The island of Creta having countless, physical, archaeological and historical monuments is a thrilling travel destination. Creta is the fifth biggest Mediterranean island and the biggest one in Greece, stretching 8.336 square meters, having 1100 km of shoreline and counting over 600.000 residents. The distance from Greece’s mainland along with earth’s fertility made the island self-sufficient for many centuries. With the passage of time Creta developed its own culture which includes a distinctive idiomatic language and its own customs.
Creta is considered to be one of the richest regions of Greece. Its development was favored by its geographical location, the climate, the biodiversity as well as by its unique cultural and historical heritage. Creta is well-known for its grandiose mountain lines and its long sandy beaches near its deep-blue sea.
The island separated the Aegean Sea from the Libyan Sea and delimits Europe and Africa. Creta is an island that has a vast mountain backbone running from east to west. Towering mountains are erected in the island’s central region plateaus that are split by deep canyons and lead to fertile valleys.
The scenery is constantly changing In some places its rough and bare whereas in others its forested and soft. There are villages lapped by green consisting of olive groves, orange trees, vineyards and other vegetables. Stone shepherd lodges, monasteries and villages, left forgotten in steep slopes, Venetian castles and little country churches. Not only are there trackless rocky ledges but lots of endless sandy or pebbled beaches too! The climate and the geology of Creta favor the existence of lots of wildlife species. In the valleys and in the hilly areas there can be found, more than 100 rare and different species of flowers and plants. In the high mountains and in the deep canyons of the island (most known of them being the Samaria gorge) the visitor can see interesting species of flora and fauna, such as the unique species of wild goat known as “kri-kri”. Creta is unique for its geological variety, the numerous small islands surrounding it and the gorgeous plateaus such as the plateau of Lasithi with its thousands of wonderful windmills
Sight seeings of Creta that are worth visiting:
Rethymno is a city of unique beauty that lively preserves the authenticity and the tradition of the island till now It is full of Venetian mansions, a Venetian port, monuments and Turkish “hayats”. It is one of the most important tourist resorts of Greece, offering a variety of physical and cultural leisure activities that will satisfy even the most demanding visitor.
The city of Chania is a modern, lively seaside city located in the Northwestern shoreline of the island and is full of Venetian and Turkish monuments as well as well-preserved and neoclassic buildings. The famous venetian port is the heart of the city
The national nature reserve in which the Samaria Gorge belongs to, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Creta. Over 250.000 people visit it every year!
The Amari valley, which is located southeast of Rethymno between the mounts of Psiloritis and Kedros, It is the heart of Creta and between the mountains lie over 40 intact villages, full of color and tradition.
The Lefka Ori or Madares mountain is the biggest mountain line if Creta, with more than 30 peaks, more than 2000 meters high, and about 50 canyons. It is the dominant characteristic of Western Creta offering to every nature enthusiast a variety of activities and excursions .
The plateau of Omalos. It is well-known because it’s the starting point for a hike through the Samaria Gorge. It is also the starting point for various other beautiful mountain walks.
The Ibrou gorge. For those who prefer a shorter route than the one through Samaria gorge, the Ibrou gorge is a very good and beautiful alternative solution.
Heraklion is a modern city, it is the capital of the county of Heraclion and since 1972 the capital of all Creta counting 150.000 residents. Heraklion. Is also the commercial, industrial and agricultural center of eastern Creta and the ecclesiastical “capital” of the island. The most interesting part of the city is its archaeological museum with its terrific collections
The Knossos palace (located 5 km south of Heraklion) is the most important and most well-known palace of the Minoan civilization. According to tradition it was the home of the legendary king Minos.
The palace of Phaistos (located 62,5 km south of Heraklion) with its gorgeous architectural composition and its almost perfect structure is considered to be the most beautiful and the most characteristic of all the Minoan palaces.
Agios Nikolaos is the capital of the Lasithi county and is build around a picturesque lake. It is the center of the city, counting numerous cafes.
The region of Elounda (near Agios Nikolaos city) is one of the most well-known and successful resorts in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. In Elounda, there are several bays with sandy beaches and bays along the shoreline full of luxurious hotels.