Although it could not be more Greek, Crete is a country within a country with its own history, folklore and traditions.
The island was the birthplace of Europe’s oldest civilization, the enigmatic Minoan culture that flourished over 4,000 years ago.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean. It lies at the Southern Aegean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents Europe, Asia and Africa.
The island has a population of 600,000. Approximately 42% live in Crete’s main cities and towns whilst 45% live in rural areas
The island stretches for 260km in length but is only 60 km at the widest point.
Cretans still preserve the bonds with their rich folk traditions and cultural heritage. The Cretan dances, Pentozalis, Haniotikos, Pidihtos, Maleviziotikos etc, are still danced at every opportunity
Unemployment is relatively low on Crete, with a large proportion of its labour force employed in the services sector, notably in occupations related to tourism.
The main sources of wealth in Crete are agriculture and tourism. The cultivation of the olive tree is very important in Crete and excellent virgin olive oil is produced here. Other important products include oranges, grapes and vegetables from greenhouses. Honey, cheese and herbs are of excellent quality also. Finally, big numbers of sheep and goats are raised in Crete.
The traditional time to visit is April to October but the best time to visit is May or June when the weather is not so hot and the sights are not crowed with hoards of tourists.