Island of Crete

     

     

     

 
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Island of Crete

Crete is the biggest island in Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean. It lies at the Southern Aegean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents Europe, Asia and Africa. Crete covers an area of 8.336 sq.km. The length of the island is 260 km, but the shore-length is 1.046 km

A high mountain range crosses the island from West to East, formed by three different groups of mountains. To the West the White Mountains (2.453 m), in the middle the mountain of Idi (Psiloritis-2.456 m) and to the East the mountain of Dikti (2.148 m). These mountains gifted Crete with fertile plateaus like Lassithi, Omalos and Nida, caves like Diktaion and Idaion cave, and gorges like the famous Gorge of Samaria. There are also quite a few valleys and small plains. The largest and most important plain is that of Messara located between Psiloritis and Asterousia mountains at the centre - south of the island.

Steeped in Homeric history and culture, scented by wild fennel and basil, Crete spoils visitors with its wealth of myths, legends and history, a blessed and dramatic landscape, an extraordinary fusion of past and present, and an abundance of choices and experiences.

Its stunning mountain ranges are dotted with caves and sliced by dramatic gorges, and its rugged interior is blanketed in olive groves, wild flowers and aromatic herbs. Breathtaking drives along the rugged south coast lead to a sundrenched paradise of long sandy beaches and isolated coves.

The climate in Crete is primarily temperate. The atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea. The winter is fairly mild. Snowfall is common on the mountains between November and May, but rare at the low lying areas.

The island has three significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania and a smaller in Sitia. The first two are international serving as the main gates to the island for thousands of tourists.

Crete's principal cities are: Heraklion (Iraklion), Chania, Rethymno, Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.