Crete is normally described as 150 to 160 miles long and anything from 15 to 50 miles north to south. Very mountainous, highest being Psiloritis (ancient Ida) at just over 8000 feet. Main towns are along the north coast, from west to east Chania, Rethymnon, Irakleio (Heraklion, capital, ?170,000 inhabitants of 2003 total Crete population 600,000) and Agios Nikolaos. Main air and sea ports Heraklion and Chania - charter holidays 1 or 2 weeks Easter to end of October. Drive on the right, most road-signs being normally shown in Roman alphabet as well as Greek; some roads still unmade, and potholes can be anywhere. Good swimming on all coasts, at least May to October. Temperature sometimes hits 35 (95) but not much more, cooling in evening. Splendid food, a bit limited in range perhaps; good rose and white wines, cheap retsina (resinated white) an acquired taste; lager; range of spirits including tsikoudia/raki, splendid Greek brandy and of course ouzo. Olives and grapes, but much other seasonal fruit and veg. Magnificent flowers for much of the year, despite seemingly unpromising soil. Petrol slightly cheaper than UK, also many other things; not vastly cheaper, but overall cost of living very appreciably less. Most financial transactions are in cash (euros), so do not rely too much on credit cards.. Little or no English may be spoken outside tourist areas, but people generally are very willing to help.
Some recommended internet information sources - click to see in new window:
explorecrete cretetravel interkriti
Crete-kreta-kriti greecetravel gogreece.
datafox (music) Hans Huisman. Crete's magazine.STIGMES
WEATHER (NB wind data): National Observatory forecasts Poseidon.
PROPERTY: Crete Property Consultants
BOOKS, MAPS, etc.: Hellenic Book Service