Holidaymakers booking cheap flights to Crete with Jet2.com in June will be sure of a healthy feast if they go to Ierapetra, where the locals are attempting to get into the Guinness Book of Records with the largest Greek salad in the world.
Officially the sunniest and warmest area in Greece, Ierapetra is an award-winning holiday destination, one of only three in Greece to win the coveted 2012 Gold QualityCoast award, coming second out of 100 European destinations. It was also selected as one of the 50 most attractive destinations in Europe for tourists with an interest in the environment, cultural heritage and sustainability.
Having seen off the opposition in the tourism department, Ierapetra is now looking towards the agricultural sector. The farmers here are the wealthiest in Crete, with an agriculture split between olive oil production and fruit and vegetables – in particular, tomato growing. The greenhouses of Ierapetra are a tourist attraction in themselves, covering 13,000,000 square meters.
Now, to bring attention to this side of their economy, the townsfolk are aiming to create a gigantic Greek salad weighing over 11 tons to get into the Guinness Book of Records. The event, which will take place in mid-June, will be accompanied by a tomato war, revoking an ancient local tradition that is basically a free-for-all food fight. On a more sedate note, the local Agricultural Association will be hosting a convention, with kiosks promoting local produce to visitors and tourists.