Crete is the largest island in Greece. It has a very rich history and culture and is located in the South of the Aegean Sea. It also has wonderful landscapes and coasts with beautiful beaches and coves.
The island has a very rich history. It has experienced several bloody wars as well as the comings and goings of various civilizations. It also has several Homeric legends associated with it like King Minos, Theseus, the Minotaur and Daedalus. Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization, believed to be the greatest civilization of all times. The first humans who settled in the island were from the aceramic Neolithic period.
The Iberian Muslims took the island from the Byzantines only to be taken back by the latter in 960. However, by 1204, it was taken by the Venetians in the Fourth Crusade. From then on, an artistic Renaissance took place. The most notable of them were El Greco and Vitsentzos Kornaros.
Also, during the rise of the Ottoman Empire, Crete fell under its rule. Several monasteries and churches were converted to mosques, while many Christians allowed themselves to be converted to Islam. But during the Ottoman rule, several Cretans fought for their independence. This paved way to Greek nationalism.
Crete has a population of about 650,000 people. The largest of all the Greek islands, it has an elongated shape and it spans up to about 260 kilometers from east to west. The widest point of the island is about 60 kilometers, while the shortest is at about 12 kilometers.
It covers an area of about 8,36 squared kilometers and it has a coastline that runs for about 1046 kilometers. North of it is the Sea of Crete while the Libyan Sea is at the south. The Myrtoan Sea and the Karpathion Sea is at the west and east respectively. This island is extremely mountainous since it has a tall mountain range across the West to the East.
Though Crete is basically temperate, it has two climates: the Meditteranean and the North African. However, the climate remains with the former. Humidity may appear in the atmosphere depending upon the proximity of the sea. Winters in Crete are usually mild and snowfall is always experienced in the mountains during the months of November and May. Yet it rarely snows on low-lying areas of the island.
Crete is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. All in all, about 2 million tourists visited Crete last year. Heraklion garnered at least fifteen percent of it. The two international airports in Crete are found in Herkalion and Chania. Visitors can also go by boats in its ports in Herkalion, Chania, Rethimno, and Agios Nikolaos.
Crete’s economy focuses basically on agriculture, processing and packaging, and services. It garners a per capita income close to about 100 percent. Unemployment is about 4 percent. Olives remain to be its chief export in marketing industry and citrons are being cultivated continuously in the island.