Crete tourist guide

The best Polish website dedicated to the Greek island Crete and to a small extent of continental Greece. You will find useful information related to visiting Crete that goes beyond the offer of optional tours. On the website you will also find descriptions of the most interesting places that we visited by visiting this largest Greek island. The content complements the current news, photographs and recipes of Greek cuisine.

Ida - the mythical shelter of Zeus

Nida Plateau

According to Greek mythology, Zeus hid (and perhaps even gave birth) in the Ida cave. This myth is the greatest asset of this cave, which is not as interesting and beautiful as the Dikte cave. Ida Cave is just an empty and unlit big hole in the rock. Quite steep descent to the bottom is built of old railway sleepers. At the bottom of the cave there is a wooden platform, there are also remnants of the former excavations.

Entrance to the cave

In most guides, you'll read that a 15-minute walk separates the car park and the cave. In practice, it takes a bit longer, and there are almost no signs or direction indicators on the way. Ida Cave is not a place too crowded with tourists. A pity because it is worth coming here even for the amazing landscapes that can be admired while traveling to this place.

The cave is located on the eastern slope of Mount Kousakas (Psiloritis massif), in the central part of Crete - about 20 km from the village of Anogia. Its total area is approximately 800 square meters. It consists of four chambers, of which the largest, main chamber is about 40 meters long and 50 wide.

Former place of worship

In ancient times Ida cave was one of the largest shrines in Crete. For several thousand years, from 4000 BC to the first century AD, it was the place of worship of Zeus - the most important god in ancient Greece. The importance of this place is evidenced by the fact that even Minos, the legendary king of Crete, regularly pilgrimages to the Idi sanctuary every nine years to pray for the favor of Zeus.





Another famous person who made a pilgrimage to this place was the great, ancient philosopher Pythagoras, whose name you rightly associate with the well-known mathematical theorem. Thanks to his descriptions, we know more or less how the interior of the cave looked like in this period. According to his account, at the entrance to the cave, there was an altar carved in a natural rock. In honor of Zeus, a throne made of ivory was placed inside the cave. Unfortunately, no trace of him has been left to this day. Because of the prohibition at the time, Pythagoras's account omits the descriptions of the rites in honor of Zeus, which were celebrated in this cave.

The Idi cave has not got a name

This cave is most often called Ida, or Ideon. It is also known as Spiliara tis Voskopoulas or Andron Arkession, or Cave of Help. The faithful of the time came to this place to seek help from Zeus. In the end, as the myth says, he also avoided death by the hand of his father thanks to the cave Idi.

Shields made of bronze found in the cave of Idi
Shields made of bronze found in the cave of Idi

Archaeological excavations

The significance of the Ida cave in antiquity was unknown until 1884, when shepherd Georgios Pasparakis of Anogi made a completely accidental discovery of ancient artifacts here. In the summer of 1885, under the leadership of Iosif Hatzidakis (the later founder and director of the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion), the Friends of Education Association organized the first professional excavations. They were run by the Italian archaeologist Federico Halbherr (also known from the excavations in Gortyn).





Another, archaeological work in the Idi cave was conducted in 1917 by Xanthoudides Stephanos and in 1956 by Spyridon Marinatos. However, it was not until 1982 that Yannis Sakellarakis - a professor at the Athens University and the director of the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, began systematic excavations in this place. With the support of the Archaeological Society and the Municipality of Anogia, the work of a team of scientists and researchers has enabled the discovery of a better picture of the history of the Idi cave. Excavations were completed in 1986, but as Professor Yannis Sakellarakis said, the cave contains many secrets that will be discovered by successive generations of archaeologists. Currently, scientists are focusing on accurately describing previously discovered objects.

Thanks to the work carried out, we know that already in 2millennium BC, Crete had strong trade links with such distant countries as Syria or Egypt. It was from these places that ivory was used to make some of the items found in the cave.




How to get

Idi Cave is located on the outskirts of the Nida Plateau, at the foot of the Psiloritis. Regardless of which direction you are going to reach it, first of all you have to go to the city of Anogia. Driving a section of the New National Road between Rethymnon and Heraklion, you have several options to reach Anogia, which is located approximately 30 kilometers west of the capital of Crete. The road leading through the village of Tylisos is by far the most convenient.

After reaching Anogia, you must follow the road leading south towards the Nida plateau. Ida Cave is about 23 km from Anogia. This road is relatively poorly marked and there is little chance of meeting other cars along the way. You can not find coach trips here, because only a few independent tourists reach the cave, which will not scare the deserted place. When the road ends blindly on a large parking lot next to the unfinished building of the tourist center, it will mean that you are almost at the destination point of your journey.
Almost, because from this place there is still a 20-minute walk along a gravel road that climbs the Piloritis mountain.

Idi - cash register

update

During our last stay in 2014, we noticed a lot of changes in the cave and its surroundings. The first thing that caught our eye is the checkout point and quite a big parking lot on the top of the road to Idi. The area surrounding the entrance to the cave has been completely fenced and tidy. In this area, several places have been designated where you can rest.

The changes were not limited to these works. The stairs leading to the bottom of the cave have also been rebuilt. Former grades made of railway sleepers are now replaced by solid stone stairs in the larger part. At the bottom of the cave, lighting was also installed, which did not work yet.

Preparations for the introduction of fees mean that the Idi cave will cease to be one of the last wild tourist attractions of Crete. The few tourists arriving here will no longer have the feeling that the cave is located at the end of the world far away from modern civilization. Unfortunately, at the moment we do not know if the entrance to its area is still free.

Access map to the Ida cave

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central
east

Interesting places on Crete

↤ click the appropriate part of the island to change the bottom map

Knossos
Knossos

Knossos

Knossos is one of the flagship monuments visited by tourists, it is also the most popular place where organized trips go.

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Heraklion
Heraklion

Heraklion

Heraklion (Iraklion) is the largest city of Crete. With almost 140,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest Greek city.

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Margarites
Margarites

Margarites

Dozens of craft workshops located in this small mountain village make Margarites one of the four main centers where traditional Cretan ceramics are made.

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Heraklion - airport
Heraklion - airport

Heraklion - airport

International airport. Nikos Kazantzakis in Heraklion is currently the largest airport in Crete.

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Heraklion
Heraklion

Heraklion

Heraklion (Iraklion) is the largest city of Crete. With almost 140,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest Greek city.

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Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou

Moni Arkadiou

The date of the foundation of Moni Arkadiou (Arkadi) is not exactly known. According to tradition, the name of this church refers to the name of the Emperor Arkadiusz, who supposedly was to be its founder.

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Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou

Moni Arkadiou

The date of the foundation of Moni Arkadiou (Arkadi) is not exactly known. According to tradition, the name of this church refers to the name of the Emperor Arkadiusz, who supposedly was to be its founder.

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Rethymnon
Rethymnon

Rethymnon

Rethymnon with around 40,000 inhabitants are the third largest city of Crete. This place was populated already in the Minoan period. Historically, the city was an important commercial center.

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Thrapsano
Thrapsano

Thrapsano

Thrapsano is a small town inhabited by slightly over 2,500 people, the vast majority of which until recently maintained their activity as a potter.

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Skinaria
Skinaria

Skinaria

Skinaria is a small beach located along a small bay, whose outlet on both sides ends with a rocky coast. It is still a little-known place overlooked by mass tourism

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Skinaria
Skinaria

Skinaria

Skinaria is a small beach located along a small bay, whose outlet on both sides ends with a rocky coast. It is still a little-known place overlooked by mass tourism

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Jaskinia Idi
Jaskinia Idi

Jaskinia Idi

According to Greek mythology, Zeus hid (and perhaps even gave birth) in the Ida cave. This myth is the greatest asset of this cave, which is not as interesting and beautiful as the Dikte cave.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Plakias
Plakias

Plakias

Plakias is a perfect place for people who like to spend time hiking. In the area of the town and the surrounding area, there are several hiking trails that lead to interesting beaches.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Gorge Kourtaliotiko
Gorge Kourtaliotiko

Gorge Kourtaliotiko

The Kourtaliotiko Gorge, also known as the Asomatos Gorge, is perhaps one of the most spectacular natural attractions available in the central part of Crete.

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Minoan Agia Triada
Minoan Agia Triada

Minoan Agia Triada

Agia Triada is a small Minoan archaeological site in the south of Crete, located near Timpaki, located on the western slope of the hill about 40 meters above sea level.

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Fajstos
Fajstos

Fajstos

Około 60 kilometrów na południowy zachód od stolicy Krety - Heraklionu znajdują się ruiny drugiego co do wielkości starożytnego pałacu - Fajstos.

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Melidoni Cave
Melidoni Cave

Melidoni Cave

Currently, Melidoni Cave (originally called Gerontospilios) is associated mainly with the tragic events that took place here in 1824.

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Koules Fortress
Koules Fortress

Koules Fortress

This fortress is a perfect example of Crete's multiculturalism. Located today in Greek hands, it was built by the Venetians, but is called a name taken from the Turkish language.

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Archeological museum
Archeological museum

Archeological museum

It is one of the most important and largest museums in Greece and one of the most important in Europe.

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Tylissos
Tylissos

Tylissos

Tylissos is one of the few places in Crete that has kept its name since ancient times.

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Damnoni
Damnoni

Damnoni

Plaża w Damnoni jest położona po sąsiedzku z Plakias - popularną turystyczną miejscowością

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Agios Pavlos
Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos is a small town located on the southern coast of Crete near Saktouria.

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Triopetra
Triopetra

Triopetra

Triopetra is located at the foot of the Siderotas mountain about 52 km south of Rethymno.

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Agia Galini
Agia Galini

Agia Galini

gia Galini (Αγία Γαλήνη) jest jednym z najpopularniejszych nadmorskich kurortów na południowym wybrzeżu Krety.

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Skinakas Observatory
Skinakas Observatory

Skinakas Observatory

The observatory is located at the top of the Skinakas mountain at an altitude of 1750 m. The idea for its construction was born in 1984.

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Armeni
Armeni

Armeni

The Late-Romanesque cemetery in Armeni is located on the outskirts of this town, located less than 10 km south of the center of Rethymno.

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Military Museum
Military Museum

Military Museum

The museum presents the dramatic history of Crete written over the last several hundred years.

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Argyroupolis
Argyroupolis

Argyroupolis

The modern settlement known as Argyroupolis was built on the site of the ancient city of Lappa (also called Lambi)

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Lentas
Lentas

Lentas

Lentas is a good idea for those who want to get away from villages steeped in industrial tourism.

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Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos
Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos

Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos

This ancient quarry, consisting of two parts by modern times, is called Λαβυρινθάκι and Λαβύρινθος.

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Archeological Museum in Eleftherna
Estiatorio Chrisopigi
Estiatorio Chrisopigi

Estiatorio Chrisopigi

If anyone of you is looking for a good restaurant near Matala and Kalamaki, then we would like to recommend estiório Chrisopigi.

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Gortyna
Gortyna

Gortyna

Gortyna is considered one of the most extensive excavations in Greece.

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Psiloritis - Timios Stavros
Psiloritis - Timios Stavros

Psiloritis - Timios Stavros

Psiloritis (Timios Stavros - Holy Cross) is the top of the highest mountain of Crete, rising to 2456 m above sea level.

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Rouvas Gorge
Rouvas Gorge

Rouvas Gorge

Rouvas Gorge is one of the most interesting places in this part of Crete. The interesting trail leads in a perfect way to the changing appearance of this gorge.

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Matala
Matala

Matala

Matala is one of the most popular towns not only of the southern coast but also of the whole of Crete. In the 1960s and 1970s, this small fishing village was a mecca for hippies.

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Monastery of Odigitrias
Monastery of Odigitrias

Monastery of Odigitrias

The Odigitrias Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries of southern Crete. Unfortunately, in terms of popularity, he is far from other Cretan monasteries.

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Kali Limenes
Kali Limenes

Kali Limenes

Kali Limenes (meaning Dobre Porty or Piękny Przystanie) is a coastal town located in the Asterousia Mountains on the southern coast of Crete.

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Vathipetro
Vathipetro

Vathipetro

In addition to the famous grand palaces on the island in the Minoan period, a number of smaller residences were created. One of the most important examples is the Vathipetro discovered about 5 km north of Archanes, on the southeastern slope of Mount Juchtas in the central part of Crete.

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Komentarze

 gość}
gość ja
2014-08-08 14:48:10

tarcze

Hej- czy te tarcze są teraz w muzeum archeo w Heraklionie? Pozdrawiam

Piotrek | www.crete.pl
Piotrek | www.crete.pl
2014-08-08 14:51:24

Jak najbardziej tarcze te są obecnie eksponowane w jednej z nowych sal Muzeum Archeologicznym w Heraklionie :).

 gość}
gość ja
2014-08-25 16:32:06

tarcze

juz nie mogę się doczekać wizyty w tym muzeum :-)

 Jul Zaw
Jul Zaw
2018-02-12 21:24:53

Niezwykłe miejsce. Na dole jaskini, którą zwiedzaliśmy w sierpniu (!) 2012 r., leżał śnieg.

2
 gość}
gość PiotrWie
2018-02-12 22:39:03

My byliśmy w tej jaskini 30 sierpnia 2016 - więc jak najbardziej e sezonie turystycznym. Jaskinie była ogrodzona, ogrodzenie zamknięte na kilka wielkich kłódek i żywego ducha z ewentualnej obsługi. Obeszliśmy ogrodzenie, w końcu za przykładem dwójki Holendrów sforsowaliśmy płot przy samym wejściu - był tam najniższy. Po zwiedzeniu - wyszliśmy tą samą drogą, napotkaliśmy kolejnych chętnych do zwiedzania - też musieli skorzystać z przejścia górą. Myślę że ta jaskinia nie jest tak atrakcyjna by zwrócił się koszt zatrudnienia obsługi - jest tak jak pisze Piotr - większa dziura w ziemi. Ale o wiele większą atrakcją jest sam płaskowyż nidajski - polecam zarówno spacer wokół płaskowyżu jak przejście szlakiem E4 w kierunku wschodnim do miejsca zwanego Ammoudara - nie jest on trudny, idziemy bitą drogą, ale wokół są jedne z bardziej niesamowitych krajobrazów na Krecie - nam atmosfera kojarzyła się z Księżycową Doliną na Sardynii. Oczywiście przejście E4 na zachód w stronę najwyższego szczytu gór Psiloritis, Timios Stavros ( zwanego też czasem Psiloritisem) jest też warta wysiłku, ale wymaga sporej ilości czasu - by nie musieć lecieć z wywieszonym jęzorem należy wyruszyć spod tawerny najpóźniej o 9:00.

I trochę poprawki - jaskinia jest na zboczu góry Kousakas ( 2215 ) - Psiloritis to nazwa całego masywu, najwyższego na Krecie.

 

 Kalina Sypiańska
Kalina Sypiańska
2018-02-13 03:31:50

Ja byłam we wrześniu 2017, wejście jest za biletami ale naprawdę warto bo miejsce jest nie do opisania słowami :) i wbrew temu o czym uprzedzają przewodnicy - bluzy naprawdę są zbędne, w samej jaskini przebywa się max 20-30 minut i jest to naprawdę przyjemne ochłodzenie po 30 st i pełnym słońcu podczas wspinaczki.

1
 CRETE - Kreta
CRETE - Kreta
2018-02-13 07:47:29

Czy na pewno chodzi o jaskinię IDI? Może masz na myśli Dikte?

 Kalina Sypiańska
Kalina Sypiańska
2018-02-13 14:35:09

Dobre pytanie :) być moze pomyliłam

 CRETE - Kreta
CRETE - Kreta
2018-02-13 18:56:44

Tak nam się wydaje ponieważ piszesz o 20-30 minutowym zwiedzaniu z przewodnikiem. W przypadku jaskini Idi zwiedzanie można zamknąć w 5-10 minutach, a zorganizowane wycieczki tu nie przyjeżdżają. W Dikte natomiast poprowadzona jest ścieżka po terenie jaskini, jej obejście zajmuje trochę więcej czasu.

 Kalina Sypiańska
Kalina Sypiańska
2018-02-13 19:22:51

Zle się wyraziłam - przedwodnikiem nazwałam rezydenta ktory razem przyjechał, natomiast zwiedzalismy sami i faktycznie 10 minut wystarczy ale ja akurat robię sporo zdjęć, natmiast chodzi ojaskinię gdzie urodzil sie Zeus :)

 CRETE - Kreta
CRETE - Kreta
2018-02-13 21:25:31

Zdjęcie Idi w środku. W zasadzie nie ma czego oglądać :)

 Kalina Sypiańska
Kalina Sypiańska
2018-02-13 23:55:13

Hmmm, to chyba faktycznie pomyliłam ale juz wiem jaką zwiedzę następnym razem :)

 Kalina Sypiańska
Kalina Sypiańska
2018-02-13 23:56:54

 CRETE - Kreta
CRETE - Kreta
2018-02-14 07:31:11

Kalina Sypiańska Tak, Twoje zdjęcie to jaskinia Dikte położona przy płasowyżu Lassithi. To inny rejon Krety.

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Dikte Cave (Psychro)

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One of the tourist attractions eagerly visited by people spending their holidays in Crete is the Dikte (Psychro) cave. The main factors that attract people to this cave are a rich and varied dripstone robe and a close connection with mythology. This cave, according to the beliefs of ancient Greeks, was considered the birthplace of Zeus. It is mythology that distinguishes this cave among 3,000 other caves located in Crete. It is also worth emphasizing that the history of human existence in this place is over 6,000 years.

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The cave is less than 1 km from Moni Gouvernetou Monastery. You will reach it using the pedestrian trail that has been marked out along the slope of the Avlaki Gorge. In the middle part of this cave there is a large stalagmite next to which there is a small water tank. Standing at the right angle and arming with a large dose of imagination can be seen in this stone block of bear that gave the name for this place.

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Najnowsze komentarze:

Aska Mazur: Piękny
Mariola Maj: Nie dziwie sie. ....przeciez Grecy jezdza jakos dziwnie I bez kaskow
gość PiotrWie: Ciekawe czy autor doszedł czy dopłynął na plażę Domata.
Iwona Burakowska: Drogi mają kiepskie a jeżdżą też nie najlepiej niestety.
Beata Waszkowska: Trochę jestem w szoku, byłam pewna ,że Kreta jest bezpieczna.
Rafał Kiljan: Od poczatku wakacji w Polsce zginęło 495 osób...
gość Rzeczka: Witam, w drugiej połowie września będę w Stalis/Stalida. Czy bez problemu dostanę się z tej miejscowości do Heraklionu? Jak często jeżdżą autobusy?
Olenka Cze: Świetny! Nasz drugi dom:)
Mariusz Wysłych: 
Ilona Mierzejewska: A film genialny!!!
Ilona Mierzejewska: Coś pięknego... Mój raj... Już niedługo, za momencik tam będę
Linda Stewart: I love the noise a cicada makes.It's part of the mediterranean.
Βασω Ζαγορα: 
Przemek Kądracki: Ale jak oni robią wszędzie hałas to jest jest ok? Co za naród :/ :/
Maria Huff: This is hilarious how can anyone sue a place because of that . You cant control Mother Nature people for real lol.
Adaś Es: Miód na moje uszy
Anna Zalewska: 2 lata temu byliśmy na Korfu w połowie czerwca. Było za zimno na cykady. Jakoś tak głucho było...
Maryla Paturalska: Pierwszego dnia mogą być irytujące, ale potem się ich nie słyszy☺
Anna Przywecka: Inne komentarze, również od turystów z UK to takie, ze nie było english breakfast
Joanna Rozwadowska: Idioci
Wojtek Kedziora: No i co z tego....wypoczywamy....u nas jest tak samo....
Aneta Osiecka: Nie ma bardziej relaksującego dźwięku niż cykady, uwielbiam
Monika Piętas: Cykady z Rodos
Anna Zgliczynska: Jak Grecja to muszą być cykady
Marta Wolny-Lis: Na Korfu w tym roku też nie odpuszaly. Uwielbiam ten dźwięk, nieodzownie kojarzy mi się z błogim relaksem na najpiękniejszych wyspach świata

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