Crete, cradle of European civilisation

crete

The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea is the largest of the Greek isles and the most populous.

The second largest island in the Mediterranean after Cyprus- Crete is teeming with history. It was once the centre of Minoan civilisation which is recorded as the earliest known European civilisation.

The culture is rich. Known for Mantinades poetry and music, and dances the most notable being the Pentozali. Crete is also rich with archaeological sites such as Knossos and Phaistos and there are also Minoan, Roman, and World War II ruins.

Crete is mountainous and has three different groups of mountains forming part of a range running from east to west. The island is plush with fertile plateaux, valleys, caves, and gorges. The climate is primarily temperate and there is snowfall in the mountains between November and May.

Heraklion is the largest city and capital, with more than a fifth of the island’s 600,000 people.

Crete has a road network larger than that of Britain and is well-served by ferries from the mainland city of Athens.

Crete is a veritable den of flora and fauna not seen anywhere else in Greece or other parts of Europe. There are no large or dangerous mammals or snakes on the island.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON PLACES: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

St. Martin, a double dose of delight

St_maarten
The island of St. Martin in the Caribbean is unique. It is the smallest island in the world that is governed by two sovereign nations.

One side of the island is ruled by the Kingdom of The Netherlands and is called Sint Maarten while the other is governed by France and is known as St. Martin. It is the only land border shared by those two nations anywhere in the world.

The Dutch side’s main city is Phillipsburg while the French side’s capital is Marigot. The island is served by one airport – the Princess Juliana International Airport.

The island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten is hilly and tends to by dry. Like most of the other islands in the Caribbean it has a dry season from December to April and a wet season from June to November.

The Dutch side of the island is quite festive. A cruise ship port sits in Great Bay near Phillipsburg and tourists can enjoy fine restaurants serving French, Chinese, and Indonesian cuisine.

There are also loads of little shops where interesting jewellery and clothing can be purchased. The € is the unit of currency on the French side while the guilder is used on the Dutch side.

The main languages spoken here are English, Dutch, and Papiamento. French is the main language spoken in the other half of the island. Here is like a little slice of France in the Caribbean with exotic boutiques, cafes and patisseries all around the narrow streets. Duty free shopping with high-end brands makes St. Martin very attractive to visitors.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON PLACES: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL