Comments on Blue Guide Crete


This completely re-written new edition of Blue Guide Crete focuses on the long history of the largest Greek island, from Minoan civilization to the present day. It includes detailed coverage of the major resorts and archaeological sites, Venetian and Ottoman architecture, the island's unique landscape and wildlife, and its important history in the Second World War.

View the book’s contents, index and some sample pages, and buy securely from here»

Read our articles about Crete here.


  • 16 Comment(s)
Gravatar: Patricia CavenderPatricia Cavender
Comments on Blue Guide Crete

I have a few more updates for you, this time from Chania.

1. Reference page 326, the Byzantine museum is now open. Tues-Sunday 8:00-3:00.

2. The Folklore museum, reference page 333, has different opening hours. Now Mon-Sat 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sun 11:00-6:00. There is a woman in there who collects the money (2 euros) who also does embroidery, and sells the embroidered wall hangings. The level of her artistry is unbelievable. I'm mulling over spending a great deal of money on a large one and likely will do just that tomorrow. I don't think I'll ever see anything like it again.

3. We're not going to Aptera, page 341, in part due to my antipathy for mountain driving, but the site is now open per the Chania Tourist Office. Tuesday-Sunday 8:00-15:00.

4. We went to Elafonissi yesterday, see page 380. It is indeed an idyllic spot. Here is the value-added travel tip: travelers should walk across to Elafonissi Island, then through to the other side of the spit of land there. There is a wood-post-and-rope fence preventing people from roaming on the island; the post-and-rope lays out an easily seen passageway to the other side. You can see one side from the other, it's a one minute walk. The beaches on that other side are more beautiful by far. There are a great many more rock formations in the water and onto the beach, along with the same clear blue water. It has a lot more visual interest. Corfu was hard to beat but I think that's the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. It would be very easy to miss seeing it. There were only about 20 people there yesterday. An aerial view of Elafonissi makes it easier to understand; it's the "other" side of the spit of land on the left end of the little island.

Gravatar: Patricia CavenderPatricia Cavender
Comments on Blue Guide Crete

Dear Blue Guides,
I'm writing to you from Heraklion, Crete, and have some updated information to share with you.

First, let me say that I am quite happy to have found your guide books. I've used Michelin Green guides for years, but there isn't an English-language one for Crete. I googled information on other guide books, and read that Blue Guides were "encyclopedic", which sounded perfect!

In Malia, at the site of the antiquity Palace of Malia, please reference page 124 in your current Blue Guide Crete. Quartier Mu is now open for viewing. Work is still being done there, and it's covered with that same protective roof, which offers nice shade. There is a well -laid out walkway going around the site, with good signage about the different areas which were excavated.

For Heraklion, I have 2 updated pieces of information for you. Please reference page 50. The Church Agia Aikaterina Sinaites is now open, as the Museum of Christian Art. It is open Monday to Saturday 9:30 to 19:30, and Sunday 10:30 to 19:30. The museum is small but well laid out, and the icon information is well presented. I had seen a number of Damaskino's icons in the Benaki Museum in Athens, and enjoyed seeing more of them, in Crete where they were made.

The 2nd piece of Heraklion information is about Agios Matthaios Sinaites, again reference page 50. It has re-opened. When I went in, a nun and another woman were chanting and reading prayers, with a few congregants sitting in the small church. The lighting is dim, the interior intimate and filled with icons. Together with the chanting, it was lovely. I stayed for a very peaceful half hour. The small sign re the hours was only in Greek, but I'm Greek-American, so I took a photo and can translate it. It states the Liturgical hours are 7:00 am to 12:00 pm, and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Gravatar: Ulrich G. Weiss Ulrich G. Weiss
Meets the usual standard of the Blue Guides [Amazon review]

This guide has everything you need to know about the island. Particularly useful for people interested in Byzantine churches and frescoes, the map and directions to churches are very helpful, as the information given on Crete is not always correct from websites. A word of warning for Panaghia Kera Church near Krista, it was closed on Monday, at least in March, luckily went on a Sunday. Otherwise the hours and information were correct, but the opening times of places in Crete seem to change at will. This is more of a cultural guide than for people looking for restaurant info and hotels, I use the web for that.

Gravatar: suejsuej
If a Mediterranean vacation is in your plans [Amazon review]

This is one of three guides I have and is easily the best especially if you are interested in the history of Crete. But even if you're not, it is a mine of information, as well as useful recommendations for accommodation and eating (we tried a few of the recommended restaurants and weren't disappointed in any of them). It's divided into different geographical sections, each beginning with a history of the place, then recommended places to visit, with the emphasis on historical sites and museums but other places of interest as well. There are guided walks and drives, with masses of background information. There is also practical stuff about travel, where to stay, (with price guides) tourist information, where to eat (also with price guides), shopping and markets, festivals and events, walking, and recommended further reading. The detail on places like Knossos is great - I can safely say that it's all we needed to guide us round the site. Highly recommended.

Gravatar: ellen "ellen in atlanta" ellen "ellen in atlanta"
This book is amazing [Amazon review]

My people all came from this lovely part of Greece. This book is wonderful because it shows the area as it was, with mythical resources to how it is now-complete with hotel, cafe, and travel information. This is a beautiful part of Greece where there is poverty, pride, gorgeous orchards, magnificent views- and very wonderful people. Luxury hotels take advantage of the beauty of this mystical place and gives the tourist a one stop shop to see a gorgeous part of Greece. The places you have heard about all your life--Argos, Sparta, etc.all are there to explore.

Gravatar: PublisherPublisher

Thank you Christine. We’ll mention it to the author for the next edition.

Gravatar: Christine LacroixChristine Lacroix

A recent visitor to our olive mill was carrying a copy of your guide to Crete and asked me why we were not listed in it. I thought it a good idea to write and let you know. Thank you!

Gravatar: Geoff Needle author of the "CRETE WALKS" booksGeoff Needle author of the "CRETE WALKS" books

Hello Sirs,
I have just completed two books each describing 25 different walks through the countryside of the Apokoronas region of NW Crete. I attach a sheet with further details of these two new books. They will be available in the next few weeks. Perhaps you can make reference to these books in your next update. My two books do not compete with the two books by Lance Chilton that you refer to under the section on “Georgiopoulis” as my walks cover all of the Apokoronas region, not specifically one smaller area. Also, in my excellent 8th Edition (2010) of your Blue Guide Crete you refer to the Apokoronas region as “THE APOKORONA DISTRICT. I think you left the last “S” off. Thanks and best regards, Geoff Needle P.S.
Your book is brilliant even if you don’t mention my books.

Gravatar: Dirk DraaismaDirk Draaisma

Re the Editor’s note on transliteration of the chi and the gamma. I am very pleased you now write Chania instead of Hania. About the gammas in Georgios etc.: isn’t it so that as a rule they are pronounced like ‘y’ because the are followed by an ‘e’ or ‘i’, regardless of the fact that the gamma is pronounced softer or harder on Crete than on the mainland. Isn’t the latter only the case if followed by an ‘a’ or ‘o’?

Gravatar: Ersie BurkeErsie Burke

I’ve just returned from a 10 day trip to Crete where I visited friends and did a little research. The guide was wonderful and never left my side. I want to thank Paola Pugsley especially for information that led me to the convent of Chrysopigi (p. 340) and to the coat of arms of the convent’s early patrons, a family I’m doing some work on.
Could I offer one small correction? On p. 327 (Cretan Icons) you state there was a “…Greek confraternity of painters operating in Venice…” There was never a Greek confraternity of painters; all painters (of houses, icons, and anything else) had to, by law, be members of the painters’ guild (arte dei depentori). There was a Greek confraternity (scuola in Venetian), the Scuola di San Nicolò dei Greci founded in November 1498; membership was open to all Greek men and women (regardless of occupation). For reasons too complex to go into here, very few Greek icon painters (called madonneri and all were Cretans) joined San Nicolò. E. Burke

Gravatar: Minerva MagazineMinerva Magazine
Review in Minerva Magazine

“The Blue Guide Crete is a must for any traveller wishing to visit this fascinating Greek island. It provides a comprehensive range of information that would be useful to archaeological and historical enthusiasts, the armchair researcher, and will even provide an excellent complement for the more seasoned academic.”
The full Minerva Magazine review can be read here.

Gravatar: EditorEditor

Sorry, I thought the symbols were obvious, especially with the relevant text! The symbols on Akrotiri are churches. One of them is ruined.
Yes, three dots is a ruin, usually an ancient one.

Gravatar: ReaderReader

I am (already before my trip to Crete) very enthusiastic about your guide of Crete. However, I could not find the explanation of the black symbols on the maps on the pages 428 - 431. I think I understand the “three dots” (ruin?) and the cave symbol.
But what is the meaning of the 2 different symbols on the peninsula of Akrotiri (428C1)? Please can you tell me where I can find the explanation?

Gravatar: Kees KampKees Kamp

A very readable guidebook.
Two small corrections: Page 109: The coastal road east of Keratokambos ends in Arvi. From there you can’t reach Myrtos, but have to bend North to reach the main road again. Page 269: The correct webadress for Hotel Hellas is

Kees Kamp
Gravatar: Sylvia CookSylvia Cook

I’m very impressed with the new Crete Blue Guide. My old Greece mainland Blue Guide is great for getting local historical details, but this one has that AND ‘readability’, pictures as well as site plans, a thoroughly well put together book. I’m looking forward to the other Greek islands Blue Guides which I understand will be out later this year.

Gravatar: ReaderReader

I am taking a break from reading your guide to Crete which arrived yesterday. It is absolutely gorgeous. Like your wonderful new version of the Mainland Greece guide it is packed with the high standard of information we expect from Blue Guides but with a modern touch; thank goodness that doesn’t mean you have ‘dumbed down’. I love everything about it: the fabulous photos; the glossy, lovely to touch, paper; the reading recommendations in relevant places, and the ‘boxes’ with additional background information. It is book to pore over before a visit as well as to have on every site and journey in Crete.
I am glad you have retained directions for those of us who hire cars and drive from site to site; I may prefer the old format for those, but that’s being picky.
Well done Paola Pugsley, it was worth all that hard work!
The book arrived just as I am compiling a reading list for two groups I am leading in Crete this Spring; it will be my top recommendation, as is your Mainland Guide for tours I lead there.
many thanks

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