Crete island, Greece in a nutshell
Crete island is one of the 13 regions of Greece. Crete is the biggest island in Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean.
Crete island is the southern part of Greece. It lies at the Southern Aegean Sea, at the crossroads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - covering an area of 8,336 square kilometres and having a population of over 800,000, according to the 2000 survey.
The length of the island is 260 km, but the shore-length is 1,046 km. The biggest width is 60 km from the Dion cape to the Lithinon cape, while the smallest is 12 km and is called "isthmus of Ierapetra".
A high mountain range crosses Crete island from West to East, formed by three different groups of mountains. On the west, there are the White Mountains (highest peak 2,452 m). In the centre, there is the mountain of Idi (highest peak Psiloritis-2,456 m). On the east, there is the mountain of Dikti (highest peak 2,148 m). These mountains gifted Crete island with fertile plateaus like Lasithi, Omalos and Nidha, caves like Diktaion and Idaion cave, and gorges like the famous Gorge of Samaria.
Crete island consists of four prefectures: Chania, Rethimno, Heraklion and Lasithi. Among its principal cities are Heraklion (meaning the city of Hercules in Greek), Chania, Rethimno, Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia. It has three significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis airport at Heraklion, Daskalogiannis airport at Chania and the new Public Airport in Sitia.
Crete island, along with the capital Athens, are the most well-known regions of Greece.