Islands we love – Crete

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The “grande dame” of Iraklion in Greece

Contributed by feature reporter Jens Hoffmann

One of the southern Greek islands is Crete.
It is always hot and offers even in winter a warm climate.

And with peak-season crowds all firmly stuck in term-time, this is an excellent chance to explore an charmer in all-too-rare repose.

Admittedly, Crete’s not a secret, but you needn’t travel far from the well-worn track to find unspoiled villages with locals happy to have fun in tavernas all day.

We enjoyed everything!

Thats a statement!

Next time again the monumental Samaria Gorge, where cliffs shade a rugged, chamomile-scented trail.

Bucket list freaks watch out: you must go to Elafonisi, the pristine pink beach.

The charms of Crete are legendary. A fantastic island that enthralls its visitors.

So much beauty calls for the right residence.

The 5star Galaxy hotel is nick-named the “grande dame of Iraklio”.


At a time when more and more hotels are uniform in appearance the Galaxy Iraklio Situated offering high standard of services since more than 30 years of operation in Heraklion.


Respectful of its history and privileged position we were welcomed by charming staff and enjoyed this charming and cool city hotel.

The Galaxy Hotel showcases its distinctiveness in its every facet.

The elegant architecture follows that of the land, while its interior design impresses even cosmopolitan travel journalists, highlighting the hotel’s unmistakable insistence on quality and dedication to the magical combination of aesthetics and functionality.

Featuring an outdoor pool and a heated Jacuzzi, the hotel offers unique and well-equipped rooms just a short drive from Knossos, Koules and Natural History Museum of Crete.

A few steps of from Knossos you will find the University of Crete (Central Heraklion)

Furthermore lovely beaches.

And amazing fruit farms.

The Galaxy Hotel Iraklio features both a restaurant (with local products) and a bar, easy to relax.

No fine dining but nice, typical greek food.


My restaurant tip for Crete:

Resto Peskesi Crete

But the surrounding area offers many more restaurants serving a choice of fine greek food.


So let’s discover the authentic Crete (wines).

The island was a big wine producer in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean. The Egyptians drank Cretan wine, the Romans, and rulers of Greek Byzantine.

First a bit of history, the Greeks making wines since 4.500 before Jesus. This domination stalled when the Ottoman Empire conquered the island.
Today the Wines of Crete are back on the right track.

Using more the 300 native grapes and wine making traditions.

There are many wineries operating with most of the vineyards in the central region of Heraklion.

We visited the Lyrakis vinquard.


The name derives from Venetian era and specific type of Cretan castle which was called Vilana. Famous are also Plyto, Dafni, Thrapsathiri, Assyrtiko and Vidiano. Vidiano wines exhibit a peach, citrus and apricot aroma.

Lovely, very nice lively mouth feeling.

Vilana grapes contribute lemon acids and floral aromas to blends.

For reds, Kotsifali is the primary grape, with some international varieties like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in play very nice.

Another red grape is Mandilari. Nice was as a Kotsifali, very earthy, high alcohol, dark black fruit flavor and aroma.


My favourite wine was again Assyrtiko.

Easy drinking wines, with smooth tannins, quite elegant and usually under 10 Euros.

Greek wines impress with their quality and presumed affordability.

I love Crete, Greece and enjoyed it to be here.

Where to stay:

1.Domes Zeen Chania

2. Galaxy Hotel Iraklio.

Living in style.