Cretans have one of the highest life expectancies in the world
thanks largely to their Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. We know how to make good things last,
and this knowledge is now becoming vital.
A new, Cretan longevity for people, their culture and their natural environment.
For this Mediterranean-style responsible living, we commit to:
Our commitment to caring for our community is woven into our core.
Through our Phāea Farmers Program we support those of our staff who farm during the off season, encouraging the cultivation of sustainable produce. We work with agronomists who specialize in guiding farmers towards more sustainable use of their land, training them in organic farming methods, creating more value for their produce, which is eventually sourced to our restaurants.
The program benefits the seasonal farming staff, and the local community’s health, environment and economy.
2020 -2021 products include aloe, grapes, wine, herbs, honey, fruits, olives/olive oil, seasonal vegetables, dairy products, and raki, a traditional, Cretan grape-based spirit.
- Our island values
Our staff embody our traditional island values through their sincerely warm-hearted approach to friends old and new. We take professional pride in caring for our guests in ways that respect Crete’s history while protecting her future. Our attention to detail shows our genuine care for the wellbeing of our guests.
- Indigenous talent
We employ local people wherever possible and support them in continuous professional development, celebrating their successes like our own. This approach both promotes staff loyalty and enhances our offering to our guests.
- Social responsibility
Caring for our fellow islanders, staff and friends, takes a surprising number of forms and we actively encourage everyone at Phāea to show their solidarity. Some do this at a very personal level, for example, donating blood or bone marrow. Others lend their efforts to help out with farming and environmental projects, such as planting trees or potatoes. We are delighted to hold an annual party for the staff’s children, and award the older ones prizes who are accepted to the university.
We always plan for the greater good and the longer term. We choose eco-friendly materials, designers and contractors wherever we can, and are steadily moving towards zero-plastic waste. At Blue Palace and Cretan Malia Park, a pioneering 3-year program of certified, sustainable landscape management will improve soil health, clean the air and increase energy efficiency.
We love our island, and we want it to be healthy. We compost our organic waste in our dedicated facility, so that we can continuously enrich our soil. We implement energy and water conservation practices, and we actively recycle. Most of our resorts are bike-friendly, so you don’t even have to use a car to see the island!
- Sustainable procurement
We love to shop local! Our policy is to patronize local craftspeople, suppliers and producers. Goods and products for our construction, equipment and operations are sourced as far as possible from Crete and Greece, preferably from small- to medium-scale producers, whom we encourage to set their own sustainability goals.
- Sustainable Farming Network
We have formed a group of local farmers who all follow the same practice of sustainability training, farming and responsible procurement. We invest in training and apprenticeships for these local farmers.
- Supporting local causes
Our commitment to social responsibility has recently included the renovation and development of the Endoscopy unit at Agios Nikolaos General Hospital and the Cardiac (Heart) Surgery Department of the University Hospital of Heraklion, donations-in-kind to local schools and nursing homes and financial donations to various local organizations and causes. For Phāea, charity really does begin at home.
- Promoting local customs:
Our island brims with quaint and quirky stories and customs, and we are enthusiastic about sustaining this fascinating heritage. Vibrant examples include grape stomping in August, fire-jumping and fortune-telling at Klidonas in June, and any occasion involving the Cretan lyra and lute. With an eye to the future, we support new, local initiatives such as our World Tourism Day celebration, the Cretan Street Food festival, the cliff diving competition, the Agios-on-SUP international competition and the Spinalonga concert series.
We offer our guests opportunities to get involved in authentic local customs, to benefit from wellness pursuits, to reconnect with nature and to discover environmentally enlightening activities. Through our ongoing environmental activities program, we raise guests’ awareness of sustainable issues, in a fun & relaxed way that focuses on what’s local.
Organic kitchen garden tours
Hotel garden tours
Cretan Feast and Crete’s True Soul events
Experiences aboard a traditional fishing boat
“Therino” open air cinema
Organic olive oil tasting & ancient varieties wine tastings
Olive tree planting
Yoga, meditation and Pilates sessions
Kids’ educational activities with environmental focus
The Cretan diet, the origin of the famous Mediterranean diet, is what guides all our concepts in terms of nourishment for body and soul. In particular, we like to showcase the ancient, Cretan tradition
of vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Investing in quality ingredients represents an investment in health – our own, our guests’ and the health of the earth itself. We grow organic fruits and vegetables in our own kitchen gardens and are
working on organic certification.
We source sustainable, seasonal, local produce wherever possible, and favor those products unique to Crete and to Greece.
Our design and architecture are the product of careful study of the island’s history, nature and resources. Inspired by the surroundings, we try to use sustainable materials, with a preference for those that are locally sourced. We incorporate local craftsmanship, celebrate our architectural heritage and commission new Greek
and Cretan artists and designers.