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Useful information you may not know about Crete


  • - Crete is considered the oldest inhabited part of Europe.

- The island is mentioned for the first time as Kaptara. The name Crete appears in Homer's Odyssey.

- In 365 BC a catastrophic earthquake raised the western part of Crete up to 9 meters.

- The mythical labyrinth of Crete does exist and even appears in the ancient maps of 1500s!!! (see photos below)
   The Labyrinth was designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Knossos.
   With the body of a human and the head of a bull, the Minotaur was contained in the Labyrinth and fed every nine years
   seven young men and seven maidens from Athens, as punishment for the Athenians’ war against the Minoans.
   That was until Athenian hero Theseus was helped by Ariadne, King Minos’ daughter, who fell in love with him upon his arrival in Crete.
   After Theseus’ promise to take her to Athens, she gave him a ball of thread to mark his route within the maze.
   Theseus found and killed the Minotaur and successfully retraced his steps to the entrance of the maze,
   ending the punishment imposed by King Minos. (GPS: 35.079691, 24.920392 )

- Τhe Venetians, ruled Crete from 1212 for more than four centuries. Representative buildings are the Frangokastello
   (the castle of the Franks), the Fortezza of Rethymno, and Spinalonga, the tiny island in the Gulf of Elounda
   that merges Venetian, Ottoman and Greek history in a unique way
   (from playing a role in the Cretan revolt against the Turks to being used as leper colony).
   Spinalonga was the setting for Victoria Hislop’s best-selling novel "The Island" in 2005, which rightly gained international recognition.

- Crete has a length of 260 km and a width of 60 km. Τhe narrowest point is only 12 km long.

- The coastline of Crete is 1046 km.

- Sea water is so clear that you can see up to 40 meters deep.

- The highest mountain is Psiloritis 2456 meters.

- Snow is common in the big mountains from November to May.

- Over 50% of Crete is located at an altitude of more than 500 meters.

- The Lassithi Plateau is the largest flat area of ​​Crete (altitude 850 meters).
  (GPS: 35.182516, 25.460298 )

- There are more than 200 gorges.

- The Samaria gorge is one of the largest in Europe.

- There are more than 5000 recorded caves.

- “Gourgouthakas” in the White Mountains is the deepest cave in Greece (1208 m).
   (around the world there are only 84 caves deeper than 1000 meters)

- Most rivers have water only after a heavy rain.

- There are 34 islands around Crete (larger than 100 acres).

- In southern Crete swallows remain all year round.

- There are over 1750 species of plants, 160 of them are endemic.

- Cretan wine “oinos” in numbers
   58 wineries which produce 570 registered wine labels
   4200 hectares of wine vineyards
   46000 tones of wine grapes annually
   11 indigenous quality wine varieties

- There are over 30,000,000 olive trees.
  The Olive tree of Vouves in Kolymvari, Chania is one of the oldest olive trees in the world
  (3000 years old) and it still produces olives today. (see photo below) (GPS: 35.486804, 23.786829 )

- Four to five centimeters every year brings Crete closer to Africa,
   which, according to geologists, means that in about 5 to 6 million years
   the island will be united with the African coast.


Contact Details

    • Orpheas Resort

    • Kavros, Gergiopoupolis, 73007, Crete, Greece
    • Tel: +30 28250 61218
    • Fax: +30 28250 61007
    • Email:
    • ΜΗ.Τ.Ε. 1042K014A0172200





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