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Crete
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Crete

This article is about the Greek island of Crete. For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation).

Crete, sometimes spelled Krete (Greek Κρήτη / Kriti) is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the Greek island closest to North Africa.

It has an area of 8,300 square kilometres, a coastline of 1,040 kilometres, and a population of over 500,000. It consists of four prefectures: Chania, Rethimno, Heraklion and Lasithi. It has three significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, military airport Daskalogiannis at Chania and the new Public Airport (will open not before mid 2005) in Sitia. Among its principal cities are Heraklion (Iraklion), Chania, Rethimno, Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra, Sitia.

Tourist attractions in Crete include archeological sites at Knossos, Phaistos, Gortys and many other places, the Venetian castle in Rethimno, the Samaria Gorge and many other minor gorges (Agia Irini, Aradena, etc). Spinalonga ex-fort and Leper colony is the most visited Cretan site. It is located at Plaka, Elounda.

Crete was the location of Minoan civilization (3000-1400 BC) one of the first civilizations in Europe.

See also

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