Crete is another interesting place to go to on your Greece vacation. It is one of the more notable and the largest of the many islands in the country. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea in between the Sea of Crete and the Libyan Sea. Crete is about 260 kilometers long and 60 kilometers wide. The island is divided into four prefectures, namely, Chania, Rethimno, Heraklion and Lasithi. Crete is considered one of the most beautiful of the Greek islands and is always worth exploring.
The biggest and main prefecture in Crete is Heraklion. It is home to about 275,000 inhabitants and is the largest city and the considered capital of the whole island. Tourism is the main industry of Crete. Its economy is mainly driven by the arrival of tourists on its shores. That is why it considers its visitors with care and tries to ensure that the tourists would have a wonderful time in the island. After all, it is tourists that pump blood into the economy of the island.
Crete was once considered as the center of the ancient Minoan civilization. The island provides evidences of the achievements, knowledge and power of this ancient Bronze Age culture through the various palaces, tombs and other sacred sites found throughout the area. This provides a historical backdrop that would guide tourists of what to look for while in Crete.
The main language used in Crete is Greek. And because the island is a main tourist destination, many of the inhabitants can understand and speak English. Even those located in the small villages on the island can speak and understand English, making communication with foreigners not that much of a problem on the island.
Getting into the island can be made through various means. By plane, Crete can be reachable through the three significant airports located in the island. There’s the Nikos Kazantzakis airport that is located at Heraklion. There is also the Daskalogiannis military airport available in Chania where tourists can land on Crete. A new public airport is also located in Sitia where visitors can also make use of to get into Crete. There are several flights available for Crete that usually departs from the main island of Greece.
The island can also be reached by ferry. There are various ferry services located in mainland Greece as well as the other islands that service Crete. The trip usually takes 2.5 hours from the mainland. Going around Crete can be done through an inland bus service that operates around the island. The bus schedules are fairly frequent and serves many parts of the island. Some buses even divert trips from their usual route in order to bring tourists to small villages if asked. Public transportation is by far the most convenient and affordable means of going around Crete.
Car rentals are also available if you wish a more private and more personal adventure on your visit to Crete. But tourists may need to bring along their drivers license for this and make sure that the car insurance covers them to the places that would be visited. Petrol stations are open during the high summer season (May 1 to September 30) from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm, and open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm during winter (October 1 to April 30).
It might be important for private car tourists to fill up beforehand so as not to let an empty gas tank on an isolated part of the island spoil your Greece vacation.