Is the largest and most popular of the Greek islands, and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits ,such as its own poetry and music. It was once the center of the Minoan civilization , which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe .
Mountains and valleys
Crete is mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains:
1. The White Mountains or Lefka Ori
2. The Dikti Mountains
3. The Idi Mountains or Psiloritis
These mountains lavished Crete with valleys, such as Amari valley, fertile plateaus, such as Lasithi plateau,Omalos and Nidha. Caves, such as Gourgouthakas , Diktaion and Idaion (the birthplace of the ancient Greek god Zeus),and a number of gorges.
Gorges and lakes
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samaria Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead (at Kato Zakros ,Sitia ) and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana .
There are only two freshwater lakes: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia.
Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was formerly a sweetwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi.
Crete has it all
Crete has so much to offer. The sandy beaches along the coastline are a perfect way to spend a chilled afternoon, enjoying the sun and a swim in their crystal blue waters. And for the adventurous tourists, Crete is the ideal place. The walking path E4 passes from the mountains of Crete, which along with its several gorges offer unique trekking and hiking experiences, making the island a perfect holiday destination throughout the year.
Crete still retains plenty of local cultural traits, such as its own music and dialect, as well as the wonderful Cretan cuisine. Enjoy your dinner in a traditional tavern by the sea, tasting local delights, such as ntakos salad, ofto meat and apaki, with a glass of raki and a plate of different types of cheese.