Crete: Pearl of the Aegean sea...
CRETE MAPS AND WEATHER
Crete is one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean; about 8.336 square km. The length of the island is 260 km, but the shore-length stretches to 1.046 km. The biggest width is 60 km from the Dion cape to the Lithinon cape and the smallest is 12 km, named the "isthmus of Ierapetra". Crete is divided in 4 prefectures; Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi. A high mountain range crosses the island from West to East, formed by three different groups of mountains. In the West; the White Mountains (2.452 m), in the middle the mountain of Idi with the highest peak of the island; The Psiloritis (2.456 m) The East side has the Dikti mountains that has the “smallest” peak of 2148 meters. These mountains gifted Crete with fertile plateaus like Lasithi, Omalos and Nidha, caves and gorges but also caused differences in climate. It lies at the Southern Aegean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa. This strategic position made the island very popular throughout the ages; one can find traces of various cultures all over the island. Crete is well placed and easily accessible, accepting scheduled flights from many countries throughout Europe via its two international airports. With a warm climate and 300 days of sunshine the island is a fantastic location for relocation, holiday home or for an overseas property investment. The island is so varied which means that you can explore a new location area each week. Everyday can offer you a different experience and you can learn new things all the time. There is so much to see and do and so much to learn about the culture. Hence it is not surprising that many foreigners have chosen to buy a property in Crete.
The Cretans consider themselves first Cretan and then Greek. They are proud of their heritage that goes back to Mythological times. However, EU integration and tourism had a huge impact on local culture and attitudes. The youth of today are independent and well educated. There is, though, a contrast between town and village life. Many villages still retain the ' old ' way of life – here it looks like time stood still. The men sit in the kafenion, sipping on their Greek coffee and playing a Greek version of back gammon called “Tavli” whilst the women do the house work and gossip with the neighbours.
The famous Cretan hospitality is one of the reasons why the island is such a popular destination for travels and a reason for people to settle for good! Don’t be surprised if you’re invited to join a barbeque or even a family event like a wedding. Just accept with a smile; when they offer you home-grown fruits and vegetables, they don’t expect anything in return, just a simple “efcharisto
The Cretan diet allows Cretans the highest life expectation in the whole of Europe, as doctors and scientists already discovered 15 years ago. A diet of nutrients containing vitamin E, which is to be found in poultry, seafood, wheat and raw or cooked green wild vegetables, protects against heart attacks, as published in a study by the American Heart Society. The fact that simple fatty acids in pure Cretan "extra virgin" olive oil, together with Vitamin E, slow down the oxidation process and protect the arteries against deposits of "bad" cholesterol, was only recently discovered by doctors.For cooking, use only original, cold pressed olive oil with a fat content of 0,1 - 1% which Cretan cooperative societies and exporters send directly to the supermarkets of Europe.An absolute must is the enjoyment of a glass of real, pure Cretan red wine, a naturally fermented wine, which ensures you a long and healthy life and which was delivered to all the royal courts of Europe in the Middle Ages by Venetian traders.
The cosmopolitan resorts with their excellent, luxurious hotel complexes, having to offer something for every taste, are not to be forgotten.
Everything at one place. All this can be found in Crete: a place, a history, traditional hospitality and art.
There, where the splendour of the past meets the pride and the beauty of today.
The city Rethymnon is today still is at the same place as the ancient city (4-5. Years u. Chr.) It is a city of a overwhelming beauty, in which the modern trend connects itself with the pictorial old part of the town, the many lanes, the venetian harbour and the venetian castellet (Fotrezza).
It is undoubtly worthwhile top pay a visit to the prefecture of Rethymnon. To quote there among others Argyroupoli with its sources, the lake and the Preveli palm beach, the Kourtaliotiko Ravine, Anogeia (center of the traditionally Cretan music with its famous representatives, like Xilouris, Psarantonis among others), the Arkadia Monastery, where in 1866 under the Turkish occupation a Holocaust took place, the beautiful beach of Plakias and many other places of interest as well as beaches.
In the prefecture of Heraklion there are many archaeological places to visit, like Knossos, Phaistos, Tyllisos, Mallia as well as wonderful beaches and tourist goals, like Chersonissos, Matala, in wilder, more natural beauty, the traditional village hotel Arolitho, where one can live as in the time of ancient Crete, before the society and the technology developed themselves.
Heraklion was the official homeland of the famous painter Domenico Theotokopoulou or El Greco and of the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The harbour of Heraklion is the fourth largest of Greece.
The prefecture of Chania is the second largest of Crete from its total population and is a popular destination for natives and tourists.
There are innumerable objects of interest, from the ancient place Aptera Lisso and the ancient Falasarna up to the venetian castellet, the Kournassee, a singularly biotope, innumerable ravines, of which the most famous Samaria. It is the largest ravine of the island and one of the largest ravines of Europe. Thousands of visitors from all over the world pass it and admire very near its singular beauty, in which also the cretan mountain goat Kri Kri lives freely.
Concerning Chania, we are sure. It is a chosen place, full of beauty, which tightens at first sight everyone and takes into its spell. A spell, which does that one always comes back.
Lassithi is the smallest prefecture of Crete. Its capital is Agio Nikolaos, where a lake controls the landscape, with a beautiful lagoon in the center of the city.
At the East side is the wonderful Elounda, one of the most popular destinations of the VIP`S. Lassithi, with its hospitable, cordial inhabitants leaves to its visitors romantic memories.
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