If myths and legends are your calling, then a helicopter tour of Crete, will guarantee a remarkable journey to an island with historic importance which was once the home of Minoan civilization. Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and over the years it has gained the reputation of being one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations. Below we have highlighted our three reasons why you must experience Crete from the sky:
Zeus, Amalthea and other legends
According to Greek Mythology, Crete is the birthplace of Zeus, father of the Gods, who was born at the Psychro cave at Mount Dikti. It is here that Amalthea, the foster mother of Zeus, sometimes represented as a goat, suckled the child on her goat-milk. Early Cretan history is replete with famous legends such as those of King Minos, Theseus and the Minotaur. In the legend of the Atlantis there are several pointed references to a civilization closely resembling that of Crete and the Knossos palace. Apparently Crete was famous for its sacrificial bull fights; so was Atlantis. There is no doubt that Crete is rich in history and legends, it is he who has the curiosity can join us on a journey of discovering one of the world’d greatest civilizations and the “one who searches will find”.
1. Cretan Mountain Range
Crete is a mountainous island, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains. The White Mountains or also known as the Lefka Ori remain covered in snow until spring and even in the summer they are white due to the sun reflecting from the limestone summits. The Idi Range where you will find the highest mountain Psiloritis which was once known as the Mount Ida, according to one of the legends on its slopes lies the famous cave where Zeus was born. The Dikti Mountains located on the east part of Crete in the regional unit of Lasithi are famous for the Lasithi Plateau, the largest and prettier plateau in Crete. Depending on your helicopter tour starting point, you are guaranteed to experience some of the greatest legends and myths born of the island.
2. Elounda and Spinalonga Island
Elounda is a small fishing village located on the northern coast of Crete. Over the years, Elounda has become a popular tourism destination: a resort area famous for its luxury accommodation welcoming world leaders, movie stars, celebrities and VIPs from all corners the world.
Next to Elounda, lies the famous island of Spinalonga an important Venetian fortress that became a leper colony in 1903. People suffering from Hansen’s Disease were sent here to be isolated from the rest of the population. The island of Spinalonga was an ideal location due to its close proximity from the shore, allowing easy access of transferring patients, food and supplies. The island remained as a leper colony until 1957, today it is a famous tourist attraction welcoming thousands of visitors on a daily basis who access the island by a boat. A helicopter tour will give you a bird’s eye on one of Crete’s famous sites.
3. Gramvousa (Balos Beach), Falasarna and Elafonisi
Apart from its ancient history, Crete is also famous for some of the most breathtaking beaches in Europe. Gramvousa, the two small uninhabited islands off the coast of north-western Crete in the regional unit of Chania was once inhabited by pirates. Here lies the famous Venetian fortress, which stands at a height of 137m, over the beach. An old abandoned shipwreck has become a characteristic part of the landscape reminding of the stories told about the pirates who once dominated the seas. The Balos lagoon is a site that must not be missed, with its clear turquoise waters and white sand, it will leave you in awe.
Chania has a few beaches in store for you, the Falasarna beach is nowadays a famous Cretan destination and belongs to the Natura 2000 network, both due to its variety of flora and fauna as well as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The beach is on the top-ten list of the best beaches in Europe and one of the highlights of Crete.
Elafonisi Beach definitely gets the title of being a “paradise” destination. It is located on the southwest end of Chania and is characterised by the fine white and pinkish sand, clear and shallow turquoise waters that are a perfect playground for any age.
These are just a few of the Cretan highlights, pick from one of our four starting points on the island (Hersonissos, Elounda, Heraklion and Chania) and live a magical journey above this mythical island. Have you been to Crete? Do share your favourite memories with us!