Where to eat
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Little Story of Crete
The earliest references to the island of Crete come from texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, where the island is referred to as Kaptara. This is repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible (Caphtor). It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu or kftı͗w, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island.
The current name “Crete” is first attested in the 15th century BC in Mycenaean Greek texts, written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te (*Krētes; later Greek: Κρῆτες [krɛː.tes], plural of Κρής [krɛːs] and ke-re-si-jo (*Krēsijos; later Greek: Κρήσιος [krέːsios], “Cretan”). In Ancient Greek, the name Crete (Κρήτη) first appears in Homer’s Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word *kursatta (cf. kursawar “island”, kursattar “cutting, sliver”).
In Latin, the name of the island became Creta. The original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš (Arabic: اقريطش < (της) Κρήτης), but after the Emirate of Crete’s establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq (modern Iraklion), both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ (Chandax) or Χάνδακας (Chandakas), which gave Latin, Italian, and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit (كريت).
Is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea. Crete rests approximately 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland. It has an area of 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq mi) and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi).