Crete – A Photographic Tour
For most visitors to Crete today, the lure will be the beaches and holiday communities that throng the northern coast. Given that very few will visit specifically from a military history perspective I have, therefore, limited my guide to just three locations that I would categorise as "must sees" and can easily be fitted into a week-long holiday on the island staying in the Hania area. For those who are committed to a long stay on Crete to focus on the events of May 1941, I would recommend Tim Saunders' Battleground Mediterranean Series book, Crete, The Airborne Invasion 1941 as an ideal guide, and Antony Beevor's Crete, the Battle and the Resistance as the best history book available on the subject.
The following map is a guide to all locations:
Click and drag to move the map. Use the slider to zoom in/out.
- Maleme German Cemetery
- The Maritime Museum of Crete
- Suda Bay Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery *
* Note - Unfortunately, a member of his party left the author's camera in the hotel when he visited this location. However, cemetery details are well covered on the CWGC website at:
Practical Information – Many tourists who visit Crete hire a car from Hania or Iraklio airports and with this mode of transport, all three sites are easy to visit as they are quite close together and can be seen during the course of a day. Alternatively a good regular bus/coach service runs along the coast road from Hania to Maleme and beyond. Maleme German Cemetery is about 20 minutes brisk walk from the bus stop in Maleme and the Maritime Museum of Crete is about 15 minutes walk from the central bus station in Hania. For Location 3, if you don't have a car I would recommend taking a taxi from Hania and getting the driver to wait for you whilst you look around the cemetery.
Accommodation is plentiful on the island although book up well in advance of the holiday season to get the best deals. The author stayed in Agias Marinas at the Galini Sea View Hotel (http://www.galinihotels.gr/) on his visit and found it very comfortable and good for families with children. It is equidistant between Maleme and Hania.
Also, in summer, Crete is very hot – remember to take some water and sunscreen with you and try to avoid the mid-day sun.
Finally, be very, very careful when photographing around Maleme airfield. Until recently it was a front line Greek airforce base and photography adjacent to the airfield is still strictly prohibited for security reasons. You have been warned!