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Crete's climate is mild and healthy, without dramatic changes, and is classified as a temperate, marine climate. Winter is generally mild with snowfall only in the high mountains; rain on the plains and a great deal of sunshine. During summer, average temperatures are in the high 20's-low 30's (Celsius). The exception can be the south coast, which fall in the North African climatic zone and thus enjoys significantly more sunny days and high temperatures during the summer. Probably the best time to visit Crete is spring and fall.


The island of Crete

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located at approximately 35° N 24° E. and it has an elongated shape - 260 km. from west to east and at its widest 60 km, the island is narrower at certain points, such as in the region close to Ierapetra where it has a width of only 12 km.

Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilisation (ca. 2600-1400 BCE), one of the first civilizations in Europe, a literate and highly artistic Bronze Age culture, the island bearing witness to their achievements in the form of palaces, tombs and sacred sites. Towards the end of the Late Bronze Age, Mycenaeans from the Greek mainland superseded the Minoans. Thereafter, Crete very much followed in the classical slipstream of Greece and - much later - Rome. It was also the site of an airborne invasion by German troops, and a spirited resistance by Allied (mainly British and Australian) troops and the People of Crete during the 1941 Nazi invasion of Greece.


Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. Fifteen percent of all arrivals in Greece come through the city of Heraklion (port and airport). Today the tourism infrastructure in Crete caters to all tastes. There is accommodation of every possible category, from large luxury hotels with all the facilities (swimming pools, sports and recreation facilities etc.), to smaller family owned apartments, to camping facilities.


There are many contrasts in this region, you can go from incredible beaches to impressive mountains, from big (and chaotic) cities to really small picturesque villages, from very dry, almost desert areas to very green zones like the springs in the centre.


Tourist attractions in Crete include the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization in Knossos, Faistos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, the big variety of landscapes in a short distance: the wilderness and solitude of the Cretan mountains some hundred metres away from the coast, the eccentric culture of Crete in the traditional cafes (kafeneia), the gorge of Samaria.


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