Crete . . . the "Little Continent"
Between Heaven and the earth lies the island where the essence
is happiness and where the land and people both are at one with
the place. Here is an innocence and ancient wisdom. Here is a handshake
and a kiss, which lets you into the heart and where the mind is
second. Here language of the voice means nothing compared to the
language of the heart. This is the Island where music is in the
very air and welcome is an open gesture to the stranger with a courtesy
never learned in artificial ways, but coming as naturally as breathing.
This is surely a blessed island, this island of Crete.
is famous in Greek Mythology for being the birthplace of Zeus and
from where Paedalus and Icarus flew to escape King Minos. The famous
Minoan palaces at Knossos and Phaestos should not be missed and
the splendid Venetian harbor at Chania is traditionally the most
pleasant place on the island to sit with a drink and watch the world
go by. Be sure to look up at the buildings, for you are surrounded
by exquisite Venetian and Turkish architecture.
is the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest
island in Greece. It lies southwest of the mainland. Its length
is 160 miles from east to west and its peaks exceed 7500 ft in height.
A mountainous island, it lies south of the Aegean Sea - the link
between Europe, Asia and Africa. The high snow capped mountains
are a characteristic of the Cretan landscape. They form 4 mountain
ranges, each very distinct. From the west (Chania area) are the
White Mountains known as Lefko Ori, followed by Mt. Ida, which is
the highest mountain and to the east are the Khikti and Siia ranges.
Between the ranges lie semi mountainous zones, which cover the greater
part of the island. These mountains gifted Crete with fertile plains
The island has a long history that goes back to Neolithic times.
It is however known for the Minoan civilization that flourished
from 2600 to 1100 BC. The island is abundant with relics of this
period, the most famous being the palaces at Knossos and Faistos.
is divided info four prefectures or areas: Chaina, Rethymno, Heraklion
and Lasithi. The capital of the island is the city of Heraklion
located on the east side of the island. The island has two distinct
halves. The east, which consists of Heraklion and Lasithi, is busier
and in my opinion has lost its charm. The western side is more traditional
and should be your holiday adventure destination. It is still relatively
uncommercialized and authentic. Just waiting to be explored! This
part of Crete boasts some of the islands best beaches especially
the coast just west on Chania (where you will find Pavlakis Beach
Apartments) which is a 15 km stretch of sandy beach.
Inland and virtually untouched by tourism, rural life continues
at the same slow pace as it has for centuries and if you venture
off the beaten track, you will undoubtedly be rewarded with breathtakingly
fabulous scenery and a very friendly welcome at every roadside taverna.