10 Crazy and Fun Facts about Crete
Sunny weather, rich culture and delicious food: no wonder Crete is a top holiday destination! Stepping on Cretan soil, breathing the fresh sea air and soaking the abundant sunshine is what I long for months before travelling to Crete.
That exact moment makes my holiday extra special! Whether you are planning to spend your vacation on the island, or thinking of setting off on a Greek island tour, I always believe it’s essential to learn as much as you can about where you are travelling to. Crete’s long history, rich culture, stunning beaches and landmarks all put together make up a great night of Trivia playing! Read on and find out 10 facts about Crete!
Did you know that…
1. Crete has the oldest history throughout Europe? Excavations under the Palace of Knossos have revealed that the first settlements in Crete date back to the 7th Millennium BC. What’s more the island was home to the ancient and powerful Minoans, who thrived on the island since 2700 BC. The Minoans were the first civilisation to introduce sheep, pigs, goats, cattle and dogs to Crete.
2. Zeus, the father of the Greek Mythological Gods, was born in Crete? As legend has it, Zeus’ mother gave birth and hid baby Zeus in a cave on Mountain Ida, to save him from his father Cronos who wanted to eat him up! There is some doubt as to whether baby Zeus was raised by the mythical nymphs or wild animals.
3. The legend of Icarus took place in Crete? According to the myth, the son of Daedalus, Icarus, wanted to fly so he made winds and conquered the sky until he got too close to the sun. The bright Cretan sun melted the wax on his handmade wings leading Icarus to his death. The Icaria Sea is named after the legendary Icarus, the man with wings.
4. Thanks to brave Hercules, all animals in Crete are harmless? According to the legend, in an attempt to honour Zeus and his birthplace, Hercules got rid of all harmful animals walking on Crete.
5. The Minotaur, the mythical monster, lived and breathed in Crete? According to folklore, the human eating monster lived in a labyrinth under the Palace of Knossos. In the 20th century, the remains of the palace were excavated revealing many ancient treasures.
6. Most Cretans own guns? Scared? Don’t be! They don’t go round shooting people if that’s what you think! Crete is one of the safest destinations in the entire world. The guns are fired during celebrations like weddings. It’s part of their tradition, just like the lyra (musical instrument).
7. The famous Hollywood actress, Jennifer Aniston, known as Rachel in Friends is originally from Crete? True fact! Her dad, also a famous actor was born in Crete, before moving to the USA.
8. Crete has healing powers? True fact! Even Hippocrates preached that the island’s air does miracles and heals the sick! He must have known something right, after all Hippocrates is the father of western medicine!
9. Olive trees have blossomed in Crete since ancient times? Studies reveal that olive trees have been growing on the island for thousands and thousands of years! You know what they say right? Practice makes perfect! No matter the Cretan olive oil is such a delicious treat!
10. Crete’s waters are so clear you can enjoy a 40-metre view from above? True fact! Crete’s waters and coastline are the clearest throughout Europe.
No wonder the island is home to the most EU Blue Flag beaches!
So there you have it, a list of ten of Crete’s crazy and fun facts to show off! Happy Cretan Holidays everyone!