The fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most well-known destinations for travelers into the region, Crete is a Greek island that has stood as one of the major centers in the Mediterranean for literally thousands of years, all the way back to the Minoans themselves over 4,000 years ago. The oldest of the old when it comes to Greek civilizations, they transformed ancient Crete into a cultural and historical center that has been passed down over the years until it exists as it does in the present, a testament to the glory of the ancient Greeks, and to the people who continue to thrive on the richness of their culture and history.
Crete is a large island, and you can literally experience a little bit of everything while visiting, from beaches to mountains to cities to the perfect little Greek villages like you see in the postcards, and nearly everything is fairly green. The history and legends surrounding the island are as varied as the people who tell the tales, from the legends of King Minos, Icarus, Theseus, and others, passed down by the greats such as Homer. Places like Ideon Andron exist here, the cave where the infant god Zeus was hidden as a child from his father, the mighty titan Kronos. Beyond that, adventurers can experience such amazing beauty as the Lasithi Plateau, the Zakros Gorge, or the ruins of the Minoans at Knossos and Phaistos.
Coming to Crete means experiencing a heady blend of modern Greek culture mixed in with a deep appreciation for the historical and cultural past, even if much of it is mythological in nature. The island is literally packed with archeological wonders, from temples to caves to mountains and more, so beyond the beaches and the cities themselves it’s very easy to lose an entire month or even several month’s worth of time to Crete.
The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, small Venet…