Crete lies at the southernmost point of Greece. It's not just Greece's largest island, but arguably its most fascinating and diverse. Its remarkable history is evident across the island, from the ruins of the Minoan palace of Knossos to the Venetian fortresses of Rethymno; from old mosques and Byzantine monasteries to the cave that is the legendary birthplace of Zeus.
The Venetian port of Hania in Western Crete is one of Greece's most evocative cities and the capital, Iraklio, is a dynamic city, the fifth largest in Greece. Crete is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse landscape. Spectacular mountain ranges dotted with caves are sliced by dramatic gorges that spill out to the sea. The rugged interior is interspersed with vast plateaus and fertile plains. The east boasts Europe's only palm-tree forest beach and the south coast has some of the most stunning beaches and isolated coves. Cretans are proud and hospitable people who maintain their culture and customs, particularly their strong musical tradition. Throughout the island you will come across traditional mountain villages and agricultural settlements unaffected by tourism. The young might drive four-wheel-drives but you will still pass shepherds tending their flocks and come across men in traditional dress. An abundance of fressh produce and the distinct Cretan cuisine - renowned for its life-prolonging qualities - add an interesting culinary dimension.
Crete is a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you would probably need a lifetime to uncover!