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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.


 

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 Sun and Sea Plus Resort
Providing a garden and free WiFi, Sun and Sea Plus Resort provides accommodations in Plaka. more...
 Villa Rodea
Featuring a garden, an outdoor pool and garden views, Villa Rodea is located in Rodia. more...
 Tersanas Village Apartments
Within 2625 feet from Kalathas Beach in Akrotiri, Tersanas Village Apartments features a pool with a children’s section, a poolside bar and a traditional restaurant. more...
 Villa Argyro
Located in Azoyirás, within a 20-minute walk of Beach Kaliviani and 1.3 miles of Trachilos Beach, Villa Argyro offers accommodations with free WiFi, air conditioning, a shared lounge and a garden. more...
 Spilia Village Hotel & Villas
Nestled in a green plain among citrus orchards and olives groves, Spilia Village combines traditional stone-built rooms with modern facilities including gym, free sauna and hamam. more...
 Villa Nimertis
Boasting an outdoor pool and a jetted tub, Villa Nimertis is located in Xirokambi village. more...
 Kavos Beach Apartments & Studios
At a quiet and beautiful location on the coast of Kavos, Kavos Beach Apartments & Studios features views over the Cretan Sea. more...
 Alianthos Suites
Located just 300 ft from Tarsanas sandy beach, Alianthos Suites offers self-catered units built within beautiful grounds. It has a swimming pool and a private bay overlooking the Cretan Sea. more...
 Corali Studios & Portobello Apartments
Located directly on the municipal beach of Elounda, family-run Corali Studios & Portobello Apartments is 5.6 mi from Agios Nikolaos. It features a swimming pool with pool bar. more...
 Douliana Villas
Douliana Villas is located in the famous Apokoronas peninsula. A mini market for the basic supplies is featured on-site. There are 20 villas to choose from. more...
 Villa Artemis
Featuring a private swimming pool with a sun terrace, Villa Artemis is 1.2 mi from Episkopi Village. It enjoys Cretan Sea views from its balcony, while free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. more...
 Tersanas Beach Lodges
Boasting a beachfront location, Tersanas Beach Lodges is located in Tersanas village. It offers self-catering accommodations and free WiFi in all areas. more...
 Andreas Beach Villa
Andreas Beach Villa offers accommodations in Sfakiá, just 25 miles from Chania Town. Rethymno Town is 19 miles from Andreas Beach Villa, and Georgioupolis is 12 miles from the property. more...
 Alianthos Villa
Set in Tersanas, Alianthos Villa features a garden with an outdoor pool and magnificent sea views. A tennis court is available on site. Free WiFi is provided. more...
 Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare
Standing right on the shore of the Aegean Sea, Iberostar Creta Panorama & Mare is an elegant and peaceful complex boasting a pool complex of 6 pools, a spa center and 3 restaurants. more...
 Lithari
Lithari is located in Kámboi and offers a shared lounge, a garden and a terrace. more...
 Little Bay
Set in a colorful Cretan garden, the Little Bay is a beachfront hotel located by the Blue Flag beach of Stavros of Akrotiri in Chania. Units are spacious and each has its own kitchenette. more...
 Georgia Vicky Studios & Apartments
On a 5-acre plot, Georgia-Vicky Studios and Apartments is in Stavros, Crete. It features views of the sea, the pool or the gardens from each unit's balcony and a seawater swimming pool. more...
 Anna Boutique Villas
Surrounded by lemon groves, the family-run Anna Boutique Villas features elegant, self-catering accommodations with a private pool and furnished sun terrace. more...
 Kiani Beach Resort Family All Inclusive
Kiani Beach Resort is ideally located on the beach of Kiani, just a few miles east of Chania center and old Venetian town. It offers 2 pools, a sea-view restaurant, an open theater and a tennis court . more...
 Villa Thalia
Located just 66 feet from Milatos Beach, Villa Thalia offers air-conditioned accommodations with balconies overlooking the Cretan Sea and the mountains. more...
 Radisson Blu Beach Resort, Milatos Crete
Set on the edge of the Aegean Sea, Radisson Blu Beach Resort in Milatos is surrounded by turquoise waters and beautiful beaches. more...
 Marathi Villas
Located in Marathi, 22 miles from Plaka, Marathi Villas provides a garden and free WiFi. more...
 Panos Village
Located in Malaxa Village of Chania, Panos Village features a pool and a sea-view sun terrace with sun loungers. more...
 Villa Stelios-ch
Featuring a garden, an outdoor pool and pool views, Villa Stelios-ch is located in Xirostérnion. more...




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Crete
Cyclades
Dodecanese
Ionian Islands
Northeast Aegean
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Peloponnese
Saronic Gulf Islands
Sporades and Evia

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