Eating Out

Cretan food relies on fresh, healthy ingredients. The region's cheeses include Graviera, Myzitra, or Anthotiros cheeses; other traditional dishes include snails, Cretan pilaf (chicken and lamb risotto served with goat's butter), and a chicken soup with lemon sauce called kotosoupa. Dinner is a late affair, as locals usually eat at 10 or 11pm. Resorts and hotels have international restaurants, though they tend to be more expensive and of lesser quality than local tavernas. It's customary to dine 'family style', meaning everyone's welcome to each dish.


Crete is not as well-known for its nightlife as some of other Ionian Islands, but it has its fair share of appeal, particularly within the busy resort towns of Heraklion and Limenas Hersonissos. Bars, clubs, discos, lounges and pubs abound in Heraklion Town, Iraklio, Hania, Rethymno and Agios Nikloas. By contrast, Malia, Chania and Hersonissos are hot spots for package holiday tourists, though bars and clubs cater to a younger crowd intent on a lively night out. Older travellers will enjoy Chania's fantastic restaurants, pubs, lounges and tavernas, and they can join locals for their volta: a leisurely stroll or a horse-drawn carriage ride before sundowners or dinner.All in all, visitors will find different 'moods' on Crete. Some may relish the bustling clubbing scene, while others will prefer experiencing local traditions in quiet villages.