The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is a land of myth and history, of dramatic mountains, fertile valleys and glorious beaches. At the same time sophisticated and elemental, Crete is unique.
First settled by humans 130,000 years ago and positioned between Africa and Europe, Crete was the cradle of Mediterranean civilization and still retains its own strong identity and culture, characterised by a history of proud resistance against invaders through the ages.
Rich in its physical contrasts, the island has always been the source of legend and adventure. Fascinating archeological remains are sited all over the island, from the colourful reinvention of Knossos to the arid mystery of Phaestos. Three separate mountain ranges riven with spectacular gorges and rivers stretch from west to east, with lush valleys falling to a varied coast of small fishing villages and magnificent sandy beaches.
An absorbing mix of Minoan, Venetian and Turkish architecture, the island’s towns weave together palaces, churches, castles, and minarets alongside the bustle of markets, cafes and tavernas.Lake Kournas
is a haven for wildlife; the Samaria and Imbros Gorges will test the more intrepid explorers. Argiroupolis has Roman tombs and mosaics surrounded by small waterfalls; daily expeditions to varied archaeological sites can be made.
Many of the villages specialise in individual crafts: traditional furniture makers, basket makers, glassblowers and lace makers.