A MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND OF ENCHANTMENT
Crete is the largest and most southerly island in Greece. It is an island with an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas, which afford a multitude of soft, sandy beaches along the beautifully blue Mediterranean Sea.
Strategically positioned between three continents, Crete was historically a frequent target for many foreigners. The Cretan nation battled against the Venetians, then the Turks and finally the Germans in the Second World War. Crete became a Greek island in 1913 and the people are proud, honourable, hospitable and incredibly patriotic.
Crete is separated in 4 prefectures: Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi and Rethymno. The island has everything to offer: mountainous landscapes, a coast with many picturesque beaches and rocky coves, beautiful towns, charming villages, excellent food, famous archaelogical sights like Knossos of the Minoan Civilization, exciting nightlife …
Crete is a land of brilliant colours, sunshine, blossoming flowers and wild herbs. The sound of bells from sheep and goats making their way through the mountains can be heard everywhere. The island’s magic is an experience not to be missed.
The wide spectrum of the natural surroundings is constantly changing, which produces unique vegetation. There are nearly 240 varieties of plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Among these are the Cretan tulips, the cyclamen, and the countless varieties of orchids and palm trees. Olive, Mulberry and Eucalyptus trees are found all over the island.
Agricultural and animal farming are still the most common industries on the island. Fruit and vegetables are produced all year round, and Cretan olive oil is well known all over the world for its quality and unique flavor.
Crete is extremely interesting from an archaeological perspective. Knossos and Festos are the most recognized archaeological excavations. But there are several other smaller sites all over the island well worth visiting.
The Cretan people are very devout in the Greek orthodox religion. The numerous churches on the island illustrate this, amongst them the ancient Arkadi Monastery.The locals still preserve the bonds with their rich folk traditions and cultural heritage. The Cretan dances are danced at every opportunity and the “madinades” and the “rizitika” songs resound in every celebration. In the countryside, even in our days many old Cretan men and women wear the traditional costume and the Cretan idiom is widely spoken even in the large cities. A lot can be said about the Island of Crete, but keep in mind that the ultimate experience is to come and discover it for yourself.