situation of Crete in Greece
Hafen von Sitia - Ostkreta
port of Sitia - east Crete
Agios Nikolaos
of agio Nikolaos

Crete (Greek Κρήτη, Kriti) is the largest Greek island and with 8.331, 231 km ² surface as well as 1,040 km coastal line the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean. Ita length of 260 km has and is 12 to 60 km broad. The island Gavdos, on which only few inhabitants live, lying before the kretischen southwest coast, marks the southernmost inhabited point of Europe. Crete has altogether 600,159 inhabitants (conditions2001). Administrative and economic center of Crete are Iráklion (or German Heraklion) with officially approx. 140,000 inhabitants at the same time the largest city of Crete.

Table of contents

political arrangement

Prefekturen und deren Hauptorte
Prefekturen and their principal place

the administrative region Crete is in four prefectures (nomi, Sg. nomos) divided, those again in altogether 20 Eparchien (districts, eparchies, Sg. eparchia) arrangedare.

Prefecture administrative seat number of inhabitants
Chania Chania 148,163 Apokoronas, Kisamos, Kydonia,
Selino, Sfakia
Rethymnon Rethymnon 81,781 of agio Vasilios, Amari,
Milopotamos, Rethymnon
Iraklion Iraklion 295,312 Kainourio, Malevizi, Monofatsi, Pediada,
Pirgiotisa, Temenos, Viannos
leaving agio Nikolaos 75,903 Ierapetra, leaving,
Mirabelo, Sitia
entirely Iraklion 600,159

economics and infrastructure

main industry is the tourism. The island becomes agricultural particularly for wine -, olives- and cultivation of fruit used. A large part of the kretischen viticulture serves the production of raisins. The few levels of Crete in the southeast, the Lassithi Hochebene as well as the measuring era are coined/shaped of numerous greenhouse cultures, in those vegetables and salads both for thatInternal requirement and for the export to be cultivated. The island belonged to largest olive oil export your the European union, end of the 1990er years grew on 44 per cent of the agriculturally used surface approximately 16 million oil trees. With Kavousi in northeast Creteone of the oldest Olivenbäume of the world stands. From its branches the branches of olive were cut, which were put on to the sportsmen during the olympic plays 2004 in Athens.

Crete possesses three airports in the cities Heraklion, Chania and Sitia, about whatSitia is only national approached. Driving connections there are particularly after jetty from (Athens), all year round also after Thessaloniki, Santorin, Karpathos, Rhodos or to the season also from Kastelli Kisamos after Gythion on the Peloponnes. Most important publicMeans of transport of the island are the bus traffic of the national society KTEL. The road system was particularly developed since the European Union entry of Greece fully. A railway line does not give it.

illegal arms traffic

A large problem on Crete is the old tradition,To possess weapons. About half of the illegal weapons in Greece on Crete are assumed. Particularly in remote mountain villages becomes the danger for the right state: Some villages are of gangs occupied, there prevail absolute Rechtslosigkeit. Even the policeis powerless against it.

Web on the left of with resuming information:


see: History of Crete, Minoi culture, Crete name research


the island becomes from numerousMountain massifs pulled through, which drop flat to the south coast steeply, to the north. In the east, which is drier and stonier than the remaining part of the island, the somewhat lower mountains are appropriate, like those for maximally 1,500 m high Thripti - mountains. Those the islandfull length pulling through mountain range divides into three mountains. In the west the white mountains, to Lefka Ori or Madáres , are Greek which represents the largest mountains of the island with a multiplicity of summits over 2,000 meters. Init is the highest summit of the Pachnes with 2.453 M. The IDA mountains and the Psiloritis massif with the mountain of the island highest with 2.456 m follow, the Timeos Stavros. In the east with the Dikti massif and the Hochebene of leaving the Dikti with 2.148 m is the highest collection. The mountain courses in the east are locked by those maximally 1,500 m high Thripti - mountains. South the Psiloritis is the measuring era level, with approximately 140 km ² the largest and most fruitful levelthe island, which is intensively agriculturally used.

Fischerdorf Lentas an der Südküste
Fishing village Lentas at the south coast


on the island prevails an even Mediterranean climate. Crete is with its approx. 300 days sunshine per year as well as Cyprus the sunniest islandin the Mediterranean area. The summer is hot and drying, whereby on the south coast very high temperatures are based in particular. The winter is heavy-rainfall and mild, the high situations of the mountain courses is snow-rich. Crete is coined/shaped by several climate zones. Of drying-hot zones toto damp-alpine the span is enough.

The average values from Iraklion (north coast):

Month January February Mär April May June July August September October November December
maximum 16 °C 16 °C 17 °C 20 °C 24 °C 28 °C 29 °C 29 °C 27 °C 24 °C 21 °C 17 °C
Durchschnittl. Daily temp. 12 °C 13 °C 14 °C 17 °C 20 °C 24 °C 26 °C 26 °C 24 °C 20 °C 17 °C 14 °C
water temp. 16 °C 15 °C 16 °C 17 °C 19 °C 22 °C 24 °C 25 °C 24 °C 23 °C 20 °C 17 °C
rain days 14 11 8 6 3 1 0 0 2 6 8 9


Kreta-Aronstab im Frühling
Crete aero staff in spring

Despite settling lasting for thousands of years and summer dryness the kretische fauna is very species-rich, then here alone about 140 endemic Pfanzenarten prosper. Particularly in spring the high number of different flowers falls in the eye. The west and the center of the island are also Aleppo Kiefern, residues of Zedern and stone oaks part-wooded, the east however ranks among the most meager and driest regions of Europe. There only the resistant and drainage-resistant shrub-like Phrygana grows beside the cultivated oil trees and Johannisbrotbäumen. Those is endemic Kreti Dattelpalme (lat. Phoenix theophrastii), which seems to the south coast at some locations and in the extreme east at the palm beach of Vai. For the island the occurrence of numerous herbs is typical such as Oregano, Thymian, Rosmarin or Diktam, of themSpreading into the high situations of the mountain courses is enough.


the kretische fauna is relatively kind-poor compared to its plant world. Typical and frequent representatives of the Mittelmeerfauna are crickets, cicadas, lizards and bats. Those becomes apparentAnimal world dominated of most diverse races of domestizierter goats and sheep from the sea into the high mountain regions feast. Also the high number of halbverwildeter dogs and cats is remarkable.


game goat

the very rare endemic Kreti mountain goat (Agrimi or Kri Kri) occurs only to natural locations in the white mountains (Lefka Ori). Already since 1928 , a part of the existence is tried on uninhabited rock islands removal-simmers (e.g. after dia., convenient directly before Iraklion).

Frequently occurring mammals on Crete are the Crete prick mouse, the Etrusker Spitzmaus and twelve different bat - kinds. By Pestizid employment threatened the white chest hedgehog became, by excessive Bejagung rare the kretische field hare. At further kinds living in the wild land mammals are stillthe Steinmarder, the mouse weasel, which and which represents kretische Dachs, of which - one goes still existing high population from the number of practice-experienced copies at the roadside out seems. 1996 became surprisingly still another copythe kretische game cat imprisoned, which was considered up to then as become extinct. Likewise strongly in their existence threatened is the Mediterranean among other things monk seal, from those last copies still with the Paximadia - islands and at the coasts of southeast Crete to live are.

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apart from the kinds of bird domestic on Crete the island serves many European migratory birds as intermediate accomodation. Some kinds orient themselves in their air lane at the process of certain ravines.

In separated mountain regions and ravines the few still received pairs of the lamb vulture breed, a subspecies anzuzutreffende on Crete. Other kinds of grab bird are the beard vultures in the Lefka Ori, the goose vultures in the area of Malia and agio Nikolaos as well as fish eagle at the south coast around Lentas.

reptiles and amphibians

beside different Kinds of lizard and innocuous queues are there also a poisonous kind of queue on Crete. It is the Katzennatter, however it is harmless for humans, since its poison teeth lie so deeply in the throat that they can be used only against their booty.Most frequent kinds of lizard are the giant emerald lizard and the much smaller wall lizard. Besides there are some Gecko kinds, roll-kinks and only to the 1930er years discovered European Chamäleon. When navy kind must the strongly threatened Karettschildkröte is mentioned,which some kretische beaches (among other thingsMatala, Komos) to the oviposition uses.

As representatives of the amphibians the Laubfrosch , the sea-frog and the change toad in areas with standing or flowing waters are to be found.

Gliederfüssler and soft animals

Fresh water cancer at a highway with Asomatos

only the trunk of the Gliederfüssler, above all insects, Arachnids and Hundertfüsser is species-richly represented. Also scorpios are to be found relatively frequent, both in sea proximity and in the interior: Caution when raising stonesor with the grasp in rock columns is quite attached. The passes are not deadly, but very painful.Crickets and cicadas are so frequent that make its abendliches stridulation a maintenance in the free one on for places make impossible can.

In some all year roundflowing sources or brooks live still fresh water of cancers, which can be found with their migrations from waters to waters also in the dry one.

Particularly in the spring the large number of housing snails is remarkably, their edible kinds suitable the vorösterlichenChamfering time the bill of fare of the inhabitants enrich.

population and culture


the number of inhabitants of Crete amount to scarce over 600.000 (conditions 2001). On this humans live far over half in the fast growing urbanPopulation centres of Iraklion, Chania, Rethymnon, agio Nikolaos and Ierapetra. The remainder lives in towns among 10.000 inhabitants, in villages or on single yards.


the national language is Greek. Many above all older peoplespeak still the kretischen dialect, which is noticeable also to foreigners without Greek knowledge by the exchange of the “K” by Italian sounding “tsch”. The kretische dialect is coined/shaped more strongly than standard-newGreek by the archaische dorische variant of the Greek one. Its strongest developmentthe dialect experiences in the Sfakia, the formerly separated landscape of the white mountains (Levka Ori).


on Crete minted itself its own direction of the Greek people music. Prevailing instruments are the Lyra (a kind Knee violin) and the Lauto (a form of the sounds). Compared to that of the mainland the music of savages, appears partly nearly drink-like odd numbers of cycles (7/8, 9/8) is frequent. Contemporary representatives are among other things the deceased Nikos Xylouris or its brother Antonis,- Psarandonis admits under the artist name - when style established a kind kretischen speech singing. Sirtaki, although on numerous CDs represented and in many taverns easily, no originally kretische music is.

important persons

Kazantzakis gravein Iraklion
  • El Greco, actually Domenikos Theotokopoulos, painter
  • Epimenides, old-Greek logician
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, writer
  • Elefterios Venizelos, politician
  • Daskalogiannis, resistance fighter
  • Psarandonis, musician
  • Konstantinos Mitsotakis, politician, prime minister of Greece of 1990-1993
  • Vitzentzos Kornaros (Βικέντιος Κορνάρος), writers

objects of interest

archaeological places

Palast von Knossos
palace of Knossos

nature scenes

Spinalonga und Kalidonia
Spinalonga and Kalidonia

other objects of interest

see also


  • Theocharis E. Detorakis: History ofCrete. Heraklion 1997 (extensive historical representation up to the end of the kretischen autonomy. A small conclusion chapter reaches Klaus Gallas up to the German crew
  • .): Crete. Of the beginnings of Europe up to the kreto venezianischen art. 8. Edition. DuMont, Cologne 1995
  • J. Lesley fit clay/tone: The Minoer. 1. Edition. Theiss, Stuttgart 2004 (seizes the up-to-date knowledge conditions to everyday life, agriculture, architecture, religion, economics and society on Crete of approx. 3000 v. Chr. to around 1200 v. Chr. together.)
  • Klaus Modick: The kretische guest.Frankfurt toMain 2003
  • Dagmar is enough, for Monika guard: Travel guide nature Crete. BLV, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-405-15524-X

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Wiktionary: Crete - word origin, synonyms and translations
Commons: Crete - pictures, videos and/or audio files

coordinates: 35° N, 25° O


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