Crete is the largest island in Greece, that seperates Aegean from the Libyan sea, marks the boundary between Europe and Africa.
The scenery is constantly changing. In one place harsh and barren, in another wooded and gentle. Its villages smothered in greenery. Olive trees, orange groves, vineyards, early vegetable market gardens.
Crete is renowned for the variety of its vegelation and the wildlife in its chestnut, oak and cypress forests. Not to mention its palm forests (at Vai & Preveli) and its cedar forests (at Gavdos & Hrissi) when the mountain tops are home of the Kri-Kri (cretan goats).
The island's fertile soil and towering peaks witnessed the development of one of the most important civilizations on earth, the Minoan (2800-1150 B.C.). The Minoans built palace-states (Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, Zakros). The eruption of the volcano of Santorini halted the Minoan civilization at its height.
Although the island was shaken from time to time by the rebellious populace, it continued to develop both economically & culturally. Domenicos Theotocopoulos (El Greco), Damaskinos & other iconographers were born here and created art items with worldwide reputation. Under the vaulted gates and arched windows, throubadours passed singing rimes from "Erotokritos" & "Erofili", poems by Vincenzos Cornaros and George Hortantzis respectively.
In 1645 the Muslin conquerors set foot on the island for the very first time. In 1669 the whole Crete fell to the Turks and not until 1913 the island was united with the rest of Greece.
Nowadays, the island with its clear & warm sea, the hundreds of cafes where you can drink coffee or a glass of tsikoudia (raki), many places to play tavli (backgammon) and listen to Cretan lyre dancing Pentozali (local dance), or to walk through the Samaria gorge, is a pole of attraction for many tourists every year and all seasons.