Visiting Houdetsi festival is experiencing the Cretan culture, people and food in almost distilled, condensed and pure way and as authentic and genuine as it can get. Here are 3 main reasons why to combine your visit to Crete with the time of Houdetsi village Festival.
Crete is know for its hospitable and wonderful people but this festival is truly an amazing opportunity to experience the hospitality in a multiplied way. The Cretan people are honoured you have visited their village (and island) and are genuinely interested in your likes. It is a celebration where you as a guest are warmly welcomed by hosts - Cretan people. So, do not miss the opportunity to chat up with people and exchange smiles. Don't get discouraged by your scarce Greek vocabulary, Cretan people like the rest of the Greeks usually are happy to practice their English and to make you feel at home.
This is probably one of the best ways to learn about key ingredients of the Cretan cuisine - variety of cheeses, spices, honey, herbs and of course, Cretan spirit - raki as well as wine from local varieties. All of that goes for sale as well as for tasting and sampling in generous portions. Options are abundant including souvlaki, hortopitakias (pastry with greens and herbs), tiropitas (pastry with cheese), loukomades (fried-dough pastry soaked in honey and cinnamon and sprinkled with sesame), halva and so on. Every second seller offers generous shots of raki to train your taste buds and to seal the newly made friendship (having said that you would never see any drunk person there).
This festival is about celebration of Cretan and world music in the first place and therefore a unique opportunity to listen and dance to the sounds and tunes of lyra, laouto, percussions and other instuments. The jam sessions take place spontaneously in the narrow pathways of the village as visitors pull out their own instruments to share their music experience.
Houdetsi Music Festival this year takes place from 4 to 7 of August. Here you can find more information.
Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.
I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.
Press here for more snapshots from the Houdetsi Festival 2013
Skip the group tours, leave your rental car at your hotel and ask Joseph to accompany you on a private tour to these great spots on Crete. We did "Mystic & Rustic Crete" and "Birth of Europe". If you are a first-time visitor he will suggest an itinerary and if you have special requests he will include those. Without Joseph we would not have known about the local culture or the history of the area nor would we have met and chatted with the local people... Read more
"A great tour and experience"We spent a full day with Joseph visiting Chania, Rethymnon and an olive oil farm and we had a great time. Crete is huge so you have to make choices unless you spend a week there. We arranged this tour with Joseph discussing our options and time. Joseph was very flexible with the itinerary allowing us to customize our tour and experience the highlights of some very nice towns. Joseph was very knowledgeable and answered every question. We would definitely use Joseph again to visit the other parts of Crete that we could not get to in this visit.
"Crete showed by Joseph is unique"The experience with Joseph showing us around Crete was absolutely unique. He is Greek and speak very good Hebrew. I don't think we would had seen and experienced half of what we did with him if we'd be on our own. He told us a lot of interesting stories about the Lassithi plateau and the area. His effortless ability to chat up with locals and involve us into conversation (with some translation, of course) was amazing. Funny enough these encounters led to further invitations (for a coffee and local drink - raki). Later on, he took us to an absolutely authentic tavern in a mountain village...
"The secrets never die" Das erste Mal haben wir Joseph Batis mit einer kleinen Gruppe in Chania in einer Fischtaverne kennengelernt. Er sprach Deutsch, Hebräisch, Englisch, Griechisch und soweit ich es richtig vernommen habe auch Spanisch. Ich habe die Gelegenheit genutzt ihn über unsere Ausflugsziele zu befragen. Seine Hinweise und seine Kenntnis haben uns in die Welt von Kreta innerhalb kurzer Zeit eingewiesen. Wir haben Joseph für einen Tag engagieren können um uns zu begleiten. Joseph hat über 30 Jahre in Deutschland gelebt. Seit Jahren führt er private Reisetouren auf Kreta...
יוסי מסיורים בכרתים ויוון, הוא מדריך.... מקצוען, בעל יידע נרחב איש לבבי וסימפטי, טיילנו בשנה שעברה... היה פשוט מדהים כיף... כיף... כיף... ממליץ בחום למי שמגיע לכרתים ויוון להשתמש בשרותיו המעולים. תודה יוסי על הסיורים ,האוכל, הטברנות, היה תענוג גדול ! ! ! מאתנו: אורי אילש, אלי גנט, יגאל גרינשטיין, נטלי גרינשטיין, אור גרינשטיין
כל מי שעתיד לנסוע לכרתים או ליוון, אני חייב להמליץ על חבר יקר, מדריך מעולה, אדם חביב ונעים הליכות שידריך אתכם בכרתים בעברית, אנגלית וגרמנית, מה שתבחרו.... ל- Joseph Batis אתר בו תוכלו להציץ במה שיש לו להציע לכם כולל תכנון הטיול ומלונות וכו' הציון שנתנו לו 10+ שווה מאוד... ביקרנו במקומות שבחיים לא הגענו אליהם בכרתים ! לחצו על השם וכנסו לאתר ! בהצלחה.