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The Minoans raised cattle , sheep , pigs and goats , and grew wheat , barley , vetch and chickpeas. They also cultivated grapes , figs and olives , and grew poppies for seed and perhaps opium. The Minoans also domesticated bees. Pear , quince , and olive trees were also native. Date palm trees and cats for hunting were imported from Egypt. They may have practiced polyculture , [50] and their varied, healthy diet resulted in a population increase.

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It is one of the most beautiful Greek cities and the cultural capital of Thrace. The city was founded in the 11th century and has an oriental feel to it, which may be due to the fact that the town has a significant Muslim population. Xanthi is a lively town with many bars and cafes, fuelled by a university presence. The narrow stone alleys, reminiscent of Greek islands , lend an eloquent and unique touch of civility to an enclave that was quite a wealthly commercial centre during Ottoman times.

Feb 08,  · U.S. citizens do not have to be residents of Greece to marry in Greece, although if one of the parties is a resident of Greece, he or she must possess a valid residence permit to .

Also known as Finikodassos Palm Forest , this gently curving golden sand beach is backed by Europe’s largest natural palm grove — some densely clustered trees in an oasis fed by a stream — which have stood here for more than 3, years. According to spurious legend, the palms grew from date stones discarded by Saracen pirates and washed up by the sea. They are, in fact, a species of palm Phoenix theophrasti native to much of southern Greece and known to the ancients.

For an exotic Caribbean vibe this gently curving golden sand beach is a popular oasis Credit: Ruslan Gilmanshin – Fotolia Who goes? The palm grove was consequently proclaimed a conservation area and camping forbidden. Today, in high season July to August the beach is packed with predominantly north European tour groups from nearby resorts. More laid-back, independent travellers roll up here from May to June and September to October.

What is there to do? Hire a sunbed and straw umbrella then take to the water with a snorkel. Jet skis and windsurfing equipment are available for rent.

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A valid passport is required but no visa is required for stays under 90 days. Language and Currency The official language of Greece is Greek, but some English is spoken in the tourist areas. Greece has accepted the euro as its formal currency, however you may still see some Greek drachma being traded. US dollars are accepted in the tourist areas. What is Heraklion like? Heraklion is a wonderful medieval city surrounded by modern day civilization.

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Tholos Tombs For centuries the Minoans used Tholos Tombs and sacred caves, along with pithoi and larnakes for burial of their dead. Many Tholos Tombs have been found in Crete dating back to prepalatial times. They were usually round in shape with one short entrance, although tholos tombs rectangular in shape were not unusual, like the ones found in Palekastro, and some were cut into hill sides, while most were free-standing structures.

What has survived to date consists of the foundations or the lower part of the walls, so it is difficult to gauge their height or their shape at the top. It is believed however that many had a flat wood framed roof. The largest tholos tomb is found in Platanos and measures about 13 meters in diameter.

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The Great Palace of Knossos is the largest and most spectacular of all the Minoan palaces, dating from BC, with over 1, rooms. Knossos was the court of the legendary King Minos, whose wife Pasiphae gave birth to the Minotaur, the mythical creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man. The Great Palace of Knossos is also the site of the mythical labyrinth.

Around BC, the Palace and the area around it had a population of around , people!

If history is what you crave, Crete has some of Greece’s best ancient monuments and buildings, and they’re all waiting to be explored. Crete has preserved its history incredibly well, and there are a number of fascinating Greek monuments to be found.

Palace of Knossos Hominids settled in Crete at least , years ago. In the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, under the Minoans , Crete had a highly developed, literate civilization. After a brief period of autonomy — under a provisional Cretan government, it joined the Kingdom of Greece. Prehistoric Crete The first human settlement in Crete dates before , years ago, during the Paleolithic age.

Minoan civilization Crete was the centre of Europe ‘s first advanced civilisation, the Minoan c. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos , Theseus and the Minotaur , passed on orally via poets such as Homer. The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilization.

A number of city states developed in the Archaic period. There was very limited contact with mainland Greece, and Greek historiography shows little interest in Crete, so that there are very few literary sources. During the 6th to 4th centuries BC, Crete was comparatively free from warfare. The Gortyn code 5th century BC is evidence for how codified civil law established a balance between aristocratic power and civil rights.

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It lies at the meeting point of three continents — Europe, Asia and Africa. The total area of Greece is , km2 and consists of three main geographic areas: Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades are some of the famous and popular islands and island clusters in Greece Eighty percent of the country consists of mountains or hills, making Greece one of the most mountainous countries of Europe; furthermore, it has

Culture and etiquette Find out more Essentials Plan ning your trip Books Features In many ways, Greece is a thoroughly integrated European country, and behaviour and social mores differ little from what you may be used to at home.

In winter the belt of low-pressure disturbances moving in from the North Atlantic Ocean shifts southward, bringing with it warm, moist, westerly winds. As the low-pressure areas enter the Aegean region, they may draw in cold air from those eastern regions of the Balkans that, sheltered by the Dinaric mountain system from western influences, are open to climatic extremes emanating from the heart of Eurasia. This icy wind is known as the boreas. Occasionally the warmer sirocco shilok winds are drawn in from the south.

The western climatic influences bring plenty of precipitation to the Ionian coast and the mountains behind it; winter rain starts early, and snow lingers into spring. Few populated areas have lasting snowfalls, but snow is commonly found on the highest peaks. Topography is again a modifying factor: In other regions, such as Crete, the hot, dry summers are accentuated by the parching meltemi, or etesian winds , which become drier as they are drawn southward.

Hidden Trails

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Greece 1. During the summer, the place is swarming with tourists and sadly, the Parthenon is always under construction. Admission is 12 EUR. Visit historic Crete The island of Crete in Greece has a long, long history. It was once home to the ancient Minoan civilization which predates Greek civilization.

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Crete: getting there

Where to Eat in Rethymnon, Crete During my first trip in , I learned a lot about Cretan culture and food is very much a part of it. Recently, I had the chance to explore the beautiful Venetian port city of Rethymnon even more and, yes, I ate very well. So, eat well at these places I suggest in the Old Town and there are a few worth a short drive in Rethymnon region.

Customs and traditions in Greece and the Greek Islands one important aspect of the Greek culture. There are either of a religious character or coming from paganism. Furthermore, most of the traditions and festivals still celebrated today are religious. The Greeks are very superstitious and believe a.

Palace of Knossos In , the paleontologist Gerard Gierlinski discovered fossil footprints left by ancient human relatives 5, , years ago. In the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, under the Minoans , Crete had a highly developed, literate civilisation. After a brief period of independence — under a provisional Cretan government, it joined the Kingdom of Greece. Prehistoric Crete The first human settlement in Crete dates before , years ago, during the Paleolithic age.

Minoan civilisation Crete was the centre of Europe ‘s first advanced civilisation, the Minoan c. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos , Theseus and the Minotaur , passed on orally via poets such as Homer. The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilisation.

A number of city states developed in the Archaic period.

5.7 Million Years Old Unmistakable Human Footprints Found in Greece