Clear and crystal clear sea, rugged but majestic mountains, great museums and ancient settlements, impressive caves and precipices, known since prehistoric times, brightly colored frescoes, mild climate, majestic coastal landscapes, enchanting coastal beaches, state-of-the-art hotels hospitality, excellent local cuisine for which research has shown that it dramatically increases the average life (meat, virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables and legumes play a leading role). An island separate and at the same time the largest in Greece with an area of 8,336 sq. Km. And more than 1,000 km of coastline: this is Crete.
The position of Crete, between Africa, Europe and Asia Minor, and its mild climate have made it a center of culture since the Neolithic years. Around 6000 BC, there were prehistoric settlements in Crete, while in 2600 BC. settlers who knew copper arrived on the island. With them begins the glorious history of the Minoan Civilization, which around 1950 BC. is at its peak and then the brilliant palaces are built in Knossos, Phaistos and Malia.
According to mythology, Rea hid the newborn Zeus in a cave in Crete. The nymphs raised him there, while the Cretan demons beat their shields hard, so that Saturn would not hear the baby’s cries and would eat it. In Crete, again, Zeus, disguised as a bull, brought Europe to live his love with her. Their son was Minos, who ruled in Crete and made her a sea empress. At that time, even Attica paid tribute to Crete, until the Athenian prince Theseus killed the Minotaur. Behind the myth lies a powerful and rich kingdom and the most ancient civilization of the European continent.
In 1450 BC. and again in 1400 BC. Successive disasters, possibly due to the eruption of Thera volcano, are declining. The Dorians follow, migrating to the island and later the Romans. Crete became a province of Byzantium and then, for a whole century (824-961 AD), it was occupied by the Arabs and became a stronghold of pirates centered on Chandakas, today’s Heraklion. Then, Crete passes again in Byzantium, until the arrival of the Venetians, who will keep the island for about 5 centuries and will leave a deep mark on its culture. In 1669, with the fall of Chandakas, the period of Ottoman rule begins, which is full of bloody revolutions. At the end of the 19th century. The power of the Turks ends and the Cretan State is created, with the king of Greece as its supreme authority. Finally, in 1913, Crete will be officially integrated into Greece.
The prefecture of Chania, the westernmost of the island, is characterized by the impressive “White Mountains” and the one that occupies most of the prefecture. Wandering the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town of Chania with its imposing Venetian houses, fountains and beautiful temples is literally an escape in time. To the south of the city is Frangokastello, a Venetian fortress overlooking the Libyan Sea. Discover the traditional settlements of the wider area (with excellent agritourism infrastructure) such as Vamos and Milia, following the beautiful paths that connect the villages of the Cretan countryside. Wander the green meadows and orchards of Agia with the famous mandarins; don’t forget to explore the lake of the same name and its rare ecosystem by bike! Finally, visit the wineries of Chania and try the wines of the Cretan land accompanied by the delicious Cretan cuisine.
Between the White Mountains and Psiloritis (Idi) is the prefecture of Rethymno, synonymous with unparalleled beauty of rocky landscapes, magnificent shores, Cretan lyre melodies, offshore escort accompanied by tsikoudia, legendary cave caves, historic villages and historic monasteries, traditional mountains. Feel the quintessence of Crete’s legend in the most mountainous, remote and self-sufficient area of the island…
The largest and most densely populated prefecture of the island is surrounded by two mountain ranges, Idi (Psiloritis) to the west and Dikti (Lassithi mountains) to the east. In Heraklion are some of the most important archeological sites of Crete, beautiful beaches and a charming hinterland with picturesque villages, caves and gorges, plateaus and verdant valleys full of olive groves and vineyards, imposing mountain range, as well as the most beautiful suburb of Crete. The incomparable combination of urban landscape and natural wealth makes the prefecture of Heraklion a unique destination that you must explore!
At the eastern end of Crete, the prefecture of Lassithi surprises with its strong contrasts. Behind the dazzling splendor of world-famous seaside tourist resorts, with its luxurious hotel units, beautiful mountain villages, deserted beaches, unknown archeological sites and Byzantine scenic chapels, creating an unspoiled landscape, create tourism.
Here are some of the most charming aspects of Megalonisos. The “tiny” Agios Nikolaos with its elegant neoclassical crowns crowning its beautiful lake; the top resorts of Elounda with the seal of luxury; the famous island of Spinalonga with its tragic past. And the charming present. Let’s follow a path that has it all: fun and nightlife, luxurious amenities, peace and history.