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CRETE
Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languageGreek
CapitalHeraklion
Area8.336 kmĀ²
Population632,674  (2017)
Currencyeuro  (EUR)
Web.gr
Code.GRC
Tel.+30

Cities in CRETE

Chersonissos

Popular destinations GREECE

AeginaAlonissosAndros
ChiosCorfuCrete
HydraKalymnosKarpathos
KefaloniaKosLefkas
LesbosMykonosNaxos
ParosPatmosPeloponnese
PorosRhodesSamos
SantoriniSkiathosSkopelos
SpetsesThasosZakynthos

Vacations and Sightseeing

Partly because of the climate and the many remains of Minoan culture, tourism has boomed and is already almost as important a source of income as agriculture. In 1972 27,000 charter passengers visited Crete, in 1991 there were already more than a million. The most tourists come from England and Germany. Mass tourism takes place mainly between Iraklion and Malia on the north coast. Because of tourism, unemployment among the working population is much lower than in the rest of Greece. The inland and the south coast are much less touristy and here some extra income is earned by renting rooms and making handicrafts.

The Palace of Knossos is the oldest settlement that was part of the Minoan civilization and was excavated in the early 20th century. It is the place where the legendary Minotaur of ancient Greek myth is said to have lived in a labyrinth of King Minos, and one of the all-time great attractions in all of Greece. The archaeological site covers 20,000 square meters and consists of several parts. The palace of Knossos, Minoan houses, the "Small Palace", the "Royal Villa", the villa "Dionysos" with the famous Roman mosaics and the southern Royal Temple are the most famous attractions. Only the palace and the Minoan houses are open to the public. Knossos was a huge palace with perhaps 1,500 rooms spread over five floors. The central court was the centerpiece of the building; the western wing was largely used for cult purposes. The throne room, next to the central court, was probably a later addition. The walls and floors were often painted in ochre red. Decorations were originally in geometric shapes, later frescoes depicting sports, religion and marine life.

Sources

Buma, H. / Reishandboek Kreta
Elmar

Hendriksen, B. / Kreta
Babylon-De Geus

Lubsen-Admiraal, S.M. / Kreta
Kosmos

Strijbos, E. / Kreta
Gottmer/Becht

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated December 2022
Copyright: Team The World of Info