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.

Gorge of St. Nicholas and Rouvas forest

The trail leading through the Samaria Gorge is undoubtedly the most popular trekking in Crete. A trip to this place is eagerly chosen by tourists staying here both from the western part of the island, as well as in the Middle East. No wonder, then, that in the high season the route leading through this place passes even more than a thousand people a day. However, if your hotel is located in central or eastern Crete, we have an equally good alternative for you, interesting especially for those who want to rest from the crowds of tourists.

Departure of Rouvas Gorge

We would like to encourage you to choose Rouvas Gorge as one of your holiday goals. The trail led through this place is, in our opinion, one of the most interesting hiking tours in Crete. An additional advantage is that independent organization of such a trip is relatively uncomplicated and easy. Of course, if you have a rental car.

Gorge of St. Nicholas and Rouvas forest

At the outset, it's worth mentioning that when you look for information about this place, you may come across some names under which it is described. On maps, this gorge will most often be seen as a gorge of St. Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos). This name is a direct reference to the patron of the local monastery located at the southern mouth of the ravine. Sometimes this place occurs under the name Gafaris or as the Zaros gorge. In the article, we will use the equally popular Rouvas name, which refers to the name of the local forest.

Before entering the trail

Although the trail itself is not particularly difficult or demanding, it is nevertheless worth taking care of suitable footwear. In many places the path is covered with loose stones, which in our opinion disqualifies you from entering here in trekking sandals. Approach or trial boots with an appropriate tread are the absolute minimum for a comfortable and safe passage of this ravine.


Rouvas Gorge - trail

There are points on the trail with a fresh water intake, so there is no need to take too much inventory with you. A bottle with a capacity of up to 1.5 liters for two people should be sufficient. For our part, as always, we also encourage you to take fruit juice with you. It's worth having some sweets and other snacks with you, which will provide you with extra energy for your return journey. At the end of the ravine is a beautiful forest glade, which is a good place to rest and to eat a regenerative meal.

This time we recommend you leave your trekking poles at the hotel. Although there are places where you can use their help, however, they will not be needed or will be disturbed for the most part of the trail.

Rouvas Gorge - signs


The trail is well marked and perfectly visible almost all along its length. In many places there are signposts and information boards on which, by means of simple pictograms, further rest places and points with a water intake are marked. Parts of tables are also marked with distances from a given place.

Rouvas - designation

Description of the route

Although the length of this ravine is only 4 km, however, the total distance that you will cover during this trip is much larger and will oscillate around 14 km. The difference in height between the starting point and the final point in the Rouvas forest is about 520m. The proposed route has a route consistent with the section of the E4 route delimited here.

We recommend starting the trip by leaving the car in the car park located in the area of ​​Lake Zaros. Well landscaped, the green area encourages you to take a moment to rest before you set out on the trail. So if you feel such a need after previous driving a car, we recommend taking the opportunity. In this place there is also a good restaurant, which, as part of the regeneration of forces, we suggest to visit, however, on the way back.


Rouvas Gorge - lagoon

Finding yourselfon the southern shore of Lake Zaros, turn east towards a narrow curve. The trail hiding in the shade of the trees circles the lake and then goes north. Climbing gently uphill, you leave the Zaros region. The next stage of the trail is marked with a relatively flat path that traverses the northern slope of the Koudouni mountain. After about a kilometer you will reach the monastery of Agios Nikolaos. This is a very characteristic contemporary building, which due to its size can not be overlooked. Walking from the east and crossing the dry stony bottom of the stream you will enter the right trail leading through the Rouvas gorge.

Rouvas Gorge - Agios Nikolaos monastery


Leaving behind the buildings of Agios Nikolaos monastery, the trail climbs steeply uphill. Be careful, because a seemingly good path is covered with small stones here. It is easy to slip on them or worse, which unfortunately we had the opportunity to see with our own eyes.

Defeating the next few hundred meters of the trail, you will again cross its bottom, and then you will enter the opposite slope. In the distance you will see a characteristic steep rock cliff. Arriving at its foot, the trail turns almost 180 degrees and connects with the gravel road leading to the south. Walking about 150 meters, you should look for wooden signposts that will indicate the rest of the trail.

Rouvas Gorge - rock cliff


The right path is to the right of the road. Steadily climbing up the mountain slowly turns back to the northeast. Going above the cliff you passed earlier, you'll come to one of the amazing viewpoints on this trail. A bench hidden in the shadow of a tree seems to be almost suspended above the abyss. It is worth taking a moment of rest in this place, enjoying the beautiful panorama of Messara, located in the south, and the previously covered section of the gorge.


Rouvas Gorge - trail

The next steep stage will take you to one of the most spectacular places of this gorge. Although the narrowing here is not as spectacular as the Iron Gate in Samaria, it also makes an impression. The interesting path leads to the sloping platform. The rock overhang in this place does not leave too much room for the head and forces you to make a deep slope. At the top of the breakneck section there is an entrance to the bridge. Going on it (on a windy day) you can expect a very strong wind here. The narrowing of the ravine causes that the power of each gust is multiplied.

Rouvas - bridge on the trail


After going to the other side, the trail overcomes another interesting wooden bridge, and then climbs steeply on the opposite slope. At this stage, the nature of the ravine is clearly changed. The pine forest thickens to create a pleasant shadow in which the trail is hidden. In the air, you can feel the pine smell.

The next part of the road is a relatively comfortable path, which runs on a rocky ledge. The trail away from the bottom of the ravine gives you the opportunity to enjoy the amazing views. In the summer, at the bottom you can see a dry riverbed, which is covered with a yellow mineral sediment.


Even at the peak of the summer season, on the last stretch of the trail, you may come across flowing water. Most likely, however, it will be a rivulet, lazily flowing between stones. In several places, the trail crosses the bottom of the ravine going from one slope to the other.

Las Rouvas - chapel


The end of the trail is surprising with the image of a vast glade, whose lush greenery does not match the typical landscape of Crete. In the shade of the spreading crowns of old trees, there are benches and tables where you can relax and also comfortably refresh yourself. On site you will also find fully functional toilets inalso equipped with washbasins. And although Rouvas is usually quite a peaceful place, it is sometimes loud, crowded and cheerful in this glade. Local Cretans willingly visit this place on the occasion of various types of holidays.


Las Rouvas - green glade

After the rest, there is nothing else you can do to return to the point where you left for this journey. Afternoon passage of the gorge in the opposite direction allows you to look at it in a different, much milder light. It is quite possible that you will be able to see many new details that have previously escaped your eyes.


In our opinion

Rouvas Gorge is one of the most interesting places in this part of Crete. And although in terms of spectacular views can not match Samaria, however, in our opinion it is no less interesting. People who like to walk long distances will probably also be happy that the total distance traveled in the proposed variant is about 14 kilometers.

The advantage of this place is also the large diversity of the area. The different parts of the ravine differ significantly. The interesting trail leads in a perfect way to the changing appearance of this gorge.

Drive

The gorge is located almost in the center of Crete. The relatively good and not very long commute can count both those who are vacationing near Rethymno and Heraklion . A trip to Rouvas Gorge can also be enjoyed by people who spend their leisure time in the Ierapetra area , but in this case it can take up to 2.5 hours to get there by car. A discipline of quite an early departure will be required.

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Interesting places on Crete

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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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Komentarze

 gość}
gość PiotrWie
2018-03-11 20:59:45

My przeszliśmy wąwóz Rouwas dwukrotnie - raz tak jak opisaliście - z żaros w górę i z powrotem, kolejny raz - dotarliśmy do lasu Rouvas z płaskowyżu Nida - była to jedna z ładniejszych tras górskich na Krecie jakie widzieliśmy - i po noclegu na w budynku należącym do tamtejszego zarządu lasów zejście do Zaros. Polecam.

Gosia | crete.pl
Gosia | crete.pl
2018-03-11 21:20:20

Nas ten wąwóz zauroczył, niestety zdjęcia nie są w stanie oddać tych krajobrazów. Naszym zdaniem robi konkurencję oklepanej Samarii.

Gosia | crete.pl

 gość}
gość PiotrWie
2018-03-11 22:14:12

Proponuję przy następnym pobycie na Nidzie odcinek do Ammoudary i z powrotem - nie jest trudny, prowadzi bitą drogą a krajobrazy wokół - super, nam się kojarzyły z księżycowym wąwozem z Sardynii. Odcinek z Ammoudary do Rouvas jest dużo bardziej wymagający - nie ma tam co prawda jakichś trudności technicznych, ale nie ma widocznej ścieżki i znakowanie pozostawia dużo do życzenia - stojąc przy jednym znaku nie widzimy kolejnego więc bez GPS nie bardzo wiadomo w którą stronę go szukać.

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Najnowsze komentarze:

gość drozda: My atakowaliśmy tydzień temu od strony morza , po jakimś kilometrze niestety całą szerokością płynie strumień, ale i tak jest fajnie :)
gość PiotrWie: Dzisiaj zrobiło się tak ciepło że o 19 kupiliśmy lody na ulicy. A Rosjanie to się nawet kąpali ale nie wiem może są z Syberii
Andy Hatfield: Drove through it from rythmno to avios pavlos plakias and galini beautiful drive
Danusia Krzyżaniak-Sowa: Będę pozytywnej myśli
Piotrek | www.crete.pl : A u nas w Polsce na ten tydzień zapowiadane są dwa dni z temperaturami podchodzącymi pod 30'C. Na razie jednak póki co mamy bardzo silne wiatry, które podnoszą z ziemi pył i kurz :/
Piotrek | www.crete.pl : Super, że poprawili oznakowanie szlaku, bo wcześniej bywało z tym różnie. Podziwiam, że mimo takiej ilości wody udało Wam się dojść do wodospadu. Pamiętam, że miejscami nawet w czasie kiedy my byliśmy było dosyć ślisko. W szczególności na tych odcinkach gdzie szlak przechodził w błotnistą ścieżkę (niedaleko ruin dawnych młynów wodnych).
Iwona Strzałkowska-Warmuz: Ja w czerwcu
gość PiotrWie: Byliśmy dziś w wąwozie Richtis. Po deszczach jest wysoki poziom wody i pomiędzy mostem a wodospadem jest naprawdę trudno trzeba mocno kombinować by przekraczać strumień. Miejscami kamienie przeznaczone do tego są przykryte 10 centymetrową warstwą wody. Nawet dojście do mostu nie jest takie proste bo kilkudziesięciometrowymi odcinkami woda płynie całą szerokością i jest niebezpiecznie ślisko. (...)
gość PiotrWie: Było zimno - nasz gospodarz stwierdził że jeszcze nie serwował śniadania w kurtce. Ale od dziś się zdecydowanie ociepla i w przyszłym tygodniu ma być już ciepło.
Anna Pielecka: Wrzesień też bywa niepewny. Mnie zawrócili po kilkuset metrach
Joanna Wypych: Początek maja nigdy nie jest pewny jesli chodzi o Samarie. Jesli byly prognozy przelotnych opadow w regionie Chania, dosyc czesto zdarzalo sie zamykanie wawazu na dzien czy dwa. Jak wiadomo ta zima byla koszmarna i stan wody jest jeszcze wysoki.
Aldona Olińska: No właśnie doświadczyłam tego na własnej skórze, no i w ramach małej rekompensaty byłam dzisiaj w wąwozie Imbros
Daniel Gorzelak: Mam nadzieje ze do 20 maja otworzą
Magdalena Woszczek: Aneta Re
Zofia Sokołowska: Zakonczono poszukiwanie Polaka na Krecie
gość gośc XXXX: Dzień dobry, wybieramy się w tym roku w okresie Majówki na Kretę. Zastanawiam sie jak wygląda sytuacja pogodowa obecnie i czy ktoś może przybliżyć jaki rodzaj ubrań powinniśmy sie zaopatrzyć czy bardziej plażowe czy niestety raczej ciepłe swetry i kurtki?  Z góry dziękuje za odpowiedz.
Emilia Ignatowicz-Steć: Jak z pogoda w Stalidzie?
Ewa Blue: Już za tydzień lece
gość PiotrWie: Strategiczne miejsca to akurat te które warto było odwiedzić co najmniej kilkanaście lat temu - pamiętam Elafonisi z kilkunastoma leżakami przy samym parkingu, obecnie należy szukać miejsc o których przewodniki nie wspominają.
gość PiotrWie: Zakyntos jest - tak samo jak np Korfu - dla tych co lubią odpoczywać w tłumie. Kreta jest na tyle duża że da się znaleźć miejsca gdzie na plaży jest się samemu bądź w towarzystwie kilku osób - a na Korfu na większości plaż trudno było znaleźć miejsce na położenie ręcznika. (...)
Adam Machoczek: Wyspa Kos - Kardamena,polecam.
Sylwia Ba Ka: Dziwne bo tam wcale nie jest ladnie:( Kreta jest niestety przereklamowana. Z Greckich wysp to Zakhyntos jest krolową
Przemek Kądraś: W tamtym roku była Kreta właśnie teraz zmiana kierunku :p
Agnes Mokros: Taak
Jola Ostraszewska: Kreta maj i chyba wrzesień
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