Wine tourism in Crete
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It is at the southern-most point of Europe and at the crossroads of three continents. A particularly captivating place with stark contrasts in geomorphology and landscape, it has an extremely distinct character that results from a centuries-old history that includes great civilisations, such as the Minoan civilisation, and conquerors who left their own mark. The mild, hot climate, the countless beaches, the incomparable inland landscape with the tall mountains, the legendary hospitality of its residents and the high level of tourism infrastructure and services have made Crete one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. In every season of the year, Crete offers its visitors unique pleasures and intense memories, no matter what their preferences and objectives may be: relaxation, recreation, rejuvenation, experiences in nature and eco-tourism, cultural experiences, adventure or agritourism. The range of options is inexhaustible, both in Eastern Crete and Western Crete. If the Cretan diet that is known around the world, the Cretan products that Greeks particularly value and the fully developed and widely known Cretan cuisine are added to the mix, then it is obvious that Crete has many excellent gastronomic pleasures to offer visitors as the perfect accompaniment to wine tourism in Crete.
Wine production in Crete has a very long history and the vineyards of the islands are historic. For Cretans, participation in wine-making activities and the staging of related festivals is a tradition. Therefore, the possibility for wine tourism in Crete has always existed. In recent years, however, the wineries with facilities suitable for touring have multiplied and since 2007, the Heraklion Winemakers Network (DONH) in Eastern Crete and the Chania-Rethymno Winemakers Network in Western Crete have become active. The two networks proceed in operating in autonomy, yet cooperating at all levels in parallel. All under the umbrella of Wines of Crete and a collective scheduling of activities.In other words, all the requirements are in place so that visitors can have a quality experience in wine tourism and unforgettable gastronomic delights accompanied by a wine from the vineyards of Crete.