Crete Is the Island of the Gods
Almost a country of its own thanks to its distinctive character, history and passion, Crete – Greece’s largest island – is distinct in every way. A dazzling landscape made up of mountains, valleys, fertile plains, sun kissed beaches, a cliff-lined coastline and rugged canyons make for natural beauty that is beyond comparison, matched only by the richness of Crete’s history.
Traces of the mysterious Minoan civilisation and later antiquity are scattered throughout western Crete. One of the most significant archaeological sites is Eleutherna, at the foot of Ida.
The island hosted the first advanced European civilization in history, the Minoans, who ruled some 4000 years ago. Standing at the crossroads of three continents, the island went on to be ruled by Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Egyptians and Ottomans. Today, it’s a popular vacation destination that remains authentic and unique as ever, and the site of Domes Noruz Chania, Domes Zeen Chania, Domes of Elounda and Domes Aulūs Elounda.
The heart of Crete beats at the proud mountain peaks, the fertile plateaus, the secluded beaches and canyons which thread their way through the mountainous landscape.
The basis of the Mediterranean diet, the Cretan diet and products are often considered one of the healthiest in the world. Visit any rural taverna to be spoiled with organically grown meats, cheeses, olive oil, fiery raki and wine in age-old recipes and dishes that you’ll only find on the island.
Traditional Cretan dances are either fast or slow, but always vivid and imposing. When danced by a group of men, they are reminiscent of the war dances of the Curetes.
But it is perhaps Crete’s spirited people who will take your breath away the most. Proud, free and generous, they uphold their unique culture and customs, through their music, celebrations and time-honored regional dances – for this is an island where, despite the difficulties of the past, life is truly celebrated.