Crete: Land of Fairytales

Everywhere on Crete, the unexpected lies in wait. Plants and animals not found anywhere else live here, or once did. A spiny mouse, an endemic (indigenous) shrew, wild coats, now extinct dwarf elephants, dwarf hippopotamuses, pygmy and giant deer are just of the island’s curiosities. On Crete, contrasts witch differentiate entire continents are to be found within distances of a few kilometers, or at sites with an altitude difference of a few hundred meters. Let us not forget, then, that Crete is its mountains: Lefka Ori, Psiloritis, the Asterousia, Dhikti, the Siteia Mountains. These five massifs are the links in a chain extending from Gramvousa Peninsula in the west to Cape Sidhero at the easternmost tip. Hazy in the morning mist or the scorching heat of midday, their massive silhouette is the first thing encountered by travelers arriving at the island from the sea. White in winter and spring, parched and bare from summer to autumn.