Crete/Plakias

With length of 260km and a width of 60km, Crete is the largest island of Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, having the Cretan Sea on the north coast and the Libyan Sea in the south.

The island has approximately 630,000 inhabitants and is divided into four prefectures – Chania, Rethymno, Heraklio and Lassithi. Each of them is different with its own charm.

Chania (60,000 inhabitants) is the capital of Chania Prefecture, the part of the island with most rainfalls and vegetation which makes it ideal for nature and outdoor sports lovers. A blend of tradition and modern lifestyle, Chania caters for all types of tourists and offers a wide range of natural attractions, stunning beaches, as well as a well-developed tourist infrastructure.

Rethymno (25,000 inhabitants), 60km east of Chania, is the capital of Rethymno Prefecture which is the most scenic region of Crete with superb tourist infrastructure. It is an ideal destination for relaxing holidays, as it offers an extraordinary variety of natural features, including spectacular beaches with crystal-clear waters, mountains, gorges, caves and rivers.

Heraklio (120,000 inhabitants), 80km east of Rethymno, is the largest city in Crete, the fifth largest in Greece and the commercial centre of the island, Heraklio Prefecture is the largest and most visited area in Crete due its abundance of historical monuments and archaeological sites, traditional villages, fabulous beaches, a vibrant nightlife, as well as excellent tourist and conference infrastructure making it popular for conventions and events.

Agios Nikolaos (8,500 inhabitants), 66km east of Heraklio, is the capital of Lassithi Prefecture. It is the easternmost prefecture of Crete and famous for its excellent climate with very low humidity, its marvelous historical sites, its charming traditional villages with friendly locals and its impressive natural attractions, such as the palm tree forest of Vai which is unique in Europe.

 


Crete’s Economy

Crete’s economy is based mainly on tourism due its soft climate, beautiful landscape, cultural attractions, hospitality of its residents, excellent tourist facilities and easy access, as well as on agriculture and stock breeding due to the climate of the island.

Crete produces mainly olives and olive oil, raisins, fruits (especially grapes and oranges), horticultural products, honey, wine (20% of Greece’s production) and aromatic herbs – all good quality products many of which are exported, mainly to the European market.

Crete has two main ports, the port of Heraklio and the port of Souda (Chania), and two smaller ones in Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos, all of which connect Crete to the mainland, other islands and neighbor countries.

There are two international airports, one in Heraklion and one in Chania, with an abundance of domestic and direct charter flights to many European cities, as well as a smaller one in Sitia for local flights.

The island also has an extensive bus network and a highway on the north coast from East to West and many vertical roads to the south.

The tourist infrastructure is highly developed and includes anything a visitor might need for their stay on the island, all types of accommodation, restaurants and taverns with local and international kitchen and places entertainment, many festivals and concerts during the year, especially in the summer, wide network of travel agencies for car or bike rental, water sport facilities, trips to the mainland and to secluded beaches etc.

The island has an excellent climate, mild Mediterranean with long hot dry summers with frequent cool sea breezes and short mild rainy winters with many days of sunshine, as well as an exceptionally rich flora and fauna.

 

Plakias

Plakias is a splendid resort that is located between two gorges of Koyrtalioti and Kotsifou. The visitor can enjoy swimming in one of the longest beaches of south Crete with clear blue waters or can visit (by car or on foot) beaches as Damnoni, Ammoudi, Souda, Shinaria and the famous beach of Preveli with the lake and the palms and the monastery of Prevelis which is nearby Plakias.

In addition, for the lovers of nature, the area gives the possibility of several walks in many nearby villages such as Sellia, Myrthios, Mariou, Leykogia, monastery of Preveli and Kotsyfou gorge in which you will find a wide variety of wildflowers.

In the evening you can enjoy your food in a familiar and beautiful environment in one of the taverns of Plakias or even in those that are in the villages around. Late at night you can have a drink in the night clubs which are around the region.


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