The fifth largest island in the Mediterranean (largest in Greece), Crete has 1700 native species of flora, of which 171 (a tenth) are endemic to Crete (meaning that they are found nowhere else). This truly amazing percentage can be attributed both to the long isolation of the island and also to micro-habitats such as gorges and high mountains with many peaks spread throughout the island, and generally rugged terrain not suitable for the kinds of activities that would have otherwise spoiled them, such as intensive agriculture and tourism.
It is mainly flora and bird life that are exceptional in these habitats, the most special birds found at high altitudes, and the most exceptional plants found in the gorges, of which there are dozens on the island. The best known of the latter is the Samaria Gorge, which attracts thousands of hikers every year, though many are equally interesting. Though the nature of Crete has been severely impacted during recent decades by both mass tourism and intensive agriculture, it is still full of wonders.
Crete Greek Island: Intro, Acrotiri Peninsula, Gramvoussa and Geroskinos peninsula, Imbros Gorge, The Kedros Massif, Lake Aghia, Lake Georgopoulos, The Lassithi Plateau and Dikti Mountains, Perivolakia Gorge, Phaistos, Psiloritis Mts., Rhodopi Penisnsula, Samaria Gorge, the South coast glance, Via Peninsula, The White Mountains, Zakros Gorge.