One of the most exciting travel experiences begins with food discovery. In recent years, Crete has seen a surprising number of refreshing new gastronomic ventures evolve into an eclectic blend of cuisines and dining concepts. Greek cuisine needs no introduction, but think Cretan gourmet: a unique Mediterranean terrain with exceptional vegetables and meats with a distinctive quality and taste, enhanced by the aroma of olive oil, herbs and wine. Today, the determined revival of traditional Greek cuisine is adopting a ‘back to basics with a modern twist’ approach that indulges visitors with a wondrous haven of culinary magic, proffered with warm hospitality and views of historical spots to help you make the most of your holiday experience.
Traveling to taste unique food, flavors and ingredients is such a rewarding thing to do for all the senses! Fine dining in Crete is a unique destination experience that will immerse you in Greek island life and culture through timeless and yet innovative cuisine, also suitable for vegans, vegetarians and delicate taste buds. For the island of Crete, food and wine form an integral aspect of life and each dish has a special place in the culture. Furthermore, the recapturing of the traditional spirit holds a special cultural value and shapes the most promising trend in travel and tourism, called culinary tourism.
The trend of ‘re-inventing tradition’ has brought great ideas to fine dining on the island, aiming to deliver something new on the Mediterranean’s culinary scene. Some notable Cretan restaurants have a wide range of creative recipes, prepared and presented with a history behind them. An impressive number of gourmet restaurants, found at some of the most buzzing locations on the island, present delightful flavors from the rich legacy of the local cuisine and propose dishes with aromatic intensities and charming textures. The enormous strides of the revival of traditional Cretan cuisine include wine-making, as dynamic wineries have rediscovered old and endangered grape varieties, enabling guests to sample many outstanding local etiquettes.
Imagine yourself enjoying a romantic dinner in front of a scenic table at the sea’s edge, enjoying delightful balmy summer evenings, accompanied by a sumptuous menu of Cretan dishes. Whether you choose a vacation resort in Heraklion, a smart waterside restaurant in Chania, a Venetian terrace in Rethymno, or an ultra-modern hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant in Elounda, Crete is a holiday destination that is ideal for taking a special date to an al fresco dinner or for celebrating major life milestones and impressing your beloved ones with an exclusive culinary trip on this historic island.
Now that the #foodcation trend points towards the Mediterranean region to please gourmets, not surprisingly, the new Cretan gastronomy has managed to attract international interest with its renewed local dishes, being faithful to the excellent balance of simplicity yet supreme in terms of the quality of the raw materials. The Cretan diet is delicious but at the same time also nutritious – something that is widely known all over the world. The ‘miracle’ of the Cretan diet, recognized by the international scientific community, acts as a physical shield for the human body, thanks to its wholesome and natural ingredients. The Cretan version of the Mediterranean diet is dominated by a high consumption of olive oil, fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and rare herbs found only on the island. Honey, cheese and wild greens have a special place on the Cretan table, whilst discoveries have shown that ancient and modern Cretans consume – more or less – the same foods.
Manos Dafermos is Owner of CreteVillas4U. CreteVillas4U is an online travel agency that specializes in renting villas on the island of Crete.