Crete in detail

Regions at a Glance

The birthplace of Zeus, Crete is a vast and multifaceted island whose sun-blessed landscape is a quilt of soaring mountains, dramatic gorges and stunning beaches.

The northern coast, with its nearly uninterrupted strip of beach resorts, has built-up infrastructure and gets the most visitors.

The rugged interior, by contrast, is largely untouched by mass tourism. A dreamy mosaic of sleepy villages, terraced vineyards and fertile valleys, dotted with Byzantine churches and historic monasteries, the interior invites exploration at a leisurely pace.

Those with a sense of adventure will be enchanted by the largely untamed south. Serpentine roads dead-end in isolated coves and the landscape is sliced by steep gorges, where rare plants and animals thrive.