Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and is the largest of the Greek islands. It stands at the crossroads of the three known continents of the ancient world and due to its strategic position it has been coveted by every foreign invader from the Romans in 67BC to the Germans in 1941, including the long periods of Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Turkish occupations.
The ancient Greeks called it "The Great Island" and they were right. It is one of the most important, if not the most important, island in the eastern Mediterranean and its history is long, eventful and awesome. Crete has been the "melting pot" for civilisation with many layers of history and differing cultures - a realm of nature's wonders with "real" people who still regard themselves firstly as Cretans and then as Greeks. Their unique character embodies their heroic spirit of independence. They cherish their ancient customs and philoxenía (the generosity to strangers) is still a matter of tradition and pride.
"I first visited Crete in 1973 on a study tour with the famous Sir Mortimer Wheeler and since then I returned each year at every opportunity. I love Crete! The history, climate, vegetation, ever-changing scenery, food, wine and most of all - the people. Despite numerous study tours to Egypt and many other European and Middle Eastern countries, Crete, like a magnet, has continuously drawn me back and I now live most of each year on the island. Since 1989 I have been involved in escorting groups of people around Crete on "Discovery Tours" and consequently have acquired a substantial knowledge of the island; its history and the lesser known "off the beaten track" places of interest and beauty. Over the last 33 years I have built up a strong empathy with the Cretan people and their culture and I now have many Cretan and philhellene friends who provide valuable information and help in searching out other hidden places and new ideas".
Tony Fennymore F.R.I.C.S.,F.R.G.S.
(Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society)
E.E.A. approved tour guide/manager.
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