Crete island, Greece
Explore Crete Greece, the guide about real Crete
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Crete is subdivided in 4 provinces:
Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and the largest island in Greece. It is long and narrow – 260 km long and between 12 and 60 km wide. The surface area of the island is 8,336 km2. Crete lies to the south-east of the Peloponnese, roughly equidistant from the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. The island is situated along the 35º north latitude, so below part of the North African coast (Tunis or Algiers). The tiny island of Gavdos, which lies a few kilometres away, is the southernmost point of Europe.
Alone or in groups…
Where to begin Crete ?
An alternative to going where you want, is to book a hotel or villa that is centrally located. From here you can used to National Highway to get swiftly east or west, but even doing this, Crete is large enough to take you at least a fortnight or more to see.
Basing yourself between Heraklion and Aghios Nikolaos is best for those wishing to see the main archaeological sites such as the palaces of Knossos, Malia, Faistos and Zakros. These are all within easy driving distance. Whilst the Lassithi Plateau and the Dhiktean Cave are just a ‘stones throw’ away.
Walking and Flora Crete
The further west that you go on Crete, then the quieter it gets, until you get to the bustling Chania. Although greener than the eastern end of the island, the west is also more mountainous. Nature lovers will find that the west is far richer, botanically.
This region is very good for long spectacluar walks such as the Samaria and Imbros Gorges or the finger like peninsulas of the northern coast.
Beach Holidays Crete
If you just want to crash out and do nothing more than lay on the beach all day, there are scores of semi-tropical hideaways in the less developed parts of the island, from Vai in the extreme east to the Elafonisi islands in the west. Most of these hideaways are situated on the southern side of Crete in small places like Paleochora, Chora Sfakion and Matala. The amount of accommodation available in these villages is limited, so it is advisable to pre-book early in the season.
Getting around Crete
Touring Crete by car is relatively cheap and easy to do and car hire usually gets a cheaper rate. Whichever company you decide to use for your car hire, make sure that you check tyres and know how to use the jack before setting out on any expedition. Cretan roads suffer from sharp stones and potholes making it easy to get a puncture.
Alternatively, you can hire a motorcycle or scooter, although we would not recommend this unless you are a very proficient rider.
Whatever way you decide to tour Crete, plan well in advance and give yourself plenty of time to get to places of interest.
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