Crete island is the largest of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 13 peripheries of Greece.
Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece. Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilization, the oldest Greek civilization. The island is the location of significant ancient history, which provides popular tourist destinations. They include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, the Venetian old city and port of Chania, the Venetian castle at Rethymno and the Samaria Gorge.
Heraklion or Iraklion is the largest city and capital of the island. It is also the fourth largest city in Greece. The city is an important shipping port and ferry dock. Travellers can take ferries and boats from Heraklion to a multitude of destinations including Santorini, Ios island, Paros, Mykonos, and Rhodes. There are also several daily ferries to Piraeus, the port of Athens on mainland Greece.
This Greek island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. Today, the island's tourism infrastructure caters to all tastes, including a very wide range of accommodation; the island's facilities take in large luxury hotels with their complete facilities, swimming pools, sports and recreation, smaller family-owned apartments, camping facilities and others. Visitors reach Crete via two international airports in Heraklion and Chania, or by boat to the main ports of Heraklion, Chania, Rethimno and Agios Nikolaos.