Destinations / Greece

The Colors of Crete

“There is a kind of flame in Crete – let us call it “soul” – something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble.”

N. Kazantzakis

During our recent travels to Greece, we were continuously fascinated and in awe of this incredible country. Athens, Santorini, Delphi, and Meteora were everything we imagined. Crete, the birthplace of the mythological Greek God Zeus, went beyond all our expectations. If its beautiful cities, fertile landscape, majestic mountain ranges, deep gorges, and gorgeous beaches weren’t enough, the striking colors gave even more to love. Oh, the colors……..

Our ferry from Santorini arrived late, and we had a long 2-hour drive at night, arriving in Chania at 11 pm. Hungry and worn out, we discovered that Old Town Chania allowed no cars into the city (not sure how we missed that little fact). Many blocks from our hotel, the idea of hauling our luggage down cobblestone streets in search of our hotel at this late hour did not make for the best of moods. Within seconds though, of crossing into Old Town, we were in a trance. Exhaustion soon became awe and excitement. It was love at first sight. Even at that late hour, the colors were amazing. The charm, the character, and the authenticity blew us away. We learned soon enough this was a signature of all we saw in Crete.

Check out our fun facts about Crete Click here

The colors of Crete that we photographed as we traveled across this massive island continuously intrigued us. Even the mountains and farmland seemed brighter and sharper in Crete. There is a beauty there that draws in all your senses. There is a calmness and serenity that is Crete, both in the land and in its people. They embrace life, work hard, but rest well. Proudly Cretans first and Greeks second. They are so very welcoming, engaging, warm, and kind. Especially kind.

This beautiful island, which we felt we barely touched the surface on, was a joy to photograph. The Colors of Crete and the dramatic landscape deserve a gallery of its own to showcase its uniqueness. The photographs themselves tell a story. We hope you enjoy the Colors of Crete as much as we did.

Funs facts about Crete

1. Crete is the largest and most populated island in Greece, with over 634,000 people. It has over 160 miles of beaches.

2. It is believed Crete was the center of the oldest civilizations on earth, the Minoans. The Minoan civilization took place between 2700 to 1420 BC.

3. The landscape of Crete is very mountainous, with the Idi range having a height of 8,058 and the Lefka Ori at the height of 8,045 feet.

4. Crete is 160 miles from Athens and 200 miles north of Africa. Close enough to the oil-rich Rumanian oil fields, it made it of strategic interest to Nazi Germany. The US Navy maintains a base on the island.

5. Crete has two, Elafonissi and Balos, of the ten pink beaches in the world.

6. The Cretan air is reputed to have healing powers and even can perform miracles. This is stated so by the “father of medicine,” Hippocrates.

7. Crete is the birthplace of Zeus. In Greek mythology, the God of Sky and Thunder is said to have been born high in the Cretan mountain.

8. There are olive tree groves throughout the whole island. The Greeks love their olive oil for every purpose you can imagine. An average person in Crete consumes 30 liters a year.

9. The Palace of Knossos has evidence that people lived here up to 9000 years ago. It is believed by some to be the oldest city in Europe.

10. Wild goats can be found everywhere on the island of Crete. There are plenty of species, but the most common is the native mountain Kri-Kri goats.

11. As you drive around Crete, it is the massive gorges that are a frequent sight. There are over 400 beautiful gorges.

12. Crete has expansive grade vineyards and, as a result, has some wonderful wines. It is Greece’s second-largest wine-producing zone.

13. Greek mythological explains why there are not harmful animals of any kind in Crete. In an attempt to please the god Zeus, Hercules drove all harmful animals away from Crete.

14. Many famous people originated from Crete, but a modern-day celebrity has strong Crete roots. Jennifer Aniston’s father was born in Crete before emigrating to the US.

Mural in Crete

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Traveling to Greece? Check out our Greece Travel Guide

Map of the Island of Crete

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We recommend the Crete Official Tourism website for detailed information on planning a trip to Crete

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