Discover the island

 CRETE 
The island at the crossroads.

The crossroads of three continents. 

Europe,  Asia and Africa. 

 

The crossroads of civilizations.

From 3000 BC to today, Crete, the birthplace of Zeus, has been the home of one civilization after another. Minoan palaces, ancient Greek theaters and temples, Roman baths, Venetian towns, catholic monasteries and byzantine churches are just a few examples of what the people of the island have left behind.

 

The crossroads of culture. 

Here in Crete, East and West were joined in marriage to give birth to a unique culture. The Cretan dialect, cuisine, music, poetry and dances. 

 

The crossroads of nature. 

The island’s heart is mountainous and wild with high mountain peaks, steep gorges, deep caves, even a limestone desert. But the sun-kissed mountains are surrounded by fertile valleys that bless the Cretan people with olives, grapes, oranges, carobs, prickly pears…

And all this treasure is guarded by the sea.

The coastline of Crete is decorated with some of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean Sea; from the small secret bays with the deep, cold waters of the South to the worldwide known iconic beaches like Elafonisi and the palm tree forest of Vai.

Falassarna is a bay of West Crete, just 60 km outside the city of Chania.

The crystal clear waters and the endless beach with the white and pink sand, surrounded by the wild mountains create a little piece of heaven for us to enjoy.

There is a little something here for everybody; however you may spend the day – sunbathing, swimming and relaxing at the main beach Pachia Ammos (thick sand) or exploring the small, hidden, rocky bays of the southern side, wind surfing or hiking one of the many paths of the area – make sure to stay long enough to see the best sunset in Crete!

And there’s lots of history as well…

On the northern end of the bay lie the ruins of the ancient Greek city state of Falassarna.

It was founded by the Dorians on 7th century BC. The fortified harbor of the city, intricately designed, led the city to become a great naval power.

Falassarnians were well traveled merchants, warriors of great fame and notorious pirates. This piracy thing, gave Romans the excuse to invade Falassarna in 67 BC. But the final destruction of this great city came with an earthquake in 365 AD. It raised Falassarna 6.5 meters above sea level rendering it’s harbor useless. The rest of the city was flooded by a tsunami and buried under mud for 1600 years.

Today not only can you visit the archaeological site ( entrance is free) but there is even an app (only for iPhones and iPads for now) that will guide you through the ruins and provide a live simulation of the ancient city.

This is the Diktaian cave located on Mount Dikte, 1.025m above sea level, at the area of Lasithi in eastern Crete.

The cave covers an area of 2.200 square meters and inside one will find a very interesting variety of cave formations called speleothems, like stalactites, columns, cave drapery and corals. There is also a small lake deep in the cave which is said to fulfill your wishes in exchange of a coin.

Diktean cave is the most sacred cave in Crete, it has been so since the prehistoric times.

Today it’s an archaeological site since both Minoans and ancient Greeks have been using it as a place of worship. But why? Here’s the myth…

Cronos < Greek : Κρόνος =Χρόνος = time > was the leader of the Titans, the devine descendants of Uranus (sky) and Gaia (earth) . Rhea, also a Titaness , was the sister and wife of Cronos. One day Cronos received a prophecy that one of his children is going to overpower him. So he did the obvious thing, he started swallowing his children alive. Well, one day Rhea decided that enough is enough. She poisoned Cronos and while he was all dizzy she gave him a fake baby, a rock wrapped in fabric, to swallow. When he fell asleep she came down here in Crete and inside the lake of the Diktean cave she gave birth to the baby, Zeus!

While she was giving birth, she dipped her fingers inside the Cretan soil, to hide the screams of the birth pains. And from her ten fingers ten demons were born; the Kourites, protectors of the island, masters of fire and all crafts who later gifted this knowledge to Cretans . She hid Zeus inside the cave, where a nymph, Amalthia, took the form of a goat and raised the baby with goat milk and honey. Kourites were outside the cave, banging their bronze shields to hide the cries of baby Zeus from Cronos. And indeed, when Zeus grew up he fought his father and the rest of the Titans in a battle called Titanomachy. His siblings set themselves free by ripping the insides of Cronos and helped Zeus in overthrowing his father. They threw the Titans in the depths of the underworld, Tartarus, and thus started the story of a new generation of ancient Greek gods, the Olympian gods....

The 500 year old port is the pulsing heart of the city.

Day or night something’s always cooking here.
Families, couples, teenagers, travelers, cyclists, street musicians, painters and the list goes on...

A long walk down at old Venetian harbor of Chania you can do.

Chania - The old town and the White Mountains.

“ Folks talk too fast and don’t understand what they’re talking about.”
Son House

The 500 year old port is the pulsing heart of the city.

Day or night soThis is the gorge Avlàki ( = ditch, channel) one of the hidden gems of chania, very close to the city. The old cobbled path starts from the 16th century, Gouverneto Monastery and passes through the gorge. In ten minutes we find ourselves at the cave Arkoudospilià ( = bear cave). Inside the cave there is a stalagmite 2.5 m high that really looks like a bear drinking water from the tank near her. According to the legend the bear was petrified by Virgin Mary, so that she won't drink up all the supply of water of the area!

At the entrance of the cave is the small chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary and deeper in the cave there used to be the ancient Greek temple of Artemis (Diana).

The bear was the favourite animal of the goddess after all! 
We are moving on down the path and through the wild gorge that is filled with caves used through the centuries by hermits. One of them is 150m deep, we would need plenty of time and a flashlight to explore it. It was the cave of St. John the Hermit.
A few minutes after the cave of St. John lie the ruins of the monastery of St John. It is from the 16th century but the monks have been living here since the 900s. The ruins are impressive, the monastery was intergrated to the curves and the cavities of the rocks. 
Fifteen minutes more of walking down the old path and we are at the exit of the gorge, where a tiny rocky bay with the most beautiful, crystal waters is waiting for us! mething’s always cooking here. Families, couples, teenagers, travelers, cyclists, street musicians, painters and the list goes on...
A long walk down at old Venetian harbor of Chania you can do.

Vilana, Vidiano and Moschato.

Some of the great local varieties that make this cool refreshing sparkling white wine... 
Combine your love for the blues and your love for the beach!

 

Side events

We will take you to unique places to dance, all together, to live Blues music, discovering the most fascinating and secret places of the island that gave birth to little Zeus...

We are working for you!

Remember... patience is the virtue of the strong!  

Jazz Train Studio

Ksepapa & Ionias,

Chania, Crete

jazztrainstudio@gmail.com

Swinging ZOO asd
Via Morgari 12, 10125

Torino Italy

C.F. 97835960010