Crete transliteration Krētē, modern transliteration Kriti) is one of the thirteen peripheries of Greece. It is also the largest of the Greek islands at 8,336 km² (3,219 square miles) and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean.
Crete is a location of significant ancient history and a popular tourist destination; its attractions include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, the Venetian castle at Rethymno, and the Samaria Gorge, as well as many other natural sites, monuments, and beaches. Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilization (ca. 2600–1400 BC), the oldest form of Greek and hence European civilization. For centuries it was known by its Italian name Candia, from the medieval name of its capital Heraklion, Chandax (Greek: Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, "moat"). In Classical Latin it was called Creta and in Turkish Kandiye or Girit.