Crete is the largest and most southerly of the Greek islands. Said to be the birthplace of Zeus, today it is an endless source of intrigue and interest for both visitors who love to explore and those seeking a relaxing retreat. Historical sites scattered across the island reveal secrets of the ancient Minoan civilization.
Crete has a beautiful variety of features includes mountain villages, long sandy beaches, rocky bays, beach-bars and nightlife. There are magnificent mountain ranges, water sports, tranquil locations and very clean (Blue Flag) beaches. Bathed in sunshine for most of the year, the climate is one of the best in Europe. The island lies at the southern end of the Aegean Sea and covers an area of 8,336 km².
It is 260 km long and varies in width from 60 km (measured from the Dion cape to the Lithinon cape), to only 12 km at the Isthmus of Ierapetra in eastern Crete. The coast is deeply indented, giving Crete over 1,000 km of shoreline.
Ancient Greeks called it “The Great Island”. It is one of the most important, if not the most important, island in the eastern Mediterranean and its history is long and eventful. There is a truly magical radiance about the island. From the abundance of wildlife, plants and flowers that are unique to the island to the ever present scent of wild herbs.
Crete has hundreds of villages and small towns each being truly individual and unique places.
Crete has everything you want from an Island, from soaring mountains, the famous Gorge of Samaria which is a must for nature-lovers, Minoan Palaces and traditional villages set next to a clear deep blue sea with tavernas serving freshly caught fish. The city of Chania offers many opportunities for relaxation and a wonderful variety of attractions. With its narrow streets in the Venetian old quarter which are cool and shady by day, to the exciting tavernas, restaurants and shops which take on a vibrant characteristic by night.
Whilst exploring the Island you are never far away from the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) which appear with snow covered caps – even in the summer months.
Crete has an extraordinary range of scenery – from gentle, fertile plains to wild, uninhabited gorges. Its moods and colours change from month to month. Spring sees a bright blue sky and the island covered with a mass of wild flowers. With the White Mountains covered in snow, the orchards flourish with pink and white blossom.
The arrival of summer sees a vast array of bougainvillea, hibiscus and oleander with their rich colours. The warm evening air is filled with the smell of jasmine.
In high summer the sea shimmers with incredible shades of turquoise and blue under a clear blue sky. Silver-grey olive trees cover the island and the smell of wild herbs is carried on the breeze.
As summer eases into autumn and the landscape turns terracotta, bronze and purple. Autumn flowers can be seen by the roadside and figs, chestnuts, olives and grapes have ripened ready for harvesting. The beaches turn quiet, although the sea remains warm and Crete turns slowly towards winter.
Check out the average temperatures for Crete