Geography of Crete

General information about the Geography of Crete

north cretan coastCrete with its fertile soil and excellent climate, producing almost half the oil in Greece , almost all of sultanas and large quantities of wine, fruit and vegetables. The livestock, mainly sheep, are also developed. The area is famous for certain quantities of cheese, which is famous and abroad. In Crete there are two of the largest provincial industrial centers of Greece: Heraklion and Chania. They mainly operate agricultural products and processing industries. It is also developed a cottage industry. Workshops operate sewing, weaving, knitting, carpet and lace.

The soil of Crete is in the greatest extent mountainous. In many places it is rocky. There are three major mountain ranges of Crete: the white Mountains, Idi and Dikti. The White Mountains or Lefka Ori located in Western Crete and the highest peak is Pahnes (2,452 m). Idi or Psiloritis occupies the center of the island with tallest peak the Holy Cross (2,456 m). Between Heraklion and Lasithi is Dikti with highest peak (2148 m). At the eastern end of the island stretching the Sitia Mountains. To the south of Heraklion lies the Asterousia Mountains (1231 m)

Two only are the plains of Crete: Chania and Messara. But it has many plateaus. The subsoil of Crete is rich in mineral wealth, iron, lead, talc, magnesium, lignite, sulfur, copper and zinc. There are also precious metals like gold, silver. Many years ago, Crete had thick cypress forests. Main forest trees are pine, oak, cypress and chestnut.

kournas lakeChania: The terrain of Chania is​mountainous and hilly. The exception is the plain of Chania. Further distribution of soil types is as follows: 18% is flat, 19% mountainus and 63% hilly.
In Chania there is one of the highest mountains of the island, the White Mountains or Lefka The highest peak is Pachnes (2,452 m). Located in the S.E part of the county and extends up to the coast. Forming several peaks and plateaus.
The only large plains of the county is that of Chania, which occupies the northern part. Small plains also formed in the southern province of Apokoronas.
In the county are also some smaller plateaux. The most important are, Omalos, Anopoleos, Askifou and Improu.
The county has only small rivers or streams. The most important are, Koleni, Tavronitis, Kalamonitis, Keritis, Therisanos, Kiliaris, Xydes, and Vrissiani Kakodikianos.
The coast of Chania is manifold. Main features are: the Kissamos and Chania bays, the Souda Almyros Sougia and Agia Roumeli coves, and the capes Wuxi, Spando and Drapano.
The White Mountains, especially on the southern slopes are covered with pines. Small forests of chestnut trees found in the western part of the county.
The climate is temperate in the prefecture with many rains. The winter there are snows fall on the White Mountains.

river and bridgeRethymno: The territory of Rethymno is mostly mountainous. In Rethymno is the mountain Ida. Occupies the East and SE part of the county with highest peak the Holy Cross (2,456 m). To the west ending the eastern foothills of the Sierra Mountains of Chania.
There are only some small coastal plains, such as Perivolos and Stavromenos and valleys, as Mylopotamos and St. Vasileios. There are small rivers with many tributaries, which flow into the Cretan Sea. The main ones are: Mouselas, Petres, Rethymnon and Mylopotamos.The shores of the county do not have many coves as the other prefectures of Crete. In the south is formed the bay Plaka and the Gulf of Mesaras.
The forests of the county located in the southern foothills of Mount Ida and consist of oak and charoupies.The climate is temperate with enough moisture in the seaside.

Heraklion: The territory of Heraklion county has the characteristics of the Cretan soil.The only difference is that here formed the great plain of Messara and the plain of Heraklion. In the west of the county there are the secondary peaks of Psiloritis (Ida) and to the east the peaks of Dikti. A branch of Dikti progresses along the coast from the province of Viannou and forms a secondary mountain range, the Asterousia Mountains.
There are two valleys in Heraklion: Messara and Heraklion. These two plains are the most important of Crete.
The major rivers of the county are Giofyros emanating from Psiloritis and empties into the Gulf of Heraklion and Geropotamos springing from Asterousia Mountains and empties into the Gulf of Messara. The main features of the coast of Heraklion are: the Gulf of Messara in SW Cape Stone at the south, Cape Sidon in the SE, Cape Cross to the northwest, the Gulf of Heraklion to the North and the Gulf of Malia on North East.
The climate in Heraklion is Mediterranean with mild winters and cool summers

view to lasithi mountainsLasithi: The soil in Lasithi is hilly and mountainous and there are only two large plains. In the western part of the county rises the mountain of Dikti or Lasithiotika Mountains. The main peaks are the Entichtis (2148 m), Spathi (2140 m) and Psari Madara (2141 m). In the center of the peninsula of Sitia rise the Mountains of Sitia. They are the natural continuation of Dikti There are two large plateaus: the Handra and the Armeni. In prehistoric times the Lassithi plateau was a lake. Lassithi has small rivers, which consists of main streams. The main ones are the Xiropotamos emanating from Dikti, Almyros, the Big River and Antarounitis.
In the town of Aghios Nikolaos is a small lake, which communicates with the sea.
The most important features of the coast of Lassithi is the Cape Saint John, the Spinalonga peninsula, the Gulf of Mirabello, the Sitia bay and the cape Sideros.
In ancient times the mountains of Lassithi were dense forests. Today, however, are very dilute. The climate of the county is Mediterranean, with mild winters and cool summers.