The Island of Crete
Although once a strategic military site even up through World War II, Crete is now a wonderful Greek asset full of history, culture, and beauty. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is located in the southeast of the Mediterranean Sea. Crete is not only home to more than 550,000 Greek citizens; it is also the destination for more than one quarter of all visitors that come to Greece.
Crete is an island full of culture and celebration. Each town celebrates the day allocated to their patron saint, and there are cultural and wine festivals throughout the summer. The most important festivals on Crete are the Renaissance Festival in Rethymno, the Kyrvia Festival in lerapetra, Sitia?s Krnaria Festval, and Irakio?s summer arts Festival and the Lato Festival in Agios Nikolas. Important holidays on Crete are, of course, Easter, which is taken very seriously by all Greek orthodox believers. Other than Easter, Epiphany on January 6th, independence Day on March 25th, May Day on May 1st, the Battle of Crete during the last week of may, and Assumption Day on August 15th (Crete) .?
Crete is located in the southeast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is 3038 square miles, 161 miles long by about 38 miles wide in its widest part.? Crete is divided into four different districts, or ?Naomoi? in Greek.? From west to east these districts are Hania, Rethymnon, Iraklion, and Lassithi. In each of these districts are several municipalities and each of those municipalities is further broken down into several towns and villages. The major tourist spots are on the north side of the island, and subsequently all major towns are also on that side of the island. The east side of the island is by far the driest with the occasional olive tree and mountainous terrain. The east side is, for the most part, untouched by tourists. The central part of Crete is not only home to tourist hotspots, but is also speckled with vineyards (Crete). The west side of Crete is the greenest and most mountainous, the White Mountains dominate the landscape, rising to more than 8100 feet in the air before plunging in the Libyan sea. There is not much in the way of animals on Crete. Occasionally people will see wild goats, snakes, and many snails. Interestingly enough, for a culture as tied to the sea as Greece, most of the marine life around the island is all but extinct because of massive over fishing and the non-regulation of petroleum pollution from boats (Crete).
Home to more than 200,000 of the citizens of Crete, Irakilo is the largest of these cities. It is located on the northern coast in the center of the island. This is the main point of entry for tourists, and therefore is one of the more adulterated spots on the island. However, if one can look past all the marring by businesses capitalizing on the tourist scene, Irkalio is rooted in some wonderful culture and history. The city has two main squares: the Plateia Venizelou and...