Greece’s largest island worth a long visit

With a fabulous coastline of 1040 km, Crete is the largest island in Greece and a tourist favorite. A visit quickly explains why, as Crete has it all: ancient civilizations, gorgeous landscapes, traditional villages, tropical beaches, and a friendly population of just over half a million.

While a trip to Crete should only be a part of your first visit to Greece, it will undoubtedly be a highlight, if only for its contrasts with the rest of the country. The island is unique among those in the Mediterranean. One of the many reasons for that is a long and fascinating history that dates from Minoan times, when Crete was the most highly developed society of the ancient world and the basis for civilization in Europe.

Today, the tourist hotspot offers a rich mix of Minoan palaces, Byzantine churches, ancient Greek monuments and Venetian fortresses. All of this is presented in harmony with a unique and stunning landscape that has aged very well.

As the friendly Cretans take delight in reminding visitors, an ancient spirit lives on the island, periodically expressing itself in the writings of Nikos Kazantzakis, the paintings of El Greco, marvelous mountains and beaches, and in t distinctive people themselves.