SPECIALS/EVENTS IN THE AEGEAN SEA
Crete (SOUTH AEGEAN)
Crete in General
In general: Crete – a diamond of the Mediterranean. The largest island of Greece is an island of superlatives. Its diverse landscapes, which can hardly be found anywhere else in Greece on just one island, captivates every visitor. Over 2000 m high mountains, wild ravines, long palm beaches and secluded bays make Crete’s nature an enchanting one. Ancient monasteries, fortresses and more than 4,000-year-old temples testify of the cultural wealth of the island. A must explore!
Crete is the star among the Greek islands: it belongs with Rhodes to the most important tourist centers of the country. The 100 km south of the mainland island is also popular because it is an all-rounder. Stretching 260 km from west to east and up to 60 km from north to south, it is a world of its own: it goes from the sandy beach of Elafonisi to the White Mountains. The Ida Mountain is the highest peak on the island. It rises up to 2456 m above sea level. According to Greek mythology, the Idaean Cave located here is Zeus’ birthplace. In the capital, Heraklion, there is the world-famous Archaeological Museum with Minoan artefacts, as well as the Palace of Knossos, which looks back on almost 4,000 years of history, when Crete was the first high culture in Europe. The longest gorge in Europe, the Samaria Gorge is also found here; with steep walls up to 500 m high, it is a nature highlight! From quaint villages with a lot of originality and hospitality, over Italian flair in the Venetian harbor of the port town of Retyhmnon in the north of the island to the jet-set lifestyle in Elounda – you will find everything here!
The fifth largest island of the Mediterranean is a pure South Sea dream. So, pack your bags and go to Crete!
Bike activities: For bikers of all abilities the island of Crete offers great experience on cycling through many possibilities of trails that take you to unspoiled areas between olive trees and aromatic herbs, between rough mountains and deep valleys, between sheep and goats to distant mountain villages and deserted beaches as well as archaeological sites and other tourist attractions. Chοosing your trail you choose your adventure! Highlights is the exploration of the hidden villages and wild nature around the mountains where time has really come to a standstill.
Other outdoor activities:
The scenic beauty and diversity offers outdoor fans every possibility they can dream of. Whether hiking in the mountains, safari through the desert, climbing in gorges, water sports, surfing and diving on the most beautiful beaches in Europe, sailing or simply swimming and taking a break from everyday life, there is something for everyone! And once your legs are tired, you can also switch to quad and segway tours, island round trips on enduro motorcycles or simply ride on the beach on horses.
The island can be reached via Heraklion Airport Nikos Kazantzakis (HER) which is 4km from the center of the city, Taxis and public busses ensure the transfer from/to the airport, and via Chania Airport Ioannis Daskalogiannis (CHQ) which is situated 14 kilometers from Chania city, Taxis and public busses ensure the transfer from/to the airport. During the summer and only at the easternmost part of Crete a small airport is operating domestic flights via Sitia Airport (JSH), Taxis ensure the transfer from/to the airport. In the low season, the island can be reached via domestic flights from Athens with www.aegeanair.com or www.olympicair.com.
Various ferry companies connect Crete to the continent and other islands. An overview is available at www.ferries.gr
The island of Crete has a well-developed public bus network that connects all major island towns.