Mikró ýpno (siesta, 3–5:30pm) is legally mandated quiet time.
Dress code is casual, but shorts on men except near the beach is infra dig.
Local driving habits leave much to be desired – beware especially of people emerging from side-roads without stopping, trundling down the middle of the road and reckless overtaking. The coastal ‘motorway’ (more like a UK A-road) is not for the faint-hearted, and east of Iráklio is still largely under construction.
Traffic fines are draconian- eg, €350 for not wearing a seat belt, €700 for jumping a red light – though reduced by half if you pay within 10 days (something almost guaranteed as traffic police are likely to hold foreign driving licenses to ransom at the nearest station). Be aware of parking regulations – fines are stiff – and don’t leave anything valuable visible in hire cars, especially near the Iráklio Archaeological Museum.
Eating out, get an assortment of mezédes (appetizers) to share, rather than expensive mains for each diner. Bulk (hýma) wine (by the quarter-, half- or full kilo) is cheaper than bottled and usually drinkable. If in doubt, start with just a quarter litre (a katroútso in slang) and order a soda, which makes even the harshest wine quaffable – though interestingly, this will get you tiddly faster.
Bar bills can bite: whilst cover charges are rare, invariably small beers (275-333ml) cost €4.50–6, cocktails €7–10. The only budget tipple may be Cretan rakí or mainland tsípouro in a small carafe (187-200ml) – which can be very cheap indeed, less than bottled water and frequently offered on the house as a digestif. When on Crete, especially in or near Réthymno province where the brewery is, be sure to sample the excellent, affordable Brinks organic beer (4.8%), in both blonde and