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Crete - Greece


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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 Dyo Suites Dyo Suites     
Rethymno Town
Dyo Suites is located in Rethymno Town, one mile from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno and 0.9 miles from Venetian Harbour. more...
 Villa  Villa Hibiscus Villa Villa Hibiscus     
Surrounded by olive trees, Villa Hibiscus is a self-catering accommodation located in Spilia Village. Featuring a pool, facilities include a sun terrace with sun loungers and pool towels. more...
 Villas  Erondas Villas Villas Erondas Villas     
Featuring free WiFi and a seasonal outdoor pool, Erondas Villas is located in Akhladhés, just 24 miles from Heraklio Town. The pet-friendly property is air conditioned and is fitted with a spa tub. more...
 Villa  Iskios Villas Villa Iskios Villas     
Agia Marina Nea Kydonias
Located in Agia Marina Nea Kydonias, Iskios Villas features a garden and seasonal outdoor pool. The property features a hot tub. Chania Town is 5 miles away. Free private parking is available on site . more...
 Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete     
Set on Elounda coast, the 5-star Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete combines luxurious accommodation with award-winning cuisine and a state-of-the-art spa. more...
 Condo Hotel  Plakias Resorts Condo Hotel Plakias Resorts     
This beachfront resort enjoys a spectacular location around a small and scenic port in Plakias. more...
 Elounda Bay Palace Elounda Bay Palace     
This modern 5-star hotel is surrounded by acres of gardens, overlooking the Mirabello Bay, just minutes from beaches and the fishing village of Elounda. more...
 Condo Hotel  Trefon Apartment Hotel Condo Hotel Trefon Apartment Hotel     
Just 165 ft from Platanias beach, and 300 ft from the center of town, Trefon Apartments offers spacious self-catering rooms with balconies. A swimming pool and a playground are available. more...
 Villas  Villa Boutique Residence Villas Villa Boutique Residence     
Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Villa Boutique Residence is a villa, located in Foinikiá. The property is 4 miles from Heraklio Town and features views of the sea. more...
 Villas  Azure Sea View Villa Villas Azure Sea View Villa     
Located in Roussospiti Village, Azure Sea View Villa is just a 5-minute drive from Rethymno Town. The villa is fitted with a private pool with hydromassage facilities and free WiFi in all areas. more...
 Villa  Sea Breeze Villa Villa Sea Breeze Villa     
With a private pool and a sun terrace with sea views, Sea Breeze Villa offers accommodation in Istro Village, just a 3-minute walk from the blue-flagged Voulisma Beach. more...
 Villas  Villa Elia Villas Villa Elia     
The contemporary Villa Elia is located 2 km from Maroulas Village in Crete. Guests will enjoy an outdoor pool with sunloungers. Free WiFi and on-site parking are provided. more...
 Villas  ?atakis Villas Villas ?atakis Villas     
Agios Onoufrios
Featuring free WiFi and air conditioning, ?atakis Villas is located in Agios Onoufrios. The property features a spa tub. Chania Town is 3.2 miles away. Free private parking is available on site. more...
 Villas  Villa Vollard Villas Villa Vollard     
Offering an outdoor hot tub, garden and sun terrace, Villa Vollard is located in Rodhia in Crete. It is 300 metres from the beach and 900 metres from shops and restaurants. more...
 Villa  Villa Nimertis Villa Villa Nimertis     
Boasting an outdoor pool and a hot tub, Villa Nimertis is located in Xirokambi village. This self-catering accommodation opens out to a balcony and terrace with Cretan Sea, mountain and garden views . more...

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