Going on a Crete vacation is more like visiting a small country than just another Greek island. Greece's largest and most fascinating and diverse island, Crete has a rich history and an interesting present that makes a fascinating holiday option on the Greek islands. Crete is famous for its natural beauty and diverse landscape and boasts a long coastline of nearly 1,000 kilometers dotted with spectacular peninsulas, bays, and coves that are perhaps, some of the most beautiful locations in the Mediterranean Sea.
The interior of the island is crisscrossed by rugged mountain ranges, vast plateaus and fertile groves interspersed with caves and deep ravines that are waiting to be discovered during your vacations in Crete. For history buffs, a Crete vacation has lots to offer. All over the island, you can find remains of a glorious past, starting from the Neolithic till present times.
The island was the center of the Minoan civilization (around 2,000 B.C), one of Europe's most advanced cultures, and you can still see evidence of this Bronze Age civilization in the ruins of tombs, palaces, and temples. One of the most important places to see on your Crete vacations is undoubtedly the Minoan palace of Knossos, one of the best-known palace complexes of the Minoan Age. The palace is about 5 km from Heraklion and it is believed to have been the imperial seat of Minos, the legendary Minoan king. Archaeologists believe that it was destroyed due to a tsunami wave raised by the volcanic eruption of Santorini, as when it was excavated, the whole site was covered in ashes.
Another must visit is the ancient city of Gortyn in the southeast of the island. With an unbroken history that spans 6,000 years, the city was the capital of the island, after the Roman conquest, and eventually became the seat of the Roman governor. Some of the noteworthy monuments in Gortyn include the church of Saint Titus, the Odeon and the room of the Law Code. Drive along the island on your Crete vacation and you will also come through many other historical sites, including the Palace of Phaestos, the palace of Zakros and the Minoan site of Vassiliki.
Crete is however much more than just historical sites. For many, the highpoint is most definitely its beautiful beaches. A string of them to suit all tastes, the beaches are famous for their clean waters and golden sand and they are awash with the Cretan sun. With the long and winding coastline, there are plenty of crowded and secret beaches to discover. The northern coast of the island gets the most popular, while the southern coast is mostly suitable for families and people who love loneliness.
Well connected to mainland Greece with frequent flights and ferries, Crete vacation can be easy and quick to reach. The public transportation is good on the island, but most visitors decide to rent a car for a few days. Doing this, they are on their own, traveling around at their own pace and enjoying their holidays in the best way. Because holidays in Crete is not only about good beaches and great food, it is also about getting a view of rural life in the mountainous villages of the countryside and experiencing the local traditions. This is why tourism has great potentials for all year round trips.