Beautiful Africa

Crete

Crete (Greek: ? Kriti; [kriti]) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry, and music). Crete was once the centre of the Minoan civilization (c. 27001420 BC), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. Crete is the largest island in Greece and the second largest in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (after Cyprus). It is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. [edit]Island morphology The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km (160 mi) from east to west, is 60 km (37 mi) at its widest point, and narrows to as little as 12 km (7.5 mi) (close to Ierapetra). Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq mi), with a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi); to the north, it broaches the Sea of Crete (Greek: ? ?); to the south, the Libyan Sea (Greek: ?); in the west, the Myrtoan Sea, and toward the east the Karpathian Sea. It lies approximately 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainlan . [edit]Mountains and valleys Crete is extremely mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,452 m (8,045 ft) The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18N 24.82E 2,456 m (8,058 ft) Kedros 1,777 m (5,830 ft) The Dikti Mountains 2,148 m (7,047 ft) Thripti 1,489 m (4,885 ft) These mountains lavished Crete with valleys, such as Amari valley, fertile plateaus, such as Lasithi plateau, Omalos and Nidha; caves, such as Diktaion and Idaion (the birthplace of the ancient Greek god Zeus); and a number of gorges. [edit]Gorges, rivers, and lakes The island has a number of gorges, such as the gorge of Samaria, Imbros gorge, Kourtaliotiko gorge, Ha gorge, Platania gorge, the Gorge of the Dead (at Kato Zakros, Sitia) and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia.[6][7][8][9] The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, and Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit.[10] Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was formerly a sweetwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi.