Crete, at 8,260 square kilometers, is the biggest island of Greece and the second biggest of the East Mediterranean after Cyprus. Located at the southernmost part of the country it lays in a crossroad between Europe, Africa and Asia. It is the land where Xenios Zeus was born, the crossroad of seaways and cultures as Arabs, Venetians and Turks passed from here. It is the island of “El Greco,” Nikos Kazantzakis and Eleftherios Venizelos. Crete is a well-developed island that offers a variety of experiences to satisfy all visitors and has some of the best conference facilities in Europe.
Crete is divided into four prefectures; Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, and Lassithi in the east, which contain four of the biggest cities of the island, the homonymous Chania, Rethymno and Heraklion, as well as the capital of Lassithi, Aghios Nikolaos. Other major towns are Siteia, Ierapetra, Mires, Timbaki and Paleochora. Crete is surrounded from the north by the Cretan sea and from south by the Liviko sea.A high mountain range crosses the island from West to East formed by three different groups of mountains. To the West the White Mountains at 2.453 meters, in the middle the mountain of Idi with Psiloritis at 2.456 meters and to the East the mountain of Dikti at 2.148 meters. These mountains gifted Crete with fertile plateaus like Lassithi, Omalos and Nida, caves like Diktaion and Idaion cave, and gorges like the famous Gorge of Samaria.
The climate of Crete is what makes it a popular holiday destination. Crete is characterized by a temperate Mediterranean climate that displays mild winters and dry and hot summers with the temperature ranging from 12 to 26 degrees Celsius and the total annual amount of sunshine is estimated at 245 days a year. However, there are regions that also furnish extremely cold winters and severe snowfalls, namely the central mountainous zone where snow may stay well into June. “Bad weather” days in winter are often interrupted in January and the first fortnight of February with sunny, summer-like days known as ‘Halcyon days.’
The island's warm climate, beautiful landscape and modern infrastructure, as well as the choice of athletic or leisure activities make Crete the ideal hostess not only for traditional tourism but also for big incentives, business meetings and congresses.