nations institution). Within the last few years in the district of Sitia around the area of the TOPLOU Monastery and elsewhere, the organic farming of olive trees and vines has been developed in an innovative way by individuals or groups of young farmers supported by the LEADER programms so that olive oils, wines, olives, olive paste, soap and vinegar of high quality have been produced and packed. The unique conventional or organic products of Sitia are available in appealing prices in shops, in special selling-points or by the producers themselves in the whole district. You can find details and the places to visit in the annex of this brochure.

The olive tree and the vine not only give their blessed fruits but are firmly associated with the history and the culture, the tradition, the art and the way of living in Sitia, at the Mediterranean and in Europe. It does really worth it, to follow their particularly interesting and beautiful course in time as well as the course of the undiscovered Sitia full of images, experiences, emotions, beneficial knowledge and messages for a lifetime.

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Culture Mon, 02 May 2011 13:07:43 +0300
Olives and Civilization http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/34-olives-and-civilization http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/34-olives-and-civilization

Minoan oil harvestingThe olive is a favorite subject in Minoan art. Olive trees, olive branches and olive blooms are depicted in many wall paintings and relief works, found at the palace of Knossos ( 1600-1400 BC) and displayed in the Heraklion Museum today.

Of the most well known, is the wall painting depicting an olive tree between wild goats, the relief with the bull and the olive tree at the balcony of the northern entrance of Knossos Palace, the wall - painting with "The dance in the Sacred Grove" and other scenes with , olive foliage, blooming branch, branches and relief olives.

Olive branches and leaves are often depicted on the vases of the Minoan period. Characteristic examples are to be found in the storage-jar discovered at the small island Psira off the coastline of north-eastern Crete which is decorated with bull' s heads and olive shoots on either side (1600-1500 B.C) as in the cup with the olive branch in bloom from Knossos ( 1600-1500 B.C), both now displayed in the Heraklion Museum.

The olive was a favorite subject even in the craft of gold-plating in the Minoan period. Characteristic of this is the superb piece of jewelry made up of a bunch of golden olive leaves found in the pre-palatial cemetery on the small island just outside today's settlement of Mochlos to the north of the village of Lastros in Sitia.

At the Olympic games that started in 776 B.C., ancient Greeks were crowning the winners with a wreath ("Kotinos") made of branches cutted always off the same wild olive tree.

Also at the Panathenea games ( 600 B.C), the winner' s prize was a decorated amphora, full of olive oil which was produced of the "Mories" (Sacred) olive-trees belonging to Goddess Athena.

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Culture Tue, 05 Mar 2013 08:09:00 +0200
Life in Sitia - Itanos http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/25-life-in-sitia-itanos http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/25-life-in-sitia-itanos

Life in East CreteThe pristine and calm natural landscape that constantly changes and pleasantly surprises the visitor, the images of rural life, often primeval and picturesque, the beautiful wild flowers of the fall, winter and spring and the sand lilies of the summer, the numerous aromatic plants; the old stone-built farms, the birds, the free range herds, the endless olive groves and vineyards, the meadows and the gardens around the villages, the view of the high mountains, the deep blue and the open horizons of the sea, all comprise a magical scenery, a pleasure for the eyes and the soul and a journey to a dream world.

The religious rituals and the feasts at the village churches provide the perfect opportunity to experience local traditions as well as the local way to have fun with marvelous music, traditional dancessome of which are easy to learn!

Apart from the traditional ways of entertainment, there are also events and clubs with modern music and dances that last all night long.

In all the villages there are traditional coffee shops and taverns, where visitors can enjoy a greek coffee, herbal teas, or the famous tsikoudia (raki) and taste the local foods and specialties, that often differ from village to village!

The food is always cooked with olive oil - which is the best in the world- while the salads and the fruits served are often produced by the family that owns the tavern.

A walk in the villages will give visitors the opportunity to see buildings of traditional architecture, picturesque streets, fountains, and other works of folk architecture and beautiful old and new churches, symbols of the vivid religious tradition of rural Crete. Visitors will also take a glimplse at the villager's everyday life and experience their warm hospitality.

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Culture Mon, 01 Aug 2011 15:32:12 +0300
Health and Nutrition http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/20-health-and-nutrition http://eastcrete-holidays.gr/en/culture/nutrition-and-products/20-health-and-nutrition

Health and Nutrition in CreteThe close links of Crete with Europe are widely recognized, since Crete is the place where the continent received its name. In Greek mythology, lust-loving Zeus, in the guise of a white, winged bull carried off on his back the beautiful princess of Phoenicia, Europa, daughter of king Agenor, to the island of Crete where he fathered the progenitors of a magnificent civilization known as the Minoans.

One of the basic elements of this civilization has been nutrition, or the way of production and consumption of food stuff. The Cretans have developed their ancient nutritional habits with everything that the Cretan land so generously provides: olive oil, wheat, wine, honey, legumes and vegetables, mountain greens and aromatic plants, low fat cheese, meat and fish; the base of the Cretan cuisine that according to the research over the last few years proved to be healthy and of great nutritional value. You can taste this cuisine in the traditional taverns and local restaurants.

This civilization, forged on such values as hospitality, honesty, and dignity can, without exaggeration, be considered as a culture of health. For thousands of years now, the dietary habits of the inhabitants constitute an on-going, informal biological experiment, the results of which highlight the soundness of the Cretan diet, as it was formally recorded in the "Seven Countries Study" by Dr. Ancel Keys. The consumption of olive oil, wine, legumes, fruit, vegetables, honey and herb tea offers a unique privilege to Cretans. It endows them with a long, healthy life with the lowest mortality indices in the world in terms of heart diseases and cancer. In modern times scientific research has confirmed the value of this dietary prototype which is highly recommended by experts in nutrition.

Crete is proud of the fact that today, 5000 years after the rise of the Minoan civilization, is in a position to offer humanity an excellent dietary prototype that greatly improves the quality and expectancy of life.

Olive oil forms a major part of the daily Cretan diet, the average annual consumption being over 35 liters per person, the highest in the world! Most families in Crete own some olive trees, not only to meet their daily needs, but also providing a second income. Sitian olive oil has won international acclaim, receiving many awards for its excellent quality and superior taste. Most visitors will unfortunately not experience olive picking, as this takes place during the winter months, the whole family helping out.

Ancient Greeks believe that Virgin Olive Oil is beneficial to human health and recommended it for afflictions as:

-Dermatological problems -Inducement of vomit -Lacerations and burns -Ear infections -Gynecological diseases -Birth control

Today, the modern medicine confirms that Virgin Olive Oil is beneficial for one's health and its consumption is recommended for many instances such as:

-Cardio circulatory illnesses -Prevention of breast cancer -Prevention of prostate cancer -Control of stomach ulcer -Control of diabetes -Sexual impotence -Diet for children and athletes -Diet for the aged

service@webcrete.com (Itanos) Nutrition and Products Mon, 02 May 2011 13:07:20 +0300