Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean with an area of 3,218 sq. mi. [8,335 sq. km.] — it is about one-third the size of New Hampshire. The island of Crete is 160 mi. [257 km.] long (east-west axis) and its width varies from 7.5 to 37 mi. [12 to 60 km.]. It has over [1,000 km.] of coastline—composed of sandy beaches and rocky shores. Today, about 600,000 people live on Crete primarily in the major towns of Iraklion, Hania, and Rethymno. Crete is a mountainous island with its highest peak reaching an elevation of 8,057 ft. [2,455 m.].
It is the home of many Greek legends, and its Minoan sites (2000-1100 B.C.) are justly famous.
The apostle Paul made an unexpected stop in Crete, at Fair Havens on its southern coast, as he was traveling as a prisoner by ship to Rome (Acts 27:8).
Acts 27:7-16 Coming from the east [right side of map] “… we sailed to the lee of Crete opposite Salmone … and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea … after the fast [Day of Atonement in late September] … the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there … so they weighed anchor and sailed along the [southern] shore of Crete … the ship was caught by the storm … we passed to the lee [south] of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure.” (NIV translation) This portion of the journey eventually ended with a shipwreck near the island of Malta.
One of Paul’s associates, Titus, ministered on Crete (Titus 1:5) and a church in Gortyna preserves this memory. The Titus 1:5 passage implies that Paul and Titus had ministered together on Crete, but this ministry is not recorded in Acts.