At the forefront of cultural contributions since the Bronze Age, Crete has raised iconic artists such as El Greco and authors like Nikos Kazantzakis (of Zorba the Greek fame).

Today, the same contrast and diversity encountered in Cretan nature can be found in Cretan culture as well. The buzzing urban life in the metropolitan areas is refreshingly juxtaposed by the traditional villages where time seemingly has stood still; where people still wear the traditional vraka, play lyra, dance pentozali and sing mantinades (the island’s distinctive form of poetry).

Very often, these two worlds collide — especially during religious holidays, communal celebrations and social events such as weddings.

Local dialects and customs are taken very seriously in Crete but don’t worry: the most important custom of the island is filoxenia, aka taking very good care of its visitors!