Just another Greek island with a more than 10,000-year history? Not quite. Crete is Greece’s largest island. It was founded a millennium before Christ and was home to the Minoans, one of the most advanced, sophisticated and artistically accomplished of any society of its era (about 3,500 to 4,000 years ago). It was a primary source of much of modern European culture. Crete’s ancient civilization, however, did not save it from the fate of Greece or most of the Mediterranean islands. It, like the others, has been a political and military ping-pong ball, falling under the rule of several occupying powers over its history: The Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Turks, Germans and others. Although all brought some level of oppression and persecution, most (with the notable exception of the Germans) also left some form of lasting value to the island.
Crete is lush, green and also very mountainous.. Although the harsh, rugged, steeply mountainous island’s interior and south coast have enormous natural diversity and beauty, and its shorelines have many popular beaches, we spent the vast majority of our time in the historic cities, not to speak of a few vineyards, of the north shore.
We visited (and have posted blogs on) several areas of Crete including: