The Shoreline of Crete, Greece – March 26th, 2009
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It has an area of 8,336 km² (3,219 square miles).
It is one of the thirteen peripheries of Greece and a significant part of the country’s economy and cultural heritage. While it retains its own local cultural traits (such as its own music and dialect), Cretans identify themselves as Greeks.
The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west. It has a width of 60 km at its widest, although the island is narrower at certain points, such as in the region close to Ierapetra , where it reaches a width of only 12 km.
The coastline of Crete is 1046 km long. It broahces the Sea of Crete to the North, the Libyan Sea to the South, the Myrtoan Sea to the West, and the Karpathion Sea to the East. It lies approximately 160 km south of the Greek mainland.
Crete is extremely mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from West to East, formed by three different groups of mountains.
These mountains gifted Crete with fertile plateaux, such as Lasithi, Omalos and Nidha; caves, such as Diktaion and Idaion; and gorges, such as the famous Gorge of Samaria.
There are a number of rivers on Crete, including the Ieropotamos River on the southern part of the island.