Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea, in the far south of Greece. The length of the Crete coast is about 1000 kilometers. Along the coast there are many bays, peninsulas and islands. Some of the beaches from the Cretan coastline are ranked as the most beautiful beaches in the world and Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Crete has about 350 beaches. According to the 2001 census, there are 600,159 inhabitants on the island, but it is assumed that this number has increased significantly since then, primarily due to the great development of tourism.
The largest city on the island and the administrative headquarters is Heraklion with 140,000 inhabitants. Other great and significant cities are Chania, Agios Nikolaos, Rethymno, Jerapetra.
The summer season lasts from April to November. Sea temperature, even during the winter months, does not drop below 17 degrees, so bathing is possible throughout the year.
The island is at the intersection of three continents, Africa, Asia and Europe, and thus represents the center of eastern and western culture.
It is believed that Crete was the cradle of the first great European civilization, the Minoans, which is proved by the remains of the city of Knossos, and thus the historical significance of the island in today's world is very significant. The history of Crete lasts 8,000 years.
An area of 8,000 square kilometers is filled with hidden beauty, so one visit to Crete is not enough to get to know this island and experience it in the right way.
Crete has five airports, three of which are used for passenger traffic.
Crete is a mountain island with large mountain ranges. The highest peak is 2.456m high. There are several shorter rivers, of which only two run throughout the year. Crete has one natural lake that also represents a tourist attraction. It's called Kournas.
Crete also has about 80 small islands, of which only one is inhabited, Gavdos. Other islands are attractive for day trips from Crete.
There are ships from Crete to Santorini and several other Cyclades, so you can also visit these very popular Greek islands when on Crete.
Agriculture and tourism are the most important industry branches, and Crete is famous for its excellent virgin olive oil, honey, cheese, teas, as well for it's oranges, grapes and vegetables.
Cretan agricultural products and style of cooking have a prominent place in international gastronomy, and if you want to fully experience this island, it is necessary to try its well-known specialties: burek, kleftiko, stifado etc.
A tour of traditional villages will allow you to get to know the residents, who are distinguished by kindness, honor, sincerity and cordiality.
After the legend, Zeus was born and buried in Crete.
Numerous earthquakes have left great consequences on the relief of the island, so Crete has more than 400 canyons and highest gorges in Greece. Ideal for mountaineering.
There are about 1700 plant species on Crete, many of which are endemic. For example, Great Britain, which is 40 times larger than Crete, has a similar number of plants.
The Crete has a lot of lighthouses, some of which are masterpieces, many museums, monasteries, fortresses and archaeological sites.
All in all, Crete is really interesting and specific island that offers its visitors much more than a regular holiday.