Regions: Crete Overview




About Crete

Bansko, Bulgaria

Bansko Town

Crete is located in the Mediterranean Sea and it is the largest of the Greek islands. It is also one of the most popular destinations for people who are visiting Greece as there is so much history to explore and so much to do while you are there.


The island has a population of around 650,000 people and it is split into four regions: Chania, Heraklion, Lasithi and Rethimnon.


It is one of the most beautiful places in Greece and, despite its small size, is actually very diverse. As well as lots of gorgeous sunny beaches, it also features bustling metropolitan areas, mountains and little hillside communities.


As well as the typical tourist hotels, many people who visit the island like to stay in a holiday villa as these offer a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.



History

The island of Crete was the centre of Minoan civilisation thousands of years ago and even today you can still see traces of their culture.


Bansko Property

Traditional Bansko Villas

The Minoan culture was destroyed by a tsunami caused by a volcano exploding on mainland Greece, but their legacy as one of the first sophisticated civilisations lives on.


Later in history, Crete was invaded by the Romans, during which time it became very wealthy. Many of the ancient mosaics and monuments you can see around the island date back to this period.


More recently, it was invaded by the Germans in the Second World War and you can still see signs of the damaged left today.



Culture

Bansko Ski Lift

Bansko Ski Lift

In Crete, Greek is the official language and all of the locals speak it. However, as it is such a popular destination for tourists, many of them will be able to speak English – even in some of the smaller and more remote villages, so communication shouldn't be a problem.


You can get around by car, taxi or foot in the local areas.


There are also lots of local buses and even ferry connections, which is great as it means even if you stay in Crete villas that are off the beaten track, you'll still be able to get around and see the sights really easily.



Popular Places to Visit

When it comes to things to see, there is so much to do that you'll probably want to never leave.


Bansko Monastery

Cultural Bansko

For instance, you could visit the Minoan ruins at Knossos, or visit the city of Heraklion to see the Archaeological Museum and find out more about the island's heritage.


The mountains of Crete, some of which are only 100 metres away from the coast, are also great to explore as they highlight the diversity of the landscape of this tiny island.


The Gorge of Samaria, the beaches and historical sites of Rethimnon prefecture and the heritage of Avril Mona Mountain in the west of the island are all popular places for tourists to visit during their stay.



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