Crete, Greece

Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. Mythology has it that it was in a cave of Crete where the goddess Rhea hid the newborn Zeus. Due to its geographical position between Africa, Europe, and Asia Minor and due to its mild climate, Crete became a center of culture as early as Neolithic times. The first prehistoric settlements appeared in Crete around 6000 BC while in 2600 BC settlers who knew how to craft bronze arrived in Crete.

Balos bay, Gramvousa (Crete, Greece)

Crete is an island with an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas, which afford a multitude of soft, sandy beaches along the beautifully blue Mediterranean Sea. The beaches in Crete are very different, depending on where you go. There are wild beaches with surf, or calm inlets without a ripple. There are comfortable beaches with taverns, cafes and restaurants, or isolated stretches.

Beach at a modern luxury hotel, Crete, Greece

Although globalization, tourism and economic growth have changed the way of life in Crete, especially in the large urban centers, the Cretans still preserve the bonds with their rich folk traditions and cultural heritage. The Cretan dances, Pentozalis, Haniotikos, Pidihtos, Maleviziotikos etc, are still danced at every opportunity and the “madinades” and the “rizitika” songs are heard at every celebration.

Its long history has left evident marks on the Greek island: Minoan palaces, Venetian towns, Medieval Castles, Ottoman mosques and Byzantine monasteries constitute the most important sightseeing.

An old windmill ruin at Mirabello Bay in Crete, Greece.