Crete is the best year-round destination of any Greek island that has still much to offer during winter and becomes even more hospitable on Christmas Holidays. Take advantage of the mild winter and the luxury rentals at unbelievable off-season prices to see the historical sites, travel to the mountain villages, enjoy the unique Cretan diet and the culture of the people of Crete. Crete’s main cities of Heraklion, Chania and Rethymnon have a large local population and stay active and open year-round.
Chania Being influenced by the Western European culture, Christmas in Chania is bright, full of lights and ornaments. Christmas tunes take us downtown, to the central market, where glittering lights and carousels bring a festive and cheerful, even spiritual vibe. Bars and restaurants celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve with a lot of decoration, festive activities and events. It's weird to be at Chania and not to walk until the Lighthouse to watch the waves breaking over the harbour and the backdrop of the snow covered mountains. For a more spiritual vibe, head to the cave of St. John the Hermit, 22 km west, the Nativity of Christ is represented with real animals, and is very famous throughout Greece.
Rethymnon The shops and streets of the town dress up their festive costume from early December, where everyone is busy getting their Christmas gift shopping done. The city's Christmas festive atmosphere includes performances at the House of Culture, music events in restaurants and bars and the largest Christmas-themed park of Crete hosted in the heart of the historic Old Town. Follow the smell of sweets and pastries and get lost in the medieval Old Town, where almost every household prepare a special bread Christopsomo (Christ Bread), visit local artisans or treat your taste buds to delicious local food.
Heraklion is the biggest and definitely the most festive city on the island, where dazzling Christmas lights and decorations adorning the streets and glitzy bars promising memorable Christmas parties. Take a trip to the central market and stroll around the city with lots of Christmas carolling and street performances activities. Follow the local custom buying and eating bougatsa, a sweet local delicacy so that the New Year will find you with a sweet taste. Heraklion has most to offer in terms of museums and archaeological sites in the city and the proximity for those who want to escape from the festive cheer for a while.
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