Tucked away in the deep south of the Aegean, Crete Island is one of the most beautiful places on earth, with its sandy beaches, rocky coves, quaint villages, and great ruins of the Minoan civilization. Crete is the Largest of the Greek Islands in the Southern Aegean Sea, 256 km long, a rugged island with a varied landscape of mountains, deep ravines and plateaus descending to the fertile plains and sandy beaches which surround the island. The history of Crete is reflected in its buildings, the superb Minoan Palace of Knossos, the classic Venetian houses in Heraklion, Chania and Rethymnon, Turkish minarets and traditional Cretan villages.
The island of Crete is the most frequented holiday destination in Greece, due to its multifaceted character and its ability to offer pleasant vacations to all types of visitors. Among Crete’s wonderful features are dazzling beaches, lush mountainsides, charming villages, stupendous archaeological and historical sites and scrumptious cuisine.
Crete is made up of 4 prefectures: Chania (Hania), Rethymnon (Rethymno), Heraklion (Iraklio) and Lassithi. All of the prefectures are amazing holiday spots, and should be explored to the fullest, this Island has everything to offer from Mountains to Coastline.
Chania is the second city of Crete and former capital, having great charm and atmosphere. The Venetian harbor is a hub of activity with many tavernas and bars which come to life in the evening. Its shops and open-air markets are well known for leatherware and traditional craft products. Rethymnon is a charming old town threaded with narrow Venetian alleyways, mosques and minarets, and classic Venetian mansions.
Chania is located in the Westernmost part of Crete, where traditional and modern arcitecture are brought together to create an interesting picture. Mountain Villages dot the landscape of Chania, one village that is considered to be the most unspoiled in Crete is Therissos. Chania is sometimes considered the heartbeat of Crete, because of the mix of traditional lifestyle and deep cultural heritage this is a must see on your vacation to Crete.
So if Crete is one of your vacation destinations, you will not be disappointing. With many hotels in Crete that offer a wide variety of amenities you can pick and choose where you would like to stay. If you would like to visit one city or a ll four. The sky is the limit on Crete Island, Greece. You can visit also a similar island located in Cyclades, Naxos Greece will be an excellent choice
Heraklion is the capital of Crete with good tavernas and night life, the superb Archaeological Museum, and of course, Knossos, just a few kilometres away from the town centre. The old town of Heraklion is surrounded by the famous Venetian wall and there are many fine buildings to admire plus the Venetian harbour. A little further east is the lively resort of Hersonissos and 78km to the east of Heraklion is the Gulf of Mirabello where some of the finest hotels in Greece are to be found in the area of Elounda. A short distance further south is the bustling harbour town of Agios Nikolaos.
This city is the largest in Crete. Heraklion is the industrial and commercial business center of Crete. Although this city centers on the economy there is still plenty for the traveler to experience here. See the wonderful Agios Titos church, built in the 16th century by the Venetians. South of Heraklion see the Knossos Palace, believed to be built in 2000 B.C., and the most spectacular of ruins. Offering a variety of tourist attractions, from aquariums to ruins, Heraklion is a destination of dreams.
Rethymno offers a wide variety of activities, there is plenty to see and do in Rethymno. Visit the Rethymno Fortezza, built by the Turks to defend against the enemy. This structure was built in 1573, and in on the hill over looking the town of Rethymno. This city also has the most to offer when it comes to beach bathing. Panormos Beach, located to the east is very well organized with umbrellas to seaside taverns. Plantanias beach offers full tourist facilities and extends for 12 km. If you wish to bathe in the Grecian sun, Rethymno is the place to do it.
Lassithi is in the Easternmost part of Crete and offers a wide variety of things for the tourist. From sandy beaches to breathtaking archeological sights, Lassithi is a wonderful place to visit. Lassithi Plateau is one favorite, with expansive lush greenery, and 24 windmills this peace of art is one not to miss. Don’t forget to visit the Spinalonga islet where you can see the fortress built by the Venitians to protect Crete from invasions. This Fortress was used to house the Lepers of Greece until 1960, and has been uninhabited since then.
Crete, the chosen island
Cretan olive oil stands out for its taste which is matched by no other olive oil. This taste is so pleasant that it astounds you with its intensity. It is so special and juicy that even countries which produce olive oil add Cretan oil to improve the taste and aroma of their own produce.
The uniqueness of its taste is a combination of many factors. The most important is that Crete is a blessed island. This is because the rich sunshine, excellent soil, combination of mountain and sea breezes and the mild climate throughout the year, make this island the perfect land for the cultivation of the olive tree.
In Crete, the olive tree and its fruit were closely connected to mythology and the ancient gods. The same applies to its leaves, which were used as a symbol of victory, wisdom and peace all over the world.
Apart from its incomparable taste, Cretan olive oil holds a unique place in mythology, civilization and the economy of the Cretan land.
Crete is the most southerly island in Greece and therefore particularly well suited for early and late holidays. Two centre holidays to Santorini and Crete may be booked with a ferry connection between the two islands. When using scheduled flights it is possible to fly via Athens into Heraklion and out of Chania (or vice versa) with a choice of good hotels for overnight stays or longer.
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