Crete, an island of rare beauty that fascinates every demanding traveler. It is the southernmost tip of Europe and at the crossroads of three continents and five seas. It is the meeting point of different peoples, across Europe, Asia and Africa and it is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. It is located in an extremely privileged location, combining a rare composition of geographic and climatic conditions. It consists of four prefectures: Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi. The lti AKS Minoa Palace Hotel, located in Crete’s capital, Heraklion, is an ideal choice for exploring the entire island.
Mythology – History
Archaeological finds on the island of Crete prove the presence of humankind at least 8,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period which was then succeeded by the Minoan period, named after the governor of Knossos, King Minos. This period lasted about 1.500 years and was considered the “Golden Age” of Crete, bringing with it brilliant structures and distinctive architecture that almost reached perfection, since it was during that age when the imposing palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Malia were built, and still stand until this day.
After the fall of Constantinople, many scientists found shelter in Crete, making the island a center for the arts, sciences and literature, inspired by the Italian Renaissance, by the classical aesthetics and the Byzantine characteristics. It was here that the famous icon painter Damaskinos studied together with Domenico Theotokopoulos – El Greco, while some of the most important personalities of Cretan literature of that period were Georgios Hortatsis, writer of the dramatic work ‘Erofili’ and Vincenzos Kornaros, writer of the ‘Erotokritos’. The Cretans are known to have a proud and unyielding soul and still maintain innumerable customs from those times, until this day. Cretan weddings can last up to days while copious amounts of the Cretan local drink, tsikoudia or raki are generously offered during their celebrations.