• Crete


Crete is the largest Greek island, by area and population (with 623,065 inhabitants) and the fifth largest by area in the Mediterranean as a whole. It plays an important role in the economy - and in the cultural history of Greece, since it was here that the Minoan Civilisation flourished, including at Knossos, Phaistos and Kydonia.

Crete is at the southern edge of the Aegean sea, surrounded by the Cretan sea and with the Libyan sea to the south. It has a coastline of more than 1000 kilometers, with some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Greece (Balos, Elafonisi, Preveli, Vai, Chrissi etc), while inland it is very mountainous with the main mountain ranges being the White Mountains, Ida (the highest peak) and Dikti. Crete is also famed for its fertile plateaus, such as Omalos, Nida and Katharo, its imposing gorges including Samaria, Improu and Kourtaliotiko and its caves such as Diktaion Andro and Idaion Andron.

The Cretan economy is focused on tourism and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece and in Europe. It offers a unique combination of excellent infrastructure, natural and historic sites, traditional food and exciting nightlife. Another very important economic sector is agriculture, with many local producers of olive oil, wine, honey, fruit and vegetables and cheese.

Crete has excellent air transport connections with many mainland greek and international destinations, with services to and from the airports in Heraklion, Chania and Sitia, while the ports of Heraklion, Souda, Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos, Sitιa and Kissamos offer ferry connections to the rest of Greece.

The main towns and cities on the island are Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra and Sitia.

(Πηγή: www.incrediblecrete.gr και www.crete.gov.gr)