Explore Crete Greece, the guide about real Crete, Greece
Crete (Κρήτη), Greece: Steeped in history and culture, scented by thyme and wild herbs, Crete still has enough paradise to offer with its abundance of myths, legends and history, a breathtaking landscape, an exceptional blend of past and present, and a plentitude of choices. Dramatic mountain ranges are dotted with caves and sliced by deep gorges, and its rugged interior is blanketed in olive groves, wild flowers and aromatic herbs.
Spectacular drives along the rugged south coast of Crete lead to a sun drenched paradise of long sandy beaches and isolated coves.
Crete is the largest island of Greece and the 5th in size in the Mediterranean Sea area, preceded by Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica.
Crete has an area of 8.260 km2 and a coast-line of 1.050 km. The largest length is 265 km and the largest width is 60 km. The narrowest part of Crete of 15 km, gives way from Pachia Amos to Ierapetra, the southernmost town of Europe.
Crete, Greece has approximately 700.000 inhabitants. The last official counting was in the year 2000.
Crete is subdivided in 4 provinces:
- Chania, with its capital Chania
- Heraklion, with its capital Heraklion
- Rethymnon, with its capital Rethymnon
- Lasithi, with its capital Agios Nikolaos
Tourism, agriculture and cattle-breeding form the main income to the people of Crete. In the small towns of Crete they stick to their century old traditions. Here you can still find the elderly Cretan people in their traditional costumes and their donkey being an important way of transport.
The mountains, mainly consisting of limestone, form the main part of the Cretan landscape. Lowland can only be found near the coast and on a few places in the interior.
In the west of Crete, in the prefecture of Chania, the White Mountains of Madares can be found; a massive mountain with a maximum height of 2.452 meters. The limestone peaks have been hollowed out by erosion into high plains such as the Omalos.In west-central Crete, in the prefecture of Rethymnon, is Crete's highest mountain, Psiloritis;a mountain riddled with caves, with a maximum height of 2.456 metres. According to one legend Zeus was reared in the Idian cave on the peak's scrub-covered slopes.In the east of Crete you can find the Lasithi Mountains; a chain of mountains with a maximum height of 2.145 meters. Lasithi is an important horticultural area. The main part of the vegetables on Crete is coming from Lasithi.
Some beautiful gorges can also be found on Crete. The best known is the Samaria Gorge, which is certainly worth visiting. Most gorges cross the island, starting in the tops of the mountains and leading into the sea. These gorges make an important contribution to the flora and fauna of Crete.
The coasts of Crete, Greece are a mixture of beautiful sandy beaches in the north and in the south a panorama of small bays, often with beaches of small pebbles, where one can still enjoy the sea undisturbed.
The climate and the quietness can still be found by those who want to enjoy the things that this island has to offer.
The individual traveller who wants to see beyond his or her nose and passes by the concentrations of mass tourism can still find what he or she is looking for, here in the biggest island of Greece, Crete.