We all love beauty and miracles of nature. But nature can be biased sometimes and throw most of its beauty at one place all together. Crete is one of those places. Crete is the largest Greek island and fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. This island lies at the center of the eastern Mediterranean basin, located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. It is the most populous island in Greece with a population of more than 600,000 people. Crete is particularly mountainous and has many high peaks, three of which are over 2,000 metres high. It is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. This island was the centre of Minoan Civilization which was built the first palaces in Europe. The climate in Crete is primarily temperate. Snowfall is quite common on the mountains between November and May but it is quite rare in the low areas. In Cretan summers, average temperatures reach the high 20s to low 30s Celsius with maximum 30s to 40s.
There are many ways to reach Crete Island. One way is to fly to Athens and then fly to Crete or during summer with charter flights from Europe directly to Crete. Another way is to arrive in Greece by ferry from Brindisi, Ancona, Bari or Venice in Italy and from there travel to Crete either by airplane or by boat.
Places to visit
Crete has been one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. You can reach the island via two international airports in Heraklion and Chania and a small airport in Sitia or by boat to the main ports of heraklion, Chania, Rethimno, Aghios Nikolaos and Sitia. Here are some places in Crete that will surely blow your mind.
Agios Nikolaos is situated in Eastern Crete and is 70kms from east Heraklion. It is the capital of Lassithi perfect. You can relax at one of the lakeside taverns and admire the setting and watch the fisherman at work in their colorful boats. The modern marina here hosts up to 255 boats and yachts at one time. If you go out shopping here then it is nothing than a delight as there are lots of small handicraft shops and souvenir shops with the modern jewellery. There are snack bars, taverns and restaurants on almost every street corner.
Agios Nikolaos has its own beach named Kitroplatia beach. It is quite a sandy beach and lined with cafes and taverns.
Loutro is a small seaside village situated in South West Crete. It can be reached only by boat or on foot as there are no roads to of from this village. Despite of this fact this place is one of the main charms of Crete and it is quite adventurous also to reach this village without using and roads or air. You will feel like stepping back in time as there is nothing more pressing to do than swim, have an ice cold coffee or enjoy quite a lazy lunch at one of the taverns. The village consists of a number of to let rooms, small hotels, cages and one cigarette kiosk.
Chania Old Town and Harbour
Chania is situated in the North West of Crete. The main attraction here is the old town of Chania with its Harbour lined with restaurants and cobbled alleyways. If you explore the back alleyways, you are going to discover amazing gems there. You can also take a trip on a horse drawn carriage to give your feet a rest and explore out and beyond the Harbour.
The Katharo Plateau
The plateau of Katharo is not as well known as Lasithi but its attractions are the silver grey rocks that glitter in the sunlight in contrast with the red soil. The few trees here have dark hat shaped crowns that give shade to the roots and offer relief to sheep and goats in search of some cold place. From Katharo, a stony trail climbs back down towards the coast in the direction of Kroustas. The road follows the course of an underground river, dry on the surface which created little oases of green amidst the stones.
It is situated at the entrance of the old Harbour. It has been continuously repaired due to the violent waves of the sea which has been causing damages to its stonework. It is built with the big blocks of stone and it consists of two floors. This castle is open to visitors and during the summer period it is used for various cultural activities related to art exhibitions, music and theatres.
Palace of Knossos
The Palace of Knossos is located in North Central Crete on the Kephala hill. This palace is connected with several thrilling legends such as moth of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur and that of Daidalos and Ikaros. If you are into some ancient history then this place is a must see. You can hire a guide which is highly recommended. That is how you can know about the importance and history of this ancient site.
There are many more places to hang around on Crete Island. It is more like a small country than another Greek Island. It is the most fascinating and diverse island in all of Greece. Undoubtedly, worth a trip.