null

Healthy diet

“Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food” - Hippocrates

The Greek island of Crete has always been identified with healing and regeneration – its diet promotes health and longevity.

In search of the ideal diet which would improve one’s health, ward off illness and optimize our functioning, the Cretan diet has been pin pointed as being just the right one to follow. The term ‘diet’ of course is used not as a diet to follow in order to lose or gain weight but rather a lifestyle which encapsulates the way in which we achieve well-being. This lifestyle, a deeply cultural act, includes foods, drinks and activities.

Several studies on the traditional Cretan diet have shown that the population of Crete enjoys the longest life span and have the lowest percentage of death caused by heart attacks and of various kinds of cancer.

The Cretan diet is a simple, wholesome diet including cereals, nuts, an abundance of fresh/seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as local extra virgin olive oil. Consumption of dairy products (milk, cheese), eggs, fish, red wine and red meat is limited. A fact not to be underestimated is that this diet consists almost exclusively of products that the locals produce naturally within an ideal climate conditions.

Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids Cretan olive oil (‘liquid gold’ as Homer puts it) plays an imperative role to this diet and to overall well-being. It is these monounsaturated fatty acids which reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol (which in turn protects against atherosclerosis).

Assessing the diet in a holistic fashion allows us to understand that dietary variables must be considered within the context in which they present themselves. The protective effects of eating organic fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, lamb, rabbit, fish or eggs from truly free ranging livestock is of prime importance.

Wild greens, herbs, Purslane, mountain teas (such as ‘malotira’) and wild mountain snails (which surface after rain) are elsewhere difficult to procure while here on Crete, we grow these ourselves in our gardens, forage from our natural surroundings and have them readily available at the local store. Farmers’ markets, which take place no less than three times a week, are also an effortless way to obtain the freshest produce.

It is not only the unique taste and quality of Cretan products but also their combination, which gives enormous nutritional value and can be found in every Cretan dish.
Without sacrificing good nutrition and above all taste, the Cretan diet is a heart healthy eating pattern which is about much more than just food. It is a way of living and a philosophy which creates harmony between the mind, body and nature.

Why we recommend Crete

It is an established fact that over the last years amount of tourists visiting region of Chania, Crete has increased greatly, making this wonderful Venetian town and its surroundings one of the top destinations in Greece amongst such popular places as Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

People are coming here to spend great time and to visit spectacular sights like bay of Balos, pink-sand beaches of Elafonissi or trek down the Samaria gorge, the biggest in Europe

Strong local culture

Crete’s strong local culture is instrumental in the daily lives of the people of Crete. Cretan music, traditional dances, Cretan food, Christenings, weddings, festivals, religious celebrations and holidays are just a part of this integral and deeply intimate cultural heritage.
Famous Cretan hospitality is very much still alive; locals are friendly and offer directions and tips freely, neighbors frequently bring over fresh eggs, vegetables and fruits from their plots or even a meal or dessert they have prepared.

Breathtaking landscape

Being the largest island of Greece at 8261 square kilometers Crete is often referred to as ‘Megalonisos’ (big island). It is in fact the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean.
Crete, which lies south of the Aegean Sea, in the center of the East Mediterranean basin (where Europe, Asia and Africa meet), is a long and narrow island with east-west orientation (260 km long and widest part at 60 km).
This island has been blessed with an extraordinary fusion of landscapes some of which include snow-capped mountains, gorges, ….

Hospitality

Zeus, the ruler of all Gods, born in the Diktaean cave and raised up in Idi Mountain on Crete, was also buried in his birthplace. Being born, raised and buried on Crete, Zeus is said to be resurrected each, live on and reign. He is a God who dies each year and is reborn even stronger, much in the same way that nature brings everything back to life in spring.

In Ancient Greece, hospitality was a virtue where care for ‘xenoi’ (strangers such as messengers from a distant land) was a divine requirement.

Mild Winters

Crete enjoys a Mediterranean climate, where weather can be characterized by mild winters and hot, dry summers. Warm weather is enjoyed for nine months of the year from April to November and winter months are just December to March.

The coastal areas have a dry summer and mild winter. Good weather prevails throughout the season while it can rain sporadically from December through to March. Snowfall along the coast is a rarity.

Healthy diet

In search of the ideal diet which would improve one’s health, ward off illness and optimize our functioning, the Cretan diet has been pin pointed as being just the right one to follow. The term ‘diet’ of course is used not as a diet to follow in order to lose or gain weight but rather a lifestyle which encapsulates the way in which we achieve well-being. This lifestyle, a deeply cultural act, includes foods, drinks and activities.

Several studies on the traditional Cretan diet have shown that the population of Crete enjoys the longest life span and have the lowest percentage of death caused by heart attacks and of various kinds of cancer.

Must - see places

1. Elafonisi beach
Located close to the southwest corner of Crete, Elafonisi is in fact an island taking its name from the Greek words ‘elafi’ and ‘nisi’ meaning ‘deer island’.

The beach and island are quite tropical in style with fine white sand and clear turquoise waters. In fine weather you can in fact walk to the island through the shallow water. This beach is a destination in itself for travellers and locals alike.

Useful info

Airports: Crete is serviced by two International airports (Chania and Heraklion).

Chania International Airport (CHQ) is 14km east of Chania.
Busses depart regularly from Chania airport to Chania center (journey time approximately 30 minutes). Taxis are readily available.
Both short term and long term parking is available.
Tel: +30 28210 83800
Website: http://www.chania-airport.com
Heraklion International Airport (HER) is 5km east of Heraklion.

English