Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth
largest island in the Mediterranean. Linking Asia, Africa, and
Europe, it has served as a cultural crossroad and a place that
boasts of 4,000 years of uninterrupted habitation. Its cities
have been home to centuries of historic change both in its
terrain and its people. Today Crete is a hedonist’s heaven.
A proud exhibitor of archeological wonders, beautiful beaches,
and gorgeous surroundings, visitors to Crete will find
themselves encircled by luxury.
Inhabited since 6500 B.C., Crete’s Minoan
history is evident in the archaeological remains that tourists
still marvel at. The prehistoric Cretans’ art legacy, dating
back to the Bronze Age, remains in museums and galleries
throughout the island.
Crete’s four major cities are all
distinct. Western Crete is home to Chania and Rethymnon, two
cities that boast of having Crete’s loveliest beaches. The
east begins with Iraklion, on the northern side of Crete. It
is both the largest city and the capital of the island. Here
you will find constant activity because most tourists arrive
here first when they come to Crete. It is a place rich with
history and archeological sites, including the Palace of
Knossos. 135 miles east of Iraklion is Ayios Nikolaos, a
popular resort town where visitors can enjoy shopping, dining,
and at night, dancing at one of the many downtown nightclubs.
Crete is a tourist hub, and rightfully so.
It combines natural wonders with plenty of industry to
accommodate the tourist’s desires to shop, eat, relax, and
learn all at once. Tourists will delight in the family-run
taverns that supply the hungry visitor with meats like lamb
and pork, and a host of specialty cheeses and wines. However,
Crete’s landscape is probably its biggest asset. Its
coastline has earned it the nickname “Big Blue.” Cretans
enjoy the water that surrounds them, as do tourists. A
favorite sport at most any beach is windsurfing, and rentals
are normally available. Much of the terrain on Crete is rough,
but this can also make for a nice challenge if you are a
hiker, biker, or nature enthusiast. For those less physically
inclined, Crete offers plenty of museums and unique activities
that will allow you to take it easy and enjoy. Bird watching,
for example, is common in Iraklion, where migratory birds fly
en masse. Regardless of your interests, Crete is sure to
inspire awe with its rich history and modern splendor.