FACT FILE — Crete — Κρήτη :

Crete – The Island of Minos- Κρήτη — Το νησί του Μίνωα

It is located in the Eastern Mediterranean approximately equal distant between the mainland of Greece and the continent of Africa.

Crete is a paradise offering holidays to satisfy all tastes. Nature lovers, fans of archaeology, enthusiasts of the highlife and good eating, in fact everyone will enjoy the charm of Greece’s largest island.

From the moment the visitor sets foot on the island, the visitor will be in an enchanted world. Following the coastal road immediately seeing the breathtaking blue sea.

Crete proves a great attraction to overseas visitors, but despite influences from other countries, the island retains its traditional character. On the one hand there are modern deluxe hotels, whilst on the other are picturesque inns built in the true Cretan architectural style and set against a background of unspoilt countryside.

The southern coastline is very rugged and quite inhospitable due to the constant winds. This is in complete contrast to the northern coastline which has magnificent beaches, marinas and plenty of hotels.

Crete was at one time the centre of one of the most ancient civilisations of the world.

Crete is a mountainous island, the highest peak being Mt. Ides and legend has this as being the birthplace of the god Zeus.

Industry: Apart from tourism livestock and cheese making are well developed activities, while the fertile plains and valleys are covered with olive, citrus and almond trees, vineyards and fruit orchards.

Towns: One of the most idyllic old towns of Crete is Chania. It spreads outwards from the Venetian harbour and traces of the former Venetian and Ottoman invaders are still very much in evidence.

Population wise, Chania is not a large as Heraklion that is home to the most important port on the island. Heralion is in close proximity to Knossos, the site of the palace of Minos.

Rethimnon has the remains from the post-Minoan period. It still maintains its strong character from the middle ages with numerous Venetian buildings and monuments.

The Legendary Minos The memory of a Minoan crete has been kept alive in the myths and l;egends surrounding King Minos. Tales relate not only to the historical facts, but also tell of the awe inspired by the strange Minoan culture within ancient Greek society. Some of the Greek and Latin philosophers wrote about the life of Minos.

The first known Minos was the legendary son of Zeus and Europa, the princess after whom the continent is named.

It is not clear how the Minoan civilization came to an end. Whatever the reasons, though, it left behind the legends.

A visit to Crete will offer you the chance to collect plenty of reading material

Vehicles drive on the RIGHT

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