Crete is the largest island in Greece that is why the Cretans themselves call it Megalonisos (“Big Island”). About 175 miles from Athens, it is connected to the capital daily by plane and boat. It is currently considered one of the most important Mediterranean resorts and a cosmopolitan centre that receives many tourists from all around the world every year. It is the island of myth and history:

crete-2 Zeus was raised in its mountains and Europe was found in the island. There you can see the Palace of Minos and Pasiphae, where the Minoan civilization was born.


On this island, the local architecture is unique, with varied and interesting monuments.

crete-0 Crete also has endless beaches, mountains and its own special dishes that typify the Mediterranean diet. It also enjoys some incomparable natural beauty, great weather, traditional villages and fertile land. Its civilization and popular literature have crossed the national borders and the way of life on the island is popular for its hospitality. All this makes Crete an exceptional island.


This island has a very prominent place in the history of the Neo-Hellenic literature. The famous work “Erotokritos” by Vitsentsos Kornaros, has been read, recited and sung in Crete right up to the present day, and the play “O Kritikos polemos” (The Cretan war), constitutes the elemental witness of the Turkish conquest of Crete. Nikos Kazantzakis, tried to express what he called the “Cretan look” in novels like “Zorba the Greek“, “Captain Michalis“, “El Greco’s Biography“, “The Last Temptation” or “Christ Recrucified“. Other high representatives of this literature are Pantelis Prevelakis, Maro Douka, Rea Galanaki and Alkioni Papadaki.

Concerning the delicious Cretan cuisine, we must mention the most distinctive Cretan delights, which are: misithropites (white cheese pies), chilopites (pasta squares usually homemade), kochlii bourbouristi (Cretan cooked snails), kaltsounia (dumplings with cheese and honey), dakos (toasted bread with olive oil, tomato and feta) and xerotigana, accompanied by raki, the local drink par excellence. crete-1




Heraklion was inhabited since the Neolithic period. Nowadays, it is the capital of the Region of Crete and the capital of the Province of Heraklion, an important economic centre that concentrates most of the industry, crafts and services of the island. It includes the most important archaeological sites in Crete, which include Knossos, with its iconic castle, Phaistos, Gortyn and Malia; the main tourist resorts in the island: Hersonissos and Malia; and villages that conserve their traditional colour, such as Archanes or Ano Vianos.
In the old port of Heraklion you can see the Venetian arsenali (covered shipyards) and the restored Kules Fortress. It is very interesting to visit the Archaeological museum and the Eleftheriou Venizelou Square, full of cafes and restaurants.


The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion has two floors and twenty-four rooms hosting objects found in the excavations throughout Crete, which date back more than 5000 years (from the Neolithic until the Roman period). These findings complete the picture of the Minoan civilization that the visitor has formed after visiting the archaeological sites, especially those at Knossos and Phaistos. crete-4


The Palace of Knossos

In 1900, the English archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered an ancient and developed civilization: the Minoan. According to the myth, the great king Minos, who had promised to sacrifice a beautiful white bull for Poseidon, could not do it, provoking the god’s anger. In revenge, Poseidon made Pasiphae (Minos’ wife) feel an irrepressible desire for the bull, and incited her to pair with it. From this unnatural union, an anthropophagus monster was born.

crete-7 The famous Minotaur had the body of man and the head of a bull. Pasiphae hid her son in a labyrinth and promised to give 7 young men and 7 young girls in sacrifice. Theseus, prince of Athens, entered this dedalic labyrinth and killed the Minotaur with the help of Minos’ daughter, Ariadne.


In Crete, Knossos Palace reached its peak around 1600 BC and was destroyed by the eruption of Santorini’s volcano around 1450 BC. Its lava covered most of the island and created one of the most primitive Pompeii. crete-5


Undoubtedly, Knossos is the most representative building in Crete and it helps us understand and appreciate the incredible intelligence of these people that reached an architectural development unreachable until today.

crete-6 Inside the palace, you can see an original fresco representing the mythological Gryphon, the Throne Hall, the water piping system, evidence of the Linear B prehistoric script and the so-called “theatre”, which was probably not used as such.


Together with the Palace of Knossos, Phaistos is the most representative archaeological site in Crete. Minos’ brother, Ramarinthos, built his luxurious palace in Phaistos, on the top of a hill with wonderful views. Some valuable objects were found in the excavations at the former Palace, such as ceramic pots, clay seals and the famous Phaistos Disc, with Minoan writing on it.


Chania (Chania), located in the western end of the island of Crete, is the second largest city of the island and it is said to be the most beautiful city of the island. It consists of the old town and the new town and it attracts many visitors from all around the world every year.

The gorge of Samaria is one of the most scenic routes in the area with an impressive nature alternating green and bare stone mountains. crete-9

The entire area of the National Park includes 48,500 hectares, 13 km long, and 2 km to the sea, to the beach of Agia Rumeli, and has 4 to 300 m wide. The access to the throat starts at Omalos.

crete-10 The ​​Cretan wild goat “egagros” will be watching you all the time, although you will probably not see it.


In Akrotiri, north of Chania, apart from visiting the graves of Greek governor Eleftherios Venizelos, you can also visit the Monastery of Agia Triada Tsangarolon and the Gouvernetou Monastery, built on the rock of a cave. crete-11