Why good hearing makes the difference when travelling to the island of Crete

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich history dating back to ancient times, but also for its diverse audio experiences. Immerse yourself into the world of the sounds of Crete with us.


From the soothing sounds of the sea to the lively rhythms of traditional music, Crete offers a wealth of acoustic experiences to mesmerize visitors. And speaking of experiences:

The sound of the sea

Nothing epitomizes the atmosphere of Crete better than the calming sound of the sea. Whether you are strolling along the endless sandy beaches, reaching the bay after a breathtaking gorge hike, or sitting on a lonely cliff, the gentle splashing of the waves is everywhere and invites you to relax and listen to the flow of time. And speaking of time:

Knossos – the echo of the antiquity

The oldest traces of settlement at Knossos date back to the 7th millennium BC! ©Adobe Stock

A special audio experience on Crete is a visit to the ancient site of Knossos. This archaeological site, considered the centre of Minoan civilisation, tells a story that dates back to the 7th millennium BC. Exploring the ruins of Knossos, it is easy to imagine what life might have been like in this ancient city thousands of years ago. The gentle gusts of wind that blow through the remains of the palaces and temples carry the whispers of the past with them. The legends and myths associated with Knossos lend this place a mystical atmosphere that transports visitors back to a time when gods and heroes ruled the destinies of men. From the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the stories of King Minos and Theseus, Knossos is a place where the boundaries between history and mythology are blurred, leaving a lot to the imagination. A visit to this ancient site is therefore not only a visual experience, but also an acoustic one that brings the stories and secrets of a bygone era to life. And speaking of stories:

The whisper of the Gods and the roar of the Minotaur

The Cretan legends, as part of Greek mythology, refer to the myths and legends associated with Crete. These fascinating stories and legendary figures are closely interwoven with the island's history. Crete is considered the birthplace of the god Zeus, the most powerful of the Greek gods, who according to myth was born in a cave on the island (which can actually be visited). One of the most famous legends is the story of King Minos, who once ruled Crete. Minos is best known for his labyrinth, which he had built for the Minotaur, a man-eating and terrifying creature, half man, half bull, who was imprisoned in the center of the labyrinth.

The adventures of the hero Theseus, who defeated the Minotaur and escaped from the labyrinth with the help of his wife Ariadne's thread, are just as famous as the story of Daedalus and his son Icarus. After building the labyrinth that Daedalus had designed and built for the king, Daedalus was imprisoned to keep the labyrinth's secret. He made wings out of feathers and wax for himself and Icarus in order to escape. Despite his father's warning not to fly too high, Icarus got too close to the sun, which melted the wax in his wings and he fell into the sea and drowned.

In addition, the mythical figures of the goddess Artemis and her brother Apollo, who are closely associated with the Cretan cult of worshipping nature and the sun, also play an important role in the island's mythology. Overall, Greek mythology on Crete is an integral part of the island’s cultural identity and invites visitors to immerse themselves in a world full of wonder and adventure. And speaking of adventure:

The adventurous stories of Crete in Austrian literature

Born in Vorarlberg in 1949, the Austrian writer Michael Köhlmeier has created a broad literary body of work that includes novels, short stories and radio plays. His modern retellings of myths and legends have made him famous. He dared to do something unusual: with the help of his deep knowledge of the original texts and "his own Homer in head", he freely narrated the legends of classical antiquity in fourteen Ö1 radio episodes in the 1990s. He retained the relaxed and light tone, characterised by a great love of storytelling, in his successful book version.

Köhlmeier, who has studied the myths of ancient Greece intensively for a long time, reinterprets them in an accessible and lively way and breathes new life into them. His unrivalled modern adaptations of the Greek myths have established him as one of the most important contemporary storytellers of myths.

As one of the largest mythological circles in Greek mythology, the Cretan legends offer a fascinating insight into the diverse stories of ancient Greece, while Michael Köhlmeier's witty retellings and interpretations of these myths help to ensure that these stories remain alive and relevant today. His work shows how timeless themes and stories from antiquity can also play an important role in modern literature. Highly recommended!

Traditional music & church bells

On the subject of listening, Crete's rich musical tradition dates back to ancient times and must be mentioned as well. The sounds of the lyre, a traditional three-stringed violin, and the lute fill the tavernas and streets of the island. The passionate rhythms and catchy melodies of Cretan music invite you to dance and transport visitors to another time.

The monastery of Agia Triada: a magical place between olive trees, cypresses and vineyards ©Adobe Stock

Furthermore, Crete has a large number of monasteries and churches scattered across the island. The regular ringing of the bells, whether for prayer or festive occasions, creates a spiritual atmosphere that is deeply moving. The harmonious interplay between the sound of the bells and the ancient Greek words of the priest, which can be heard over loudspeakers throughout the town at church service time, gives the island a very special atmosphere. And speaking of atmosphere:

The tones of nature

The rich flora and fauna of Crete offer an abundance of natural sounds that stimulate our senses. For example, the Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe and therefore one of the tourist highlights of Crete, is home to a large number of migratory birds that distract us from the breathtaking panorama. The gorge, which is lined by 600 meter high vertical rock faces, runs for almost 18 kilometers from the center of the island to the Libyan Sea. The rather challenging tour is ultimately rewarded by countless audio experiences and as well as unforgettable visual moments.

Speaking of unforgettable

Crete is not just an island for the eyes, but also for the ears. The diverse audio experiences that this fascinating island has to offer invite visitors to relax, enjoy and immerse themselves in the wonderful world of sounds. Whether listening to the soothing sound of the sea, experiencing traditional music, savouring the voices of nature or hearing the murmurs of ancient heroes and gods, the many voices and sounds of Crete come together in a harmonious concert that reflects the beauty and vitality of the island. A journey that will remain unforgettable – for us and for our ears.