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Crete is more like a small country than another Greek island. Itís not just Greeceís largest island, but arguably itís most fascinating and diverse. Its remarkable history is evident across the island, from the ruins of the Minoan palace of Knossos to the Venetian fortresses of Rethymo; from old mosques and Byzantine monasteries to the cave that is the legendary birthplace of Zeus. The Venetian port of Hania in Western Crete is one of Greeceís most evocative cities and the capital, Iraklio, is a dynamic city, the fifth largest in Greece.

Crete is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse landscape. Spectacular mountain ranges dotted with caves are sliced by dramatic gorges that spill out to sea. The rugged interior is interspersed with vast plateaus and fertile plains. The east boasts Europeís only palm-tree forest beach and the south coast has some of the most stunning beaches and isolated coves.

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