Crete Holidays Help You Visit Popular Places on the Islandby Daisy Wilkinson Travel Guides
Of all the Greek islands, Crete is the largest one and has a history of human settlement dating back 130,000 years. It was the centre of the Minoan civilization, which was the first advanced civilization of Europe. In the years that followed, it was taken over by the Mycenaean civilization that came from the Greek mainland; and later by the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, and the Ottomans successively. The people of Crete did not favour the Ottoman rule and wanted to join Greece. As a result, the island became an independent state in the late 19th century and joined Greece in the year 1913.
Your Crete holidays would give you the opportunity to explore the most popular attractions in this part of the world. Among them is Samaria National Park, which has a majestic gorge located 1,250 metres below. The river Tarraios flows through the gorge dries up in the summer season, but flows in abundance during winters. While in the national park, you can enjoy hiking on the stony path if you don't have any knee problems. Many people go hiking through the gorge during the busy days. The hike takes about 4 to 6 hours depending upon the fitness of the hiker.
Heraklion, the capital city of Crete, is also home to several attractions. One of them is Knossos, which is believed to have been the palace of the Minoan king, Minos. This ancient residential complex has been built in the centre of a vast courtyard. It is believed that the 'bull-leaping' contests were held in this courtyard, which involved running towards a bull and performing a somersault by grabbing its horns. The palace was abandoned in the mid-15th century BC. Some believe that it was owing to an invasion, while others attribute it to a volcanic explosion on the island of Santorini and the resulting earthquake that occurred in this region.
Another place worth exploring while holidaying in Crete is Chania, a major city located in the western part of the island. Pronounced as 'Kania' in Venetian language and as 'Hanya' in Ottoman Turkish, this is the island's second largest city. It was the capital of Crete until the year 1971 when Heraklion was made the new capital. Chania is set against the backdrop of White Mountains and overlooks the Aegean Sea. You can explore this part of the island on foot, passing through romantic alleys that have pastel-coloured buildings on either side.
Don't miss visiting Rethymno, which is a city originally built during the times when the Minoans inhabited the region. The prominence of this city during those times can be understood from the fact that it had maintained a good urban growth and minted its own coins. While exploring Rethymno, you'll come across several Venetian-era buildings in its old town. Many of the historic buildings in this neighbourhood of the city have been transformed into boutique hotels and shops. You can also spend some time unwinding under the sun at a sandy beach, which is located to the east of the old town.
Created on Jun 29th 2019 05:29. Viewed 132 times.