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Crete Island

According to a Greek saying, a Cretan's first loyalty is to his island, his second to his country. The insular Cretan mindset-shaped by centuries of bitter resis­tance to relentless invasion-causes the island's people to view even their fel­low Greeks as foreigners. Cretans are nonetheless friendly to the outsiders that continue to vacation on their beloved home, and visitors will enjoy a healthy dose of that old Greek hospitality. Like the long-moustached men in black who sit by the harbour polishing their high boots, the island welcomes you but tends to remain aloof.

Records of Cretan life reach back to 6000 BC, when Neolithic inhabitants dwelled in open settlements and placed terra-cotta statuettes on mountaintops to honour their deities. When settlers arrived from Asia Minor around 3000 BC, Cret­ans forged a civilization that would distinguish Greece , the Mediterranean , and all of Europe . Through the next two millennia, Crete 's Minoans developed unprece­dented technological and artistic abilities, constructing enormous palaces which still astound archaeologists and casual observers alike. Modem excavations have turned up shards of decorated pottery, colourful frescoes, intricate jewelry, cere­monial horns, stone libation vessels, and small sculptures.

Catastrophes--earthquakes, a tidal wave from an enormous volcanic eruption on Santorini, and Mycenaean invasions-plagued Minoan society; three times, the Minoans rebuilt from the ground up. Distinct artistic styles accompanied each rebuilding period. The Early Period's iconography makes it famous: women on thrones appear repeatedly, leading to speculation that early Minoan society may have been matriarchal. The Middle Period brought a political and artistic high point , as the Palace at Knossos dominated a prosperous Aegean marine empire. Later Greeks dated their own origins to the Middle Period, when Zeus was born on Mt. Ida , the mythical Minotaur munched men in the Labyrinth of Knossos, and the Athenian king Theseus wrested power from Crete 's Minoans and handed it to the Achaeans of mainland Greece .

In the 8th century BC, the Dorians occupied the island, carpetbagging with their own ideas about jewelry-making, sculpture, pottery, and language. Conquering Romans later set up camp, only to find the island an unstable aristocratic hangout rife with intercity fighting. Next, Crete fell under rickety Byzantine rule, resulting in the construction of countless Byzantine churches, until the Arabs conquered Crete in AD 827. The Byzantines eventually regained the island but lost it again to Frankish crusaders in 1204. After being sold to Venice , Crete became a commer­cial hub, with fortified ports ringing the island, and developed an early middle class, dominated by Venetian nobles and local merchants.

Cretans look back on this period far more fondly than on the Ottoman occupa­tion that followed. From the late 17th century until Prince George 's liberation of the island in 1898, Crete was Ottoman turf. After the Balkan Wars of 1913, Crete joined the Greek state. During World War II, the island combatted German occupa­tion with strong guerrilla resistance; the period is regarded with pride. Since then, Crete has been spared conquerors and attacks as a part of the Greek nation.

Today, Crete is divided into four main prefectures: Hania, Rethymno, Iraklion , and Lasithi. Transportation networks are based on the prefectures. It's easy to get around within a prefecture, but bus transportation between prefectures can be more complicated, so make your plans with the divisions in mind.


 

Online Travel guide with the best accommodation in Crete. Find the cheapest hotels is Crete & get exclusive online deals. Great rooms at bargain prices. Book online now! Compare Hotel Prices and read Reviews from others.

Great Hotel rates and information See photos, reviews & what's nearby Crete . Detailed tourist and travel information about hotels of Crete providing also regional information.

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 Villa Mariposa
Villa Mariposa, Chania Town
Located in Chania Town, Villa Mariposa provides accommodations with a private pool and private parking. This self-catered vacation home has a garden and grill facilities. more...
 Minos Beach Art Hotel
Minos Beach Art Hotel, Agios Nikolaos
Featuring a stunning location next to the water’s edge, Minos Beach Art Hotel features an art gallery and an excellent health and beauty center, along with complimentary breakfast and parking. more...
 Antonia Blue Villa
Antonia Blue Villa, Mourniaí
Antonia Blue Villa is located in Mourniaí and offers an outdoor swimming pool and barbecue facilities. This villa has air-conditioned accommodations with a terrace and free WiFi. more...
 Villa Pelagos
Villa Pelagos, Koutsounari
Offering free WiFi and sea views, Villa Pelagos is a property located in Koutsounári. This villa provides a private beach area. The villa includes a living room and a bathroom with a hot tub. more...
 Villa Rodea
Villa Rodea, Rodia
Located in Rodia, Villa Rodea has accommodations with a private pool. This property has free WiFi. The villa has a satellite flat-screen TV and a living room. more...
 Kavos Beach Apartments & Studios
Kavos Beach Apartments & Studios, Stavros
At a quiet and beautiful location on the coast of Kavos, Kavos Beach Apartments & Studios features views over the Cretan Sea. more...
 Villa Archontariki
Villa Archontariki, Kissamos
Located in scenic Kalyviani Village, 2625 feet from the beach, Archontariki is a traditional, self-catered villa with a private swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. more...
 Mylos Hotel Apartments (Adult-Only +16 years)
Mylos Hotel Apartments (Adult-Only +16 years), Plataniás
Mylos Hotel Apartments is located in Platanias, steps away from the center, and next to Mylos Night Club and Nemylos Beach Bar. It offers self-catering, adult-only accommodations. more...
 Traditional Stonehouse Vicky
Traditional Stonehouse Vicky, Hersonissos
Located in the Hersonissos Old Town district in Hersonissos, Traditional Stonehouse Vicky provides accommodations with an terrace and free WiFi. more...
 Vederi Estate
Vederi Estate, Vederoi
Quietly located amid an olive grove, Vederi Estate consists of 3 traditional villas each with a private pool. more...
 Flamingos Hotel Apartments
Flamingos Hotel Apartments, Kato Daratso
Located in Kato Daratso, Flamingos Hotel Apartments provides accommodations with free WiFi, air conditioning and access to a garden with an outdoor swimming pool. more...
 Villa Kalli
Villa Kalli, Adelianos Kampos
Villa Kalli is a villa located in Adelianos Kampos, 3.7 mi from Rethymno town and 14 mi from Bali. more...
 Yianna's Home
Yianna's Home, Gerani
Featuring an outdoor pool and sea views, Yianna's Home is located in Gerani. The property features mountain views and is 33 miles from Chania Town. more...
 Ammothines
Ammothines, Xerokampos
Located in Xerokampos, Ammothines has free WiFi, and guests can enjoy barbecue facilities and a garden. more...
 Koukounari luxury villa
Koukounari luxury villa, Chania Town
Koukounari luxury villa offers accommodations in Chania Town, 1.2 miles from Venizelos Graves and 2.5 miles from House-Museum of Eleftherios Venizelos. more...




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Greece Top Destinations
Athens-Attica
Central Greece
Crete
Cyclades
Dodecanese
Ionian Islands
Northeast Aegean
Northern Greece
Peloponnese
Saronic Gulf Islands
Sporades and Evia

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