The 75th anniversary of the historic Battle of Crete strikes up week-long celebrations, festivities and ceremonies on the largest Greek island this May.
- When? 15th - 22nd May 2017
- Where? Chania, Crete
- Price: most events are free but some may be ticketed.
Remember those boring history school trips? Well, if you head to Chania in May during the celebrations commemorating the Battle of Crete, you'll find a history trip far better than those local museum visits you had to endure during your younger days. Plus there's no one to tell you to make notes, either.
Back in 1941, during WWII, the most decisive battle on Crete took place, when the Germans sent hundreds of paratroopers to the island's north coast to make use of its strategic Mediterranean location. Hitler was shocked by the resistance of the Cretans (and their accompanying allies) who managed to kill many of the incoming Nazis. Although Germany eventually managed to take control of the island, Hitler became very wary of invading other Greek cities and islands via parachute distribution.
Every year towards the end of May, Cretans hold a week-long celebration which honours their resilience and those who fought strongly against the Germans. In many towns within the Chania prefecture you'll find a programme of ceremonies, memorials and events. And while there is rich history to uncover, you'll also find some athletics competitions, folk dancing and various other activities during the week, as well as a spectacular air show (sometimes incorporating paratroopers) which concludes the festival at Maleme Airfield.
Like we said - no need to take notes on this history trip; the Battle of Crete anniversary is one event you won't forget.
- Get there: You can fly direct into Chania International Airport then take the bus or taxi into the town.
- Stay: Find a hotel by the sea for views of the harbour and lighthouse.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!