The history of Crete

The Cradle of Europe

"Nowhere in Greece can boast such a long and rich historical and cultural tradition as Crete, stamped as it is by such a distinct character". (Theocharis E. Detorakis: preface to 'History of Crete', 1994)

The geographical position of Crete at the intersection between Asia, Africa and Europe, has attracted the interest of many of the neighbouring peoples. Through trade and shipping, conquest and immigration over thousands of years they all left their traces on the island and even today the influence of many cultures can be felt. Crete is Greek with a little touch of the Middle East and a reminiscence of Italy.

Use the links to the right to learn more about Cretes history.

We have divided our history of Crete into 15 periods of time. Each period marking a significant shift in the historical and cultural events on Crete. There are, however, no universally agreed upon dates for the various periods in the earliest Cretan and Greek history and the periods must be seen as indicative only.

A Timeline of Cretan History