Mythology and History: Legend has it that the island of Crete is the birthplace of Zeus, father of all gods. Mother of Zeus, Rea came to Crete with the help of Gaia and Uranus that he was afraid of Cronus, father of Zeus, who used to devour their children so that they do not usurp power. Zeus was born in a cave and raised by nymphs. After a fierce battle with Cronus, Zeus became the father of all the gods.
One day Zeus, taking the form of a bull, abducted Europa from Phoenicia and brought her to Crete. The union of the two were born three sons: Minos, Sarpedon and Radamantis. Minos, the best known of the three sons of Zeus, became king of Crete and ruled island palace of Knossos. Brother of Minos, Radamantis, helped him to his kingdom first, while Sarpedon and founded his own kingdom in Lycia ... more
Crete is the largest island of Greece, with an area of 8336 km ² and a coastline measuring 1040 km. The island has a length of 225 km and a width of 60 km and is the second largest island (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean. The island lies 160 km south of mainland Greece and is one of the 13 regions into which Greece is divided.
Crete is a mountainous island, about two-thirds of the island is covered by mountains. The highest mountains are Lefka Ori (2452 m), Oros Idi (Psiloritis Peak 2456 m), Oros Dikti (2148 m), Kedros (1777 m) and Thripti (1489 m). Crete has many springs, and the format is Ieropotamos largest river in the south of the island.
Crete is famous for its beaches and Elafonisi, Falassarna, Gramvousna, Frangokastello, Paleohora, Loutro, Georgioupolis, Agia - Marina, Hora Sfakion, Sougia (Chan), Preveli, Bali, Palakias, Triopetra, Rodakino (Rethymno), Agia - Galini, Matala , Kalamaki, Gouves, Malia, Hersonissos, Stalis (Heraklio) Iarapetra, Kato Zakros, Makri Gialos, Oh, Hrysi Islet (Agios Nikolaos).
Crete has a varied flora including 130 species of wild flowers and herbs unique and Dictamo (Origanum Dictamnus) and Cretan dish (Platanus Orientalis).
In terms of climate, Crete enjoys a Mediterranean climate and the North African climate, with mild winters and hot summers (summer temperatures can reach 40 º C). The atmosphere is quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea. Snow falls in the mountains and kept between November and May, but in the lowlands near the coast snow rarely falls and stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours and then melts. However, in the winter of 2004, Crete was covered with snow during February. Southern coast, including Messaria plateau and mountains Asterousia, enjoy North African climate, so in this area is recorded temperatures all year round.
Crete is part of Greece, has 4 prefectures (Chania, Heraklion, Lasithi and Rethymno) and a population of 650 000 inhabitants. The island's major cities are Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Iarapetra, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.
Although the island's economy was based on agriculture prncipal centuries, starting with the 70 tourism industry has grown increasingly more. Visitors can reach the island via two international airports (Heraklion and Chania) or the main ports of Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon, Sitia and Kastelli.