The island of Crete
Crete, the largest island of Greece, is a world unto itself. With spectacular soaring mountains, panoramas that will leave you speechless, and a 1,000 kilometer long coastline full of beautiful sandy beaches. The island's historical importance, however, cannot be overlooked. As the seat of Minoan civilization, Crete has a rich archaeological history that can be seen throughout the island
Dominated by three mountain ranges, Crete is the largest island in Greece, the fifth largest in the Mediterranean and marks the boundary between Europe and Africa. While mostly mountainous, Crete is gifted with fertile valleys and plateaus, caves, deep gorges and rivers. Since the island straddles the Mediterranean and North African climate zones, Crete has pleasant weather throughout the year.
Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization and home to the oldest form of Greek and thus is the location of numerous historical and archaeological sites. Its main attractions include the Minoan sites of Knossos, Phaistos, Gortys, and the Venetian castle at Rethimno. Among the many natural sites is the Samaria Gorge a national park in southwestern Crete.
The scenery on Crete is constantly changing. In one place it is harsh and barren, in another wooded and gentle. Its villages are smothered in greenery—olive trees, orange groves, vineyards, vegetable gardens. Old stone farmhouses, monasteries and villages sit on mountain ridges, forgotten castles and chapels are perched on steep slopes, the shores are lined with endless sandy beaches. Crete has something for everyone.