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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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 Sun and Sea Plus Resort
Providing a garden and free WiFi, Sun and Sea Plus Resort provides accommodations in Plaka. 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...
 Kavos Hotel & Suites
At a quiet and beautiful location on the coast of Kavos, Kavos Hotel & Suites features views over the Cretan Sea. It offers well-designed accommodations and a large outdoor pool with sun terrace. more...
 Venetian House
In the Chania Old Town district of Chania, close to Koum Kapi Beach, Venetian House has a terrace, free WiFi and a washing machine. With sea views, this property has a balcony. more...
 Luxury Suites in Stavromenos
Located in Stavroménos, 21 miles from Georgioupolis, Luxury Suites in Stavromenos has a garden and free WiFi. 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...
 La Mer Resort & Spa - Adults Only
Located in Georgioupolis, a 2-minute walk from Sandy Beach, La Mer Resort & Spa - Adults Only provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness more...
 Villa Stelios-ch
Featuring a garden, an outdoor pool and pool views, Villa Stelios-ch is located in Xirostérnion. 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...
 Nautica Hotel Apartments
Located on Stavromenos Beach, Nautica Hotel offers a swimming pool. The self-catered rooms have free Wi-Fi and a balcony overlooking the Cretan Sea. A homemade breakfast is served. 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...
 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...
 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...
 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...
 Corinna Mare
Located on the famous beach of Kalamaki, just 3 miles west of Chania and the charming Venetian Harbor, Corinna Mare is built on a peninsula which overlooks the island of Theodorou. more...
 Atsipopoulo Villas
Featuring a private pool with sun terrace, the stone-built Atsipopoulo Villas is located in Atsipopoulo Village. 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...
 Andromache Villa
Located in Roumelí, a 20-minute walk from Panormos Beach and 1.7 miles from Koukistres Beach, Andromache Villa provides accommodations with free WiFi, air conditioning, a garden and a terrace. 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...
 Nostos Beach Boutique Hotel
The hotel Nostos Beach is located just steps from the beautiful Bali Beach. It offers a swimming pool with bar, and rooms with large balconies overlooking the sea. more...
 Aqua Blue Villas with Heated Pool
Located a 16-minute walk from Georgioupolis Beach, Aqua Blue Villas with Heated Pool offers an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and air-conditioned accommodations with a balcony and free WiFi. more...
 Elychryson
Located a 3-minute walk from Limenas Hersonissou Beach, Elychryson provides accommodations with a restaurant, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a 24-hour front desk for your convenience. 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...
 Natica Mare Villas
Perched on a hill, just 328 feet from the beach of Xerokampos, Natica Mare Villas offer elegantly decorated houses with unobstructed views over the Libyan Sea. more...
 Villa Frati Gorge
Featuring a year-round outdoor pool and a fitness room, Villa Frati Gorge has accommodations located in Fratíon, 20 miles from Agia Galini. more...




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