Crete is the largest of all the islands in Greece and it is thereby also the most populous one. At 8,336 sqkm (3219 sq mi) area, Crete is the fifth largest isand of the Mediterranean sea.
Crete is one of the 13 peripheries of Greece. The 13 peripheries of Greece are the 13 official administrative regions of Greece. Although Crete has very unique identity traits, yet Cretans proudly let themselves to be known as Greeks. The capital city of Crete island is Heraklion, which is also the capital of the Crete periphery.
A travel to Crete is incomplete without being drenched in blue. The rich blue of the Mediterranean has lend its color even to the unique architecture of crete. The white and blue of the Crete architecture creates a sublime oceanic effect on the mind of the backpacking nomad. Be it the sundrenched eastern crete coastline, or the sublime Santorini church of crete, the Mediterranean blue is the color that defines Crete. A travel through this Grecian island will also be a journey through the mysterious charms of the ancient Cretan civilization and the backpacking nomad will find thoughts in abundance to dwell upon. Crete was the center of the historic Minoan civilization, and the archaeological evidence at Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys suggest the grandeur of this ancient civilization. The city of Gortys was also the capital of Crete during the Roman empire.
The native music of Crete is the Mantinades and it is a special Cretan mode of expression. A Mantinada is actually a fifteen syllable rhyming couplet in the Cretan dialect. Each mantinada is a complete expression of the Cretan universe within its perimeter of fifteen syllables. Any Cretan occasion is deemed incomplete without the Cretan Mantinada being sung with or without the Cretan Lyre.
A Cretan does not say in plain words what he feels,
With mantinades he weeps or with laughter he peals!