Crete is the largest island of Greece. Crete has a long and narrow shape, spanning a total distance of 160 miles across the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of 13 islands comprising the nation of Greece, and goes by other names, including Krete, Kriti, Creta, Kirid and Candia.
Crete classifies as the largest island forming Greece, and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It contains a diverse topography, including tall mountains, low-lying plains, rivers and flatlands. Several mountain ranges form the backbone of Crete. The longest mountain range runs from east to west, and divides into four groups. That range contains Mount Idi, which rises over 8,000 feet and takes the title of the tallest mountain in Greece.
Tall, jagged peaks in the northern region give way to flat grassy plains in the south. Crete's southern region contains small rivers, ponds and natural and artificial lakes. Palm trees and bushes dominate the landscape of southern Crete, while conifers and cedar trees prevail in the east. Crete contains two distinct climates: a temperate area and subtropical zone. It supports a variety of plant and animal life, including numerous wildflowers, small mammals, wild goats and migratory birds. Crete's citizens live in and around the island's three major cities. They welcome visitors, and speak Greek, English, French and German.