The largest of the Greek Islands Crete is divided into four administrative regions: Iraklion, Rethimnon, Chania and Lassitiki. The island's capital Iraklion has a population of over 130 000 inhabitants. Separating Europe from Africa the Aegean and the Libyan seas stream against the island. Characterized by the diversity of its territory Crete has miles of beaches and fertile highlands, but moreover it is branded by the presence of three mountain ranges with peaks of over 2000 meters.
|Koules Fortress, Crete.Image by Jenny, my friend.|
In the past the island was the territory of the Byzantine and Turkish conquests. The result is a wonderful architectural mix divided between minarets and churches, mosques and cathedrals. You will find in Crete Eastern culture mingles with that of the West. What makes this island paradise even more appealing these days is the array of top quality Hotels in Crete available.
Crete is divided between tourism and tradition. While citizens of Crete have become accustomed to this new style of life that is becoming branded with tourism, on the other hand, there is still a part of the population that still work in agriculture and crafts. An example is in the village of Anogia, where the textile business is practiced. Despite the tourism industry in Crete being very strong the island maintains its folk origins. Among the local people there is a passion for dancing and folk music still present with the most popular dance still being the captivating Sirtaki dance. The island is home to vast orchards full of citrus, cherries, walnuts, almonds and grapes. In the countryside women still carry out traditional activities such as how to wind wool on a spool and work the loom!
The Cretan diet is characterised by its dishes based on fresh meat or fish. Among the dishes is Moussaka a casserole of fried eggplant, ground beef, tomatoes, onions and Greek traditional cheese. Along with the traditional Greek salad, made with feta, tomatoes, olives. Don’t forget to try Tsatsiki, the Greek yoghurt sauce made of cucumbers and garlic seasoned with a little oil and vinegar.
The impressive natural spectacle gorge of Samaria is located forty kilometres from the city of Chania. The length of the gorge stretches 18 kilometres and is considered the longest in Europe. The Samaria Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage and a national park. Strolling through the park you can see different plant species and wildlife such as weasels, marmots and badgers.
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