Crete has something for everyone and is so big its not like an island in the usual sense. In a nut shell Crete has a very developed north coast while its other coasts are less so. The Island consists of 4 prefectures and is geographically the southernmost part of Europe which gives it the longest warm season too. This makes it very popular with tourists and busy when other places are not!
Everyone knows about Minoan civilization, King Minos, the Minotaur, Icarus and his father Deadalus, Ariadne and Theseus and if they don't they can read all about it the Crete section. Crete's major port and big international airport are centered around Heraklion. Its major Minoan tourist attractions are Knossos, the Heraklion Museum and Phaistos. Its has several gorges including the Samaria Gorge which is the longest in Europe and very popular with hikers. Its beach resorts are many and you need two weeks and a car to do Crete properly. Please see the Crete section for more info. There is a huge Crete Guide in the Greek Islands Guide.