Greece gave the world democracy, Olympic Games and a mythology that single-handedly provided the largest reference to modern psychology. Hence, tourists have found the top 5 reasons to visit Greece. Anyone looking for monuments, history, culture, cuisine and the spectacular landscape is glad to get lost in this part of the Mediterranean.

However, one has no need to tour all over Greece to experience these wonders. In fact, the island of Crete provides the same package within a much smaller geographic coverage. Here are the top 5 reasons to visit Crete:

Healthy Local Cuisine

One of the best reasons to visit Crete has a lot to do with their healthy cuisine. The sight of an 80-year old lady or a 90-year old man foraging for herbs at the nearby forest is nothing unusual for Cretans. The locals make the same sumptuous traditional meals endemic in all of Greece. However, Cretan dish has that organic trademark that seems to unlock the secret of longevity.

Pristine Beaches

The beaches in Greece are renowned for their crystal clear turquoise hue. But what makes the shores of Crete special is that they are far quieter than those in the mainland hosting luxurious Mediterranean cruises. More importantly, Crete boasts the relative absence of sharks.

The Minotaur's Lair

Whether or not the bull-headed anthropomorphic beast was real is beside the point. As far as history is concerned, Crete fostered a civilization that preceded Ancient Greece during the early Bronze Age - and its people have an unhealthy obsession with bovine reverence. The ruins of Knossos are all that is left of Europe's oldest city.

Extreme Hiking Experience

Crete has a number of lush mountains, all of them relatively steep and treacherous. Anyone up for a challenge would learn to appreciate the resilience of Ancient Olympian athletes. Trailing "Europe's longest gorge" (Samaria) is easier said than done.  

Land Of The Free, Home Of The Brave

Cretans are a proud and free people who are not reticent about sharing their ideals to the visitors. One of the most intriguing people in Greece also proved to be one of the bravest. How brave? It took 11 days for Nazi Germany to conquer this island - making the same exact mistake Persians did with the Spartans.