September 2018 - Autumn in south Crete
I love September! It is such a lovely month here in Agia Galini with lingering hints of summer; the blue sky, the sunshine, the warmth. There are still tourists about and a holiday buzz in the village, but the intense heat of the high summer has passed and we can now enjoy the cooler days, the pleasant nights, and slow everything down. Spending time at the beach and in the village seems calmer too, and with the local children about to start back at school, maybe even a little quieter!
It’s a new month and the continuing sunny weather has given perfect opportunity for taking some new photographs of these properties: a lovely renovated stone house with a wonderful courtyard garden SM176 and this village house which could be a perfect holiday home VKAM219. Can you imagine experiencing a Cretan autumn in your own property?
The harvesting of the grapes has begun and after a pleasant meal at most local tavernas we can expect to be handed a plate of plump, delicious locally grown grapes, often served along with the raki or Tsikoudia as it is known here in Crete. Made from the leftover grapes, stems and stalks after the wine pressing, it is kept for about six weeks in a sealed barrel and then distilled to produce the (quite potent) liquor; very much an acquired taste!
All over Crete, including in many local gardens, are carob trees with the brown pods hanging from the branches which can be harvested and milled to produce a flour, like a cocoa substitute, used in the baking of the dark paximadias, biscuits and cakes, which are on display in the local bakeries. Carob was once a great export of Southern Crete and is often overlooked but certainly many locals of the older generation remember the carob harvests and how as children it was a real delight to eat the pod fresh from the tree, like natures chocolate!
A recent poll awarded the Greek islands top place in the world on the list of destinations to visit...
and I couldn’t agree more. Now is the perfect time to visit Crete and really get to enjoy the weather, the produce, the attractions and of course the beautiful beaches, all at a gentler pace. The summer crowds at popular destinations like Knossos and Phaistos have mostly dispersed and the stunning beaches including Agios Pavlos, Triopetra and Agia Fotini are quieter allowing for a relaxing swim in the lovely warm sea and, of course, a cool refreshment at the beach side taverna.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, let’s hope you get to enjoy wonderful, relaxing September!
Photo credit: Poolside at Palazzo Greco, Agia Galini