It is no coincidence that summer is endless on the largest Greek island - Crete, where the active tourist season begins in April and ends in late October. In fact, Crete itself is the epitome of summer - warm, salty, woven end to end by lace waves. Its shores are azure, its core is fig-like, and its philosophy is Zorbas.
It's not in a hurry here, the motto is leisure, which my restless soul resisted, until the atmosphere of Crete spilled over into me like some magical elixir that banishes all nervousness and opens the senses to the pleasure of doing nothing. Or rather for haste.
Crete, however, is capricious and in return requires you to give him plenty of time, but without rushing. Enjoying every step in the soft sand, every random shade, like an oasis under the hot sun, every involuntary kiss of an olive branch on your shoulder.
This ancient land of salvation in the midst of the sea is home to emerald beaches, sand dunes, rocky peaks, steep slopes, even alpine zones, green mountains, deep gorges, dry land, bubbling rivers, picturesque lakes, Mediterranean mountains, moors, Mediterranean mountains , olive and palm forests. The great geographical "contradictions" and the specific meteorological conditions create the unique and diverse natural features of the island. This diversity favors the development of different ecosystems, significantly increasing the island's biodiversity. And best of all, the people of Crete are adept at protecting their natural resources - 1 / 3 from Crete is protected by entire 53 areas, with restricted and / or regulated access.
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One of the most beautiful lagoons - Balos, is located on the famous Gramvousa Peninsula (Greek: Γραμβούσα). Beauty hides behind a difficult path that ends in nothingness, and after that a steep climb and descent - ie. to enjoy it you have to deserve it. The atypical pink sands of Elafonisi are part of another, no less beautiful lagoon, which is a protected area below 2000 Nature, as well as a microreserve for protection and exploration Androcymbium rechingeri (a very rare Cretan endemic flower, only grows on the island of Elafonissos and on the west coast of Crete, listed in the Greek Red Book as an endangered species.)
Sitia Geopark (Sitia Global Geopark) is located at the easternmost end of Crete and offers an abundance of Pleistocene mammalian fossils (dating from 2.6 million years to 11.700 years). In the year 2015 was added to the UNESCO list of geoparks, Lefka Ori National Reserve (Lefka Ori or White Mountain) it is one of the oldest national reserves in Greece and was declared a park in 1962, and since 1981 it has been included in Global Reserve Network of the Biosphere. In the mountain range are located over 50 beautiful gorges, of which the most famous is Samaria. It is said to be one of the longest in Europe, about 16 km.
It is is the largest natural palm forest in Europe, located in a valley that ends with a breathtaking sandy beach. For many years, Wai's beach has been rewarded annually with the so-called. Blue Flag, confirming that it is one of the most organized and clean beaches of Greece.
Richtis Gorge is a gorge in Lasithi and is a protected park that starts from the traditional village of Exo Mouliana and ends at the secluded Richtis beach. The walkway is about 4 km long. Because of its diverse terrain, flora and fauna, the gorge is considered one of the most diverse tourist experiences in Crete. Lake Kournas (Kournas) is the only freshwater lake on the island of Crete. The lake and its surroundings are protected by 2000 Nature. Samaria Dam is a World Biosphere Reserve, and the Ricci Gorge is protected because of its landscape diversity.
The core of Cretan cuisine it consists mainly of natural foods, while food of animal origin is more peripheral. Seasonal products, with minimal or no processing - fresh and dried fruits, legumes, aromatic wild herbs and cereals, whose cultivation is favored by the regional climate, are typical of the island.
From a historical point of view, Crete has undergone considerable external "intervention". After the Fourth Crusade (1204) and the fall of Byzantium, Crete was sold to the Venetians for 100 silver stamps. The connection with Venice inevitably leads to the intertwining of the Cretan and Venetian cultures, but the Cretans do not lose their Greek Orthodox nature. Later, the island came under Ottoman rule. Interestingly, 1878 was the year in which the Cretan Uprising occurred as an attempt to achieve independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Cultural anthropology, natural resources, and the history of the island distinguish it as a phenomenon - part of Greece, but with its cultural dimensions, with a specific atmosphere and its own unit of time - timelessness.
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