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The inhabitants of Crete belong to the so called Mediterranean type.

The population is mainly concentrated in the six large towns on the island - the capitals of the four prefectures, Ierapetra and Sitia - and employed in trade, handicrafts, tourism and the like. The remainder of its inhabitants are principally engaged in farming and livestock raising.

Nearly all Cretans, but above all those who live in the market towns and the villages, maintain time-honored customs and manners.

In the countryside one encounters many elderly Cretan men dressed in the traditional outfit (baggy trousers and head-scarf).

Women, on the other hand, no longer wear their splendidly embroidered traditional costumes, although they do continue to weave folk embroideries distinguished for their decorative wealth and colorful compositions.

In Crete, more than any other region of Greece, familial and kinship bonds remain close, and Cretan hospitality is renowned.

Many other traditions are also preserved, such as the music, which is played on the ancient Cretan lyra (a three-stringed instrument), the dances (pendozalis, chaniotikos, ortses, siteiakos, malevyzytikos and sousta) and the songs called mandinades.

The Cretans are famous for their indomitable spirit and their love of freedom and independence. That is why they played a leading role in all the struggles of the Greek nation, writing brilliant pages of heroic history.

Those who travel to the towns and villages of Crete will come to know the outstanding beauty of its people.




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