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Explore the Island of Crete with NAVIGON

Greece’s biggest island Crete is one the most beautiful places for summer holidays. NAVIGON City Highlights in July guide you to a historical and joyful journey to explore the multiple facets of Crete.

Hamburg, 20 July 2011 –Crete is one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations with an exquisite 1,000 kilometre long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas. Yet the island offers more than fine sandy beaches along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, as it is the birthplace of the Minoan civilization.

NAVIGON_Cityhighlights_CreteThe Minoan civilization, which can be allocated in the Bronze Age, arose on the island of Crete. Its prosperity unfolded from 2700 BC to 1500 BC. Not until the 20th century AD the British archaeologist Arthur Evans rediscovered the historical site of Crete. According to Greek mythology the Minoan Civilization was named after King Minos, son of Zeus and Europa. The King of Crete built a labyrinth where he held the Minotaur, a creature half men and half bull. Every year Minos forced 7 men and 7 women to find their death in the labyrinth as prey for the Minotaur. Still today the archaeological palaces of Knossos and Phaistos symbolize the historical relevance of the island that attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Medieval cities with Mediterranean food and Cretan mantinades

Crete is divided into four prefectures with four capital cities, each with its own special characteristic features. Knossos lies in the north of Crete, five kilometres southeast of Heraklion, in the valley of the river Kairatos. The Minoan Palace of Phaistos is located in the Messara Plain in the south of Crete and is one of the most important archaeological sites of the island. Phaistos used to be a flourishing city that arose in the fertile plain of the Messara in prehistoric times. An earthquake destroyed the place, during the Late Bronze Age but the city and the palace were reconstructed. Its remains can still be visited today.

Chania is one of the island’s most beautiful cities, with the old Venetian castle and the labyrinthine alleyways, which is located in the northwest of Crete and the capital of Chania Prefecture. The municipal market in the centre of the town is the entrance to the old town and the old Venetian harbour. In each part of the city you can find traditional restaurants with delicious Cretan food and live music (, but the Venetian harbour is the centre of day and night life in Chania. Another cultural side of Crete can be found in the old Turkish mosque Yali Tzami, meaning “seaside mosque”, near the Castle in the Venetian harbour. The mosque is now used for art exhibitions. During July and August there are numerous painting exhibitions like "Animal paintings in canvas” from 18 until 25 July 2011. The Castle of Chania is one of the city’s main sights where you can attend several music and cultural events during summer time.

Crete is also legendary for its food. The traditional diet of Crete is one of the healthiest diets of the world, including ingredients like virgin olive oil, vegetables, cheese and fresh fish. So don’t miss to visit one of the numerous Cretan restaurants, like the “36 Vineria” in the old Venetian harbour. Sometimes a delicious dinner ends with traditional local music or a short Cretan Mantinada coming from people sitting next to your place. Mantinades are the most common form of folk songs and are very popular across Crete.

Renaissance and Crazy rivers

This year the centre of cultural events in Crete is the city of Rethymnon. With its "24th Renaissance Festival" (July until the end of August) the city invites all in an interesting route through the past, full of music, theatrical expression and motion. In the heart of the summer, Rethymnon greets famous vocal ensembles, like the “Romeo & Juliet Choir” as well as theatrical groups from all over the world. Enjoy the famous “The Merchant of Venice” at the Erofili Theater up at the Forteza Castel in the summer moonlight (

If you want to explore another joyful side of Crete during summertime, you can visit one of the big water parks, like the Star Beach Water Park (, which you can find all over Crete. “Crazy rivers”, amazing water falls, panoramic giant water slides but also pool bars, Jacuzzi and relaxing areas offer endless great time for all the ages.

Altogether about 30 places of interest can be found in the Crete City Highlights. The NAVIGON City Highlights series includes many European cities. The POI list can be downloaded free of charge from The NAVIGON City Highlights from previous months are also available there.

Please find further information regarding NAVIGON online or contact us directly: and Corresponding image material can be found in the NAVIGON press portal: (Username: presse; password: navigonmedia).

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Since its establishment in 1991 the NAVIGON AG has become one of the world-leading manufacturers of modern navigation systems. The slogan for the anniversary year is phrased accordingly “20 years of NAVIGON - innovations from Germany”. With own portable navigation devices and thanks to successful partnerships in the consumer electronics and mobile phone service sector the company stands for high-quality GPS navigation for PNDs and smartphones. NAVIGON develops software-solutions for all relevant operating systems. Furthermore the company offers professional navigation solutions such as driver assistance components for the automotive OEM market. NAVIGON operates worldwide and in addition to the German headquarters has subsidiaries in Asia, Europe and North America. - NAVIGON. And the world is yours.

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