A group of us are thinking about visiting Crete for a two week break in August.

I have visited the Greek island I was young (2004). It was a big destination for tourists and had loads of restaurants and bars. I have some concerns regarding the health of the island since the economic downturn.

  • Have the facilities (parks)/hotels gotten run down?
  • Is the high-street full of closed businesses?
  • Has the cost of dinners gone down?

If anyone visited the island lately any information would be greatly appreciated as we have other destinations we are considering.

  • 2
    Depending on when you were young, Crete could have changed a lot before the recession as well. – Relaxed Jan 23 '14 at 10:06
  • I should clear that up. It was 2004 – Lt_Shade Jan 23 '14 at 10:08
  • 1
    The island may not have changed much but your perception might have changed in 10 years. – Karlson Jan 23 '14 at 11:52

I'm not sure how much of an answer this is; I'm not sure this question is answerable by anyone who hasn't clocked up visits to Crete pre- and post-financial crisis. Anyway.

I visited western Crete last year in June. Although I don't have any earlier Cretan experience to compare to, I would say the tourist economy was perfectly healthy, with restaurants, beaches, and hotels all busy. Chania was bustling, with the harbour-front cafes and restaurants well-populated by day and by night.

Away from the coast, the villages were suitably sleepy and picturesque, with assorted buildings in that peculiar state of "is it half-finished or half-collapsed?" you see so often around the Mediterranean.

I can't speak for any change in prices, but by my (northern European) standards, meals were ample and cheap.

From the guidebooks we used, the eastern end of the island is as much of a party destination as it ever was.

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Being Greek and having traveled many times in Crete during the last decade, there are no distinguishable changes related to the economic crisis, at least not to the magnitude where a stranger would notice it.

Crete is one of the touristic Greek islands, and as with other touristy places nothing has really changed. Some businesses have of course closed, but as long as visitors are showing up, the demand recreates the supply.

So, to answer your 3 bullets, I would say No, No, and Just a little bit (slightly related also to the fact that VAT in restaurants has decreased last year from 23% to 13%).

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