Crete is a relatively large Greek island that lies in the Mediterranean Sea stretching across the Sea of Crete between Greece and Turkey. The island is known as the cradle of one of the oldest European civilizations, the Minoans. The Minoans were a highly sophisticated culture noted for their elaborate temples, palaces and art. Their culture existed from 1900 BC to 1100 BC. The island later became of strategic military importance when Republic of Venice was granted the island as a territory. The island is dotted with numerous fortresses and harbors created by the Venetians. Crete also has a varied topography with a chain of mountains extending down the center of the island. The island also has a large agricultural base which includes olives, figs, sheep and goats. Which means you will enjoy fresh meals while dining on the island

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Vangelis Villas
Villa Sleeps 4
Rates 60 - 150 EUR
Albion House
Cottage Sleeps 4
Rates 50 - 80 GBP
Crete Villa Erofili
Villa Sleeps 8
Rates 167 - 280 EUR
Villa Semeli Rethymnon area
Villa Sleeps 6
Rates 150 - 250 EUR
House Anagnostis
Villa Sleeps 8
Rates 200 - 400 EUR
Apokoros Apts
Hotel Sleeps 25
Rates 25 - 35 EUR
Villa Prinolithos
Villa Sleeps 8
Rates 200 - 340 EUR
Hotel Bellevue
Hotel Sleeps 50
Rates 30 - 70 EUR
Matala Dimitris Villa Hotel
Hotel Sleeps 35
Rates 25 - 40 EUR
VENETO HOTEL
Hotel Sleeps 25
Rates 85 - 145 EUR
Hotel Vetera Suites
Hotel Sleeps 10
Rates 95 - 150 EUR
Crete Alkionis Beach
Apartment Sleeps 6
Rates 32 - 130 EUR
Creta Solaris Hotel Apartments
Apartment Sleeps 3
Rates 60 - 100 EUR

Crete Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Greece

Crete Geography

The beautiful Crete Island is located in Greece and is the largest island with the most mountains in all of Greece and its islands. In the southern part of the Aegean Sea, there is the Crete Island with its broad area coverage of 8,939 sq. km. The thing that gets the most attention are the countless rocky spots and magnificent places enclosed by the gorgeous mountains and nature, such as Dikty Mountain, Psiloritis Mountain and the White Mountains.

The Crete Island has a unique location spot right in between Europe, Asia and Africa, or where they all meet. This island has 4 main regions in its division: Rethymnon, Heraklion, Chania and Lassithi. Regardless if you stand to look from the south, north or west, the Crete mountains will get your attention from every side. The well-known White Mountains show more than 52 peaks and the highest peak in all of Crete is the Mount Psiloritis.

Turn to the east side and there will be the magnificent mountain chain of Dikty mountain, stretching beautiful from one side of Crete to the other, making a gorgeous view. The scenery here is incredible and it also stretches over the magical city of Sitia, Lassithi. Crete prides over its magnificent mountains that gave the island exquisite and grandiose plateaus such as the Omalos one. There are also amazing gorges made by the currents of the sea and one such example is the Gorge of Samaria along with unearthly nature scenery and gardens with one of a kind plants that are to be seen only in the magical Greek places.

The geography of Greece impacts the Greek civilization deeply, ever since historic and ancient times. There is a reason too why Crete has such gorgeous and unique flora and fauna and that is the position or seclusion of Crete. Most of the island beauty is in the specific plant species, for example one of them is the Crete goat among many others, but also the cedars and palm trees too. This island prides over fertile soil land accounted for great local production, ranking Crete higher regarding healthy local products.

Crete Culture

In Crete, we see a culture’ melting pot of Asians, Africans and Europeans’ origins. The most interesting fact is that Crete is the location of the first European Civilization, or Minoan. All Minoan civilization remains and artifacts are collected and preserved and displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Crete however, does not only hold remains of Minoan, but of Roman, Hellenic, Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish origin too, proving that Crete’s history is rich and still amazes.

The history of Crete directly impacted the culture as well, merged Minoans, Romans, Germans and Turkish, so due to all of this still minarets, mosques, monasteries and churches are seen.

The Crete population consists of Cretans that speak Greek, however urban and young Cretans add a touch of modernity by speaking German, French and English too. Everyone that visits Crete will be completely amazed by how hospitable and vivacious the Cretans are, noticeably seen in how they treat family members foremost.

All the cultural traditions are now seen in the villages and smaller towns. Everyone would be amazed to listen to music such as rizitika and mandinades played to the gentle and joyous sounds of lutes and lyres.

There is a diversity between rural and urban Cretans. Rural Cretans still focus on stock breeding, farming, handicrafts and fishing, whereas urban Cretans enjoy the many cyber-cafes, music clubs, cinemas, coffeehouses, boutiques and restaurants. As integrated part of the culture, men sip coffee and ‘raki’ (schnapps), whereas women enjoy crocheting together, as commonly seen in elder people.

Crete Landmarks

Crete is widely famous, not just for its perfect beaches and sunshine, but for its history and Minoan remains and landmarks as well. For the most Minoan landmarks, the path will always lead to Knossos – the ex-capital of Crete and its landmark the Palace of Knossos. And what makes the palace of Knossos so famous and overcrowded with tourists is the legend saying King Minos kept a Minotaur creature right in the palace. Also, in the Palace of Knossos can be seen the Western Court, Theatral Area, Corridor of Procession Fresco, also the Bull Fresco. Grand Staircase, Throne Room, Queen’s Megaron and the Hall of the Double Axes.

On the coastal ridge, right nearby the Phaestos and slightly above Mesara Plain is the Agia Triada.
Then certain huge and massive stone tables with inscriptions of Gortyna laws can be seen on Gortyna, 8 miles from Phaestos on Mesara plain.

Another famous Minoan site dating from 1550 BC is the Gournia.

The location of the well-known circular Minoan tomb, dating from 1900 BC, is Kamliari.

Then, there is a small and incredibly adorable Minoan scenic settlement, Kato Zakros, located 4 miles of the beach.

The Malia contains the well-preserved excavations of the Palace of Malia.