Crete is the largest and most populous island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean by area, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. The capital and largest city is Heraklion.
Crete belongs to the Mediterranean climate zone, which gives it its main climatic character, which is characterized as temperate. Depending on how close it is to the sea, the atmosphere can be quite humid. Winter is mild and wet, with a lot of rain, mainly in the western parts of the island. Snowfall is rare in the lowlands, more frequent in the mountains. In summer, the average temperature is between 28 and 33 degrees Celsius.
Crete is also known for its traditional music, the characteristic instruments of which are primarily the Cretan lyre and the lute, and secondarily the fiddle, the mandolin and the ascomandura, a type of bagpipe.
In addition to the traditional focus on agriculture and livestock, there has been a strong increase in the provision of services mainly related to tourism in recent decades, as Crete is one of the most popular Greek holiday destinations.
There are three airports on the island, in Heraklion, Chania and Sitia. The large ports of these cities also have daily ferry connections to the mainland or other islands.