Once upon a time it had great palaces. Then Crete became a naval power. Nowadays the island has gained serenity. The beach, the sun and Greek salads with fresh olives, that’s what it is all about. Crete is an island… to simply enjoy.
Crete is the largest of all Greek islands. It is centrally located in the Mediterranean Sea and has, therefore, always acted as a trading post. In the 15th and 16th centuries Crete was a powerful and highly developed naval force. Nowadays the economy runs on tourism and agriculture, with olives, olive oil and grapes as the main products.
Most tourists stay in the northeast of the island, in places such as Heraklion, Malia and Agios Nikolaos. Because of its extensive nightlife, Hersonissos is particularly popular with young people. The south of the island is less popular and therefore better suited for those who do not like mass tourism.
The first city
The ruins of Knossos, once the mighty palace of king Minos, are located just south of Heraklion. About 4,000 years ago, this was the first city of Greece and Europe. During the Minoan period, Crete greatly flourished. Reconstructions show how life in the palace was organised.
Equally impressive, but in a different way, is the Samaria Gorge, a narrow mountain pass of 16 kilometres long. The mountainsides rise above the path up to 500 meters high. In some places the rock-faces nearly touch, which makes you feel very small. Getting absorbed in the robust power of the mountains and sea, that is typical for Crete.