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A Crete Travel Guide
The Mediterranean island of Crete is a favorite for Europeans who are looking for a second home, vacation spot or retirement haven. It has year round sunshine and beautiful scenery, and is currently undergoing a development boom. Crete has over 1,000 kilometers of coastline, is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, and is important historically as the home of the Minoan Civilization and has many archaeological remains for visitors to see and explore.

Crete, approximately 160 kilometers south of the Greece mainland, has a population of nearly 650,000 residents, who mostly reside on the north coast of the island. A long mountain chain runs through the island, coming right to the sea along much of the southern coast, where there a number of smaller towns and beaches. The climate is temperate, with summers long and hot and winters mild. During the winter, snow falls in the mountains, and occasionally along the northern side of the island but rarely on the south.

The largest city on the island is Heraklion, with nearly 150,000 residents, followed by Chania, with 54,000 residents and Rethymno. Chania and Rethymno are the most popular destinations for tourists on the western part of the island. On the eastern half, Heraklion is the business and commerce capital of the island, with Agios Nikolaos and Sitia being popular tourist destinations.

In between Heraklion and Rethymno is the small town of Panormos, where a new home development is under construction. Panorma Seafront homes all have sea views, shared or private swimming pools and are located within 50 meters of the sea. Homes here begin at under €70,000 for a 1 bedroom property, while 3 bedroom houses can run over €200,000. This development is a fine example of the type of property available off-plan and nearly new on this idyllic island.

Chania is the major tourist destination on Crete. It has many resorts as well as the scenery and weather that Crete is known for. Chania has some of the best nightlife on the island, in the capital city of Chania Town and at resorts such as Platanias and Paleohora. The Golden Beach is within walking distance of downtown Chania and provides a sandy beach for those who want to stay in this lively city.

The main airport for Crete is Heraklion International Airport, also known as Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport (HER), which serves many UK and European cities with daily, nonstop flights. The other international airport on Crete is Chania International Airport (CHQ), serving the western part of the island. A number of discount airlines fly to both airports, making it a reasonably priced destination. There are also ferries that travel to and from the Greek mainland, often taking an overnight for the trip.


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