Memorial Day Offer

Discover your mystery discount!


Geographical Features of Crete: – Crete is the largest Greek island and the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea. – It is located in the […]

« Back to Glossary Index

Geographical Features of Crete:
– Crete is the largest Greek island and the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea.
– It is located in the southern Aegean Sea, separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea.
– The island has an elongated shape spanning 260km east to west.
– Crete has a coastline of 1,046km with various peninsulas and gulfs.
– The island is mountainous with high mountain ranges, fertile plateaus, and gorges.
– Notable features include the White Mountains, Idi Range, Amari Valley, and Lasithi Plateau.
– Crete has various gorges like Samariá Gorge, rivers including Geropotamos River, and two freshwater lakes.

Climate and Environment of Crete:
– Crete has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate with some areas experiencing a hot semi-arid climate.
– Higher elevations feature warm-summer Mediterranean or cold-summer Mediterranean/continental climate.
– The island experiences mild winters, common snowfall in the mountains, and high temperatures on the south coast.
– South Crete receives the most sunshine in Greece with over 3,257 hours per year.
– The environment influences the lifestyle of highlanders and lowlanders on the island.

Human Geography and Administration:
– Crete is the most populous Greek island with over 600,000 people.
– Approximately 42% of the population lives in main cities and towns, while 45% reside in rural areas.
– The island is part of the Crete Region, divided into four regional units: Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, and Lasithi.
– The regional governor is Stavros Arnaoutakis.
– The island’s economy is mainly based on services, tourism, and agriculture.

Transport Infrastructure and Development:
– Crete has three significant airports: Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, Daskalogiannis at Chania, and Sitia.
– The island is well connected by ferries, with major ports at Kissamos, Souda, Heraklion, and more.
– A modern highway is being upgraded along the north coast to connect major cities by 2028.
– The construction sector in Crete has shown strong recovery post-pandemic.
– Plans for a large international container port and free trade zone are in progress.

History and Prehistory of Crete:
– Crete has a rich history, being ruled by various ancient Greek entities, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, and others.
– The island briefly gained independence before joining the Kingdom of Greece.
– Crete was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.
– Prehistoric settlements on Crete date back to around 130,000 years ago.
– Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization during the Bronze Age, known for its art and trade networks.
– The transition from Minoan to Mycenaean rule marked a pivotal moment in Crete’s ancient history.

Crete (Wikipedia)

Crete (/krt/ KREET; Greek: Κρήτη, Modern: Kríti [ˈkriti], Ancient: Krḗtē [krɛ̌ːtεː]) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete rests about 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland, and about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Anatolia. Crete has an area of 8,450 km2 (3,260 sq mi) and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi). It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea, with the Sea of Crete (or North Cretan Sea) to the north and the Libyan Sea (or South Cretan Sea) to the south. Crete covers 260 km from west to east but is narrow from north to south, spanning three longitudes but only half a latitude.

Crete (Kriti)
Native name:
Island of Crete, Greece
NASA photograph of Crete
LocationEastern Mediterranean
Coordinates35°12.6′N 24°54.6′E / 35.2100°N 24.9100°E / 35.2100; 24.9100
Area8,450 km2 (3,260 sq mi)
Area rank88
Highest elevation2,456 m (8058 ft)
Highest pointMount Ida (Psiloritis)
Capital cityHeraklion
Largest settlementHeraklion (pop. 144,442)
DemonymCretan, archaic Cretian
Population624,408 (2021)
Population rank73
Pop. density74.9/km2 (194/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsGreeks;
historically, Minoans,
Cydonians and Pelasgians
Additional information
Time zone
  • GMT +2
ISO codeGR-M
HDI (2019) 0.879
very high · 3rd of 13

Crete and a number of islands and islets that surround it constitute the Region of Crete (Greek: Περιφέρεια Κρήτης), which is the southernmost of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece, and the fifth most populous of Greece's regions. Its capital and largest city is Heraklion, on the north shore of the island. As of 2020, the region had a population of 636,504. The Dodecanese are located to the northeast of Crete, while the Cyclades are situated to the north, separated by the Sea of Crete. The Peloponnese is to the region's northwest.

Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC. The Minoan civilization was overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece. Crete was later ruled by Rome, then successively by the Byzantine Empire, Andalusian Arabs, the Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire. In 1898 Crete, whose people had for some time wanted to join the Greek state, achieved independence from the Ottomans, formally becoming the Cretan State. Crete became part of Greece in December 1913.

The island is mostly mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east. It includes Crete's highest point, Mount Ida, and the range of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) with 30 summits above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in altitude and the Samaria Gorge, a World Biosphere Reserve. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). The Nikos Kazantzakis airport at Heraklion and the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania serve international travelers. The Minoan palace at Knossos is also located in Heraklion.

« Back to Glossary Index
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.