Crete’s natural beauty is equalled only by the richness of its history.
The island is the birthplace of the first advanced society on European soil, the Minoans, who ruled some 4000 years ago, and you’ll find evocative vestiges all over, including the famous Palace of Knossos.
At the crossroads of three continents, Crete has been coveted and occupied by consecutive invaders.
History imbues Hania and Rethymno, where labyrinthine lanes – laid out by the Venetians – are lorded over by mighty fortresses, and where gorgeously restored Renaissance mansions rub rafters with mosques and Turkish bathhouses.
The Byzantine influence stands in magnificent frescoed chapels, churches and monasteries.