Crete is a land of breathtaking scenery with beautiful sandy beaches and towering snow peaked mountains. It is a lively mix of old and new, traditional villages and modern towns. It may be an island but it is far from small. Stretching approximately 260 km from east to west, it is the largest of all the Greek islands and in fact the 5th largest in the Mediterranean. Getting to and traveling around Crete has never been easier.
ADVANTAGES OF BUYING PROPERTY ON CRETE
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of buying property on Crete, whether as an investment or as a home, is the current cost of properties with prices running considerably lower than other popular Mediterranean countries. When contemplating purchasing property you should consider the market trends and with house prices increasing by between 10 and 20%, depending on the location and type of property, there has never been a better time to buy in Crete. (Source- Buying a Property In Greece magazine) It isn’t only house prices which are lower. The cost of living in Crete is also 30-40% lower than in most northern European countries. The thought of no council tax or even just eating great food in a beautiful setting at a wonderfully affordable price comes as a welcome treat. Buying fresh local produce at one of the many weekly street markets is not only economical but also a sure way to find the best of what is available. Crete has everything to make life happy, healthy and as exciting or peaceful as you want it to be.
Crete is the southern end of Europe, it is the closest European Region to the equator and almost equidistant from mainland Europe (110 km). These geographic characteristics of the island make it so unique . Crete is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean basin. It’s the 13th Region of Greece and is divided into four prefectures. The two biggest cities of Crete, Heraklion and Chania, are also the two main gateways for people and trade.
The Jewel of Crete
Covering the western part of Crete, the jewel for many is Chania. The north area of the county with very welcome seas ends up to 3 peninsulas. Concerning the south side of the island towards the Libyan sea it presents the biggest amount of sunlight in Europe. North, west and south the county is surrounded by sea. The area of Chania, due to its natural beauty and variety of sights, attracts many visitors from all over the world. The city also accepts visitors who are interested in economical activities in the area, as well as scientists and educators, who are interested in historical files, historical monuments and museums or are interested to visit the Technical University of Crete, which is an important research center.
Population and Lifestyle
Crete has a population of approximately 624,000 inhabitants. Its fertile land is perfect for agriculture and produces oranges, avocadoes and bananas as well as succulent tomatoes and cucumbers. Fresh water, scarce on other islands, is plentiful on Crete whether for a cool drink or shower or to keep your garden blooming. Whether you decide to move to Crete fulltime or just plan to spend your holidays here, you can’t but notice the friendliness of the Cretan people who have a word for it philoxenia- which loosely translated means friend of the strangers. The Cretans will do their best to make you feel comfortable in their homeland. The family is central to the Cretan way of life, neighbours look out for each other and the crime rate is low. While Greek is not the easiest language to master, English is taught widely resulting in a surprisingly large number of Cretans who can communicate in English. There are also many opportunities for you to learn Greek.
The climate is relatively mild, Mediterranean. During the fall and winter months north and northwest winds dominate, while in the summer the ill winds make it enjoyable. But the divine gift of the eternal sunshine allows one to start their vacation from March and end it at the end of October. Chania has the largest amount of fresh water in Crete (65%), and for this there is rich vegetation of plants and fruitful trees (citrus trees, olives, vines etc.) as well as semi-tropical plants. The very clean beaches of Chania have a tradition of winning the “blue flags” of Europe and are accessible for all ages throughout the year.
In Crete the earth and its crops have been concurrent with mythology and the ancient gods. The purity of the products, their rich in vitamins content, and their spectacular taste, have been and are for the lovers of healthy food. They are also a subject of study for the scientific community, while their beneficial qualities for the avoidance of heart disease has been proven. The geologic conditions, the cultivating care, and mainly the love for tradition and quality, are the reasons for which Cretan goods have worldwide recognized quality.
A Civilized Heritage
Crete has been inhabited since antiquity and has a lot of archaeological sites, like: Knossos, Phaestos, Mallia and the exhibits of these Minoan ruins can be viewed in the Archaeological Museums of Heraklion and Chania.
Crete is considered as a self-sufficient sanitary region. The structure of health care system in Crete is advanced and has two of the most advanced research hospitals in Greece which have a direct access from the new North Road Axis.
The education level of the region of Crete is already advanced, a foundation built from the University of Crete. This has improved the quality of life of the Cretan population – which more than 70% is English speaking, also their level of productivity and available skills on the island.
The most important road is the National highway which runs the length of the island from East to West Crete.
The air transfer sector of Crete dominates the passengers-visitors transportation in the island. There are three civil airports in the region of Crete.
Crete has developed quite an important port infrastructure. The most important harbour is Heraklion harbour, which facilitates the transportation of goods, vehicles and pasengers. The Souda Bay harbour in Chania, is characterized as a national level harbour with high passenger and commodity activities. It mainly connects Crete with Piraeus harbour in Athens.