For the creation of all the RAGiF (Routaki’s Audio Guide info Files) was an enormous amount of research done, about all aspects of Crete. This resulted in up to 300.000 words of information divided over several subjects. On this page you find in the diversity of categories the links to the pages were you can read the whole (or basis) story for the information that is given to you in audio form when you drive one of the routes of Routaki.

the Routaki Infotheek contains many pages with all kind of information about the island.

The wine region south of Heraklion – the Toscane of Crete.

From finds in a Minoan Villa we know that wine was already made on Crete in the 16th century BC. Due to the demand by tourist, the wine production is increasing by the year. Read on several pages interesting facts about the (traditional) wine process.

Read more details the wines.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe small houses, sheds or shacks you see in the grape- and olive fields are called ‘Metoxi’ [methochi]. This is where the farmer has his siesta and stores his tools. – Read more about the small houses in the fields. –
Nederlands talige tekstenOn the left hand side of the road, 4 kilometres South of Archanes, you will find the Minoan Villa of Vathípetro from the 16th century before Christ.– Read more about Vathipetro. –
Nederlands talige tekstenThe mountain area called Jouthas, just south of the town Archanes is 811 metres high. The Jouthas is also referred to as the place were Zeus the mythological king was buried.– Read more about mountain Jouthas. –
Nederlands talige tekstenArchanes is a Venetian Style town and has about 4000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by vineyards which produce the nice red and white Rosaki table grapes. The village is situated at the foot of the mountain of Jouchtas.

Read more about Archanes. –

Cretan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, so many stories to tell; so an extra INFOTHEEK PAGE with links

Divers information concerning geographical facts and life on Crete.

Crete is a long strip of land which, from East to West, borders about 260 km of Europe. With its surface of 8.261 km2, Crete is the largest Greek island and the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea. Read some pages about the geographical facts of Creta.
Nederlands talige tekstenThe island of Dia is 12 km2, you will find hardly any cultivation there. On the island are some sheep and goat shepherds looking after their livestock. Every day fun boat trips are leaving for the island, where you can find interesting spots to snorkel. – Read more about Dia and the goat-
NederlandsDeutschMaybe you have already noticed the traditional style of houses on Crete. Because Crete is an area with a higher risk for earthquakes, it is ordered by law that steel reinforcement and concrete is used for the construction of houses.

Read more about building houses

Nederlands talige tekstenArchanes is a Venetian Style town and has about 4000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by vineyards which produce the nice red and white Rosaki table grapes. The village is situated at the foot of the mountain of Jouchtas.

Read more about Archanes. –

Nederlands talige tekstenWhy are the tree-trunks painted white? Answer; to prevent the trunks getting corroded by bacterium and vermin. Read this one and many more interesting facts about life on Crete.– Read more questions and answers. –

The Crete cuisine doesn’t deviate much from the Greek, but has a little bit more variation, especially by adding a lot of traditional herbs. The Greek national drink is called ‘Ouzo’. But on Crete the general population drinks raki. Made and distilled of the left overs after the wine process. – Read more about what the Cretans eat and drink.
Nederlands talige tekstenMore and more large windmills have been placed on Crete over the last few years, and it makes Crete one of the most advanced countries of the European Union in this field.

Read more about the windmills and the used winds.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe Argave plant is more known as the small cactus on the window-sill. Here these plants are about one metre high. They were brought from Mexico to Crete about 300 years ago and are nowadays spread over the whole island.

Read more about the Argave cactus on Kreta.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe Phiti vases date from the Minoan age and are known for there enormous measurements. In the past they were used for storage, nowadays however they are made and bought as decoration.

Read more about the phiti vases and how they are used on Creta.

Nederlands talige tekstenYou can recognize eucalyptus trees by there hight and peeled off trunks. They originally come from Australia. They are the fastest growing subtropical trees. Read more about the Eucalyptus trees.
Nederlands talige tekstenIn the past Crete used to be a large forest, but the wood was needed to built ships, palaces and houses.
Throughout the centuries a lot of trees were chopped to meet with the great demand for wood. Read more about the forest on Kriti.
Nederlands talige tekstenThe oil gained from the many olives on the island was already an important economical product for the Minoans. It was not only used for consumption, like it is today, but it was also the source of all lighting. Read more about the olive oil lamp.
Nederlands talige tekstenGortys was already a city in the Minoan age, but never really got the change to become important because it was overshadowed by the bigger city of Festos. Former Gortys was also one of the first city’s surrounded by walls. Read more about Gortys.
Nederlands talige tekstenThe wall of laws are marble plaques that were attached between the piers. Plaques that were found in nature and the river. The text on the plaques describes one of the oldest written laws of Europe. Read more about the walls of laws in Gortys.
Nederlands talige tekstenProminent on Gortys is the fact that the information signs that hang at the foot of the statues are in Greek and Italian. This is because the excavations were, and still are, for the most part carried out by Italian archaeologists. Read more about the northern part of Gortys.
Nederlands talige tekstenWhen you drive through the South terrain of the Gortys excavations you see on your left hand side, the temple of Apollo. Spread over the terrain lie the pilars to proof this. The temple was built in the 3rd and 2nd century BC. Read more about the southern part of Gortys.
Nederlands talige tekstenUndoubtedly you will notice the different behaviour in traffic when you compare the driving style with the one used in your home country. With their temperament the Greeks do not have a lot of patience in traffic.

Read more about the Greeks in traffic.

Nederlands talige tekstenMatala is known for the caves in the cliffs on the East side of the beach. They became popular in the 60’s and 70’s when the hippies made it there residence during their holiday on Crete. Read more about Matala.
Nederlands talige tekstenNear the beach of Kommos you find a nice little church, from there you have a nice view on a few things. In front the sandy beach itself with the excavations of Kommos. During the Minoan period Kommos was also a harbour of Phaistos. Read more about Kommmos, Timabaki and Agia Galini.

Nederlands talige tekstenFrom around 1700 BC comes one of the most famous finds of Festos; a disc of clay, with a diameter of 16 cm and a thickness of 2 cm, with on both sides a spiral shaped script of 45 different symbols.

Read more about the disc of Festos.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe archaeologists started the excavations of the palace of Festos in 1900 under the guidance of sir Halbherr, but they did not reconstruct Festos the way Arthur Evans did with Knossos. Therefore the ruins are a lot more natural. Read more about the excavations of Festos.
Nederlands talige tekstenIn 1450 BC a heavy earthquake took place. The large, dark palaces were lit by many olive oil lamps. Due to the earthquake the lamps fell over and set the palaces on fire. Within no time everything went up in flames. Read more about the earthquake and the effects on the Minoan civilization.
Nederlands talige tekstenThe villa of Agia Triada was a location of a administrative power that monitored the agricultural production of the area. Precious things were found, like the wonderfully shaped vases and grails. Famous is the sarcophagus with paintings about the Minoan death cult. Read more about the excavations of the villa of Agia Triada.
Nederlands talige tekstenThe majority of the hot-houses on the island is used for the cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers, about 80%. In peak season the harvest mainly stays on the island for there are 2 million tourists to feed. In the winter months the harvest is exported.

Read more about the use of hot-houses.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe writer Nikos Kazantzákis, famous from the novel ‘Zorba the Greek’, only started writing novels after he turned 70 years old. Or that the first Raki after distillation also is used as a medicine to, for example, disinfecting small wounds or to cure a cold.

Read other funny or interesting facts.

Nederlands talige tekstenSpecialists and doctors in the Cretan hospitals have the same knowledge as in Western European countries, only the working environment looks a bit different as nurses haven’t got the same obligations.

Read more about the hospital in Iraklion.

Nederlands talige tekstenBesides the Paximadi islands there is also Paximadi bread on Crete. This is genuine Cretan bread and comes from the time where each village only had one communal oven and therefore there was no time to bake fresh bread daily. A part of the bread was baked extra hard, to prolong the live span. Read more about paximadi.
Nederlands talige tekstenIn the Minoan age the cypress trees were used in the construction of palaces. The pillars in the palace of Knossos used to be from wood from this tree. The trunks were put upside down, so the broader part supported the roof construction.

Read more about the cypress trees and their use.

Nederlands talige teksten‘Kafeneon’ is the Greek word for coffee shop. You can find them in every village. We should say ‘kafeneons’, because even though the village is very small, there are always two kafeneons. This has got to do with the political preference of the inhabitants.

Read more about the tradtions and use of the kafeneons.

Nederlands talige tekstenGortys had its main days in the Roman period, when it was the capital city of Crete. It was a beautiful city. All building were decorated with real sized statues of emperors, philosophers and politicians. Read more about Gortys and the nearby village of Agia Deka.
Nederlands talige tekstenDue to the climate in the summer in Crete it’s impossible to work and very unpleasant to go out. The heat is oppressive and the hot air rises above the tar. The nap in the afternoon is therefore very important to the Cretans. Read more about the nap in the afternoon.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe majority of the hot-houses on the island is used for the cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers, about 80%. In peak season the harvest mainly stays on the island for there are 2 million tourists to feed. In the winter months the harvest is exported. Read more about the use of hot-houses on Creta.

NederlandsDeutschThe murder of 3600 Cretans in 1827 was done under the orders of Turkish general Hassan. These 3600 people, mainly women and children, were hiding in the top level chambers of the Milatos cave.

Read more about the cave of Milatos.

Nederlands talige tekstenUntil 1904 Neapoli was the capital of the province of Lassithi. The city produced a pope; Petros Philargos was born in 1340 and in 1409 he took his place on the holy chair as Pope Alexander V. Read more about Neapoli.
NederlandsDeutschThe most important music instrument on Crete is the lyre. The three dimensional bow and string instrument with it’s pear shaped torso is held in front of the body, placed on the knee and is played with bow. Other instruments are; the bouzouki, the lute and the mandolin.
Read more about music instruments and Cretan dances.

Nederlands talige tekstenOut of the bay of Mirabello, the bay east of Agios Nicolaos you’ll see a lot of almond-trees. Parts of the almond tree are used to create a syrup called ‘Soumada’.

Read more about the local drink created from the almond tree.

Nederlands talige tekstenJust before the village of Kalamafka in the prefecture of Lassithi, you can visit a viewing point from which you can see both the Cretan as the Libian sea. Read more about the smallest area of the island of Creta.
Nederlands talige tekstenOn Crete it was normal the have a house with one room, which was not only used to sleep and eat in, but also to keep pets like donkeys and goats. Besides that there was a loom and sometimes even a wine press.

Read more about the old building styles on the island.

Nederlands talige tekstenCrete has an important role in mythology. Zeus was the father of the gods and was born on Crete. He also found his last resting place at the foot of the Jouchtas mountain, South of Herklion.

Read more about what happened on the island mentioned in mythology.

Nederlands talige teksten28th of October 1949: ‘Alors, c’est la guerre’, which mend as much as; ‘Then, it’s war’. This French sentence was quickly translated in the word Oxi, the simple term for NO in the Greek language.

Read more about why the Greeks have a public holiday on the 28th of October every year.

NederlandsDeutschThe Cretan government decided to banishing all leper patient of the island of Crete to Spinalonga. These leper patients were called the Mesquinis, which meant; the damned. So Spinalonga became a leper colony.

Read more about the small island in the bay of Elounda.

Nederlands talige tekst over Melidoni grotAs a visitor you can admire the cave. The biggest hall is called ‘the Heroes Room’. It’s one of the largest cave halls in Crete and shows amazing stalactites and stalagmites.

Read more info about the Melidoni cave.

Nederlands talige tekst over Melidoni grotThe Anogians, living since ancient times in the Psiloritis mountains, have preserved from generation to generation, unchanging in their morals, customs and traditions.
Read more about Anogeia (also written as Anogia).
Nederlands talige tekstenThere is one special day of the year that almost everybody has a BBQ at their house, even at their work place! It’s the second Thursday before Carnival day, also known as Tsiknopempti, when everybody grills on his/her BBQ.

Read more about charcoal and Tsiknopempti.

Nederlands talige tekstenThe pottery tradition is still very much alive in Margarites. Some potters use the local clay and follow the designs and decorations that date back to the Minoan Period. Items are made for real use of as a beautiful souvenir.

Read more about Margarites.

The lake of Kournas can be enjoyed with a trip on a pedalo. They are for rent and will give you a great opportunity to explore this beautiful place. At late summer or autumn the water level drops so much that white sandy beaches are exposed.

Read more about the Kournas lake.

The Agios Nicolaos chapel on the peer in the see. Maybe the most famous picture of Georgioupolis. But also the village square is worthwile visiting. A lush area with many eucalyptus trees between the major cities Chania and Rethymnon.
Read more about Georgioupolis.
Knossos palace is a monumental symbol of the Minoan civilization, due to its construction, the use of luxurious materials, the painted plaster, marble revetments and wall-paintings adorning the rooms and passages.
Read more about the excavations around the village of Knossos.
Except as decoration around terraces there are more reason why the trees are painted white.
Read more about the white tree trunks.