Beauty, beaches and fascinating remains
Majestic Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and attracts a quarter of all Greece’s tourists. As well as glorious beaches, the island boasts impressive mountains, wonderful gorges, picturesque villages and exquisite historical remains. As the island is 260km by 60km visitors can choose to either spend time amongst other holidaymakers or far away from the madding crowds. In general, the north coast is busier and more touristic than the south. Choose the vibrant resorts of Hersonissos and Malia for great nightlife. City lovers should head to the capital, Heraklion for an afternoon spent among the bustle of shops and cafes. Crete was once the centre of the Minoan civilization and the remains of the palaces and tombs are enchanting. The island’s landscape and beauty is breathtaking and time spent exploring its many wonders is time well spent.
Go for the beautiful scenery, the walks in the interior of the island, the beaches, awe inspiring Minoan remains, the warm hospitality, the wonderful traditional Cretan music, and the healthy, delicious local food. Whether you’re looking for a lively beach holiday or gentle relaxation, Crete has it all.
When to Go?
Crete enjoys a wonderful climate, with long hot summers with temperatures around 28°C and mild winters with temperatures around 16°C. July and August are the busiest months. May/June and September/October are good times to visit Crete when it’s not too crowded, the weather is good, and flights are widely available. In winter Crete is quite a different place, and this is when you can experience the island without tourists.
How to get there?
From April to October direct flights operate to Chania (CHQ) from London Gatwick and Manchester. In the winter, direct flights to Crete are limited. Crete has two airports: Chania (CHQ) and Heraklion (HER). Heraklion is the main gateway to Crete and has many more inbound flights than Chania. Flights take around 4 hours from London to Crete.
The ruins of the Minoan civilization of Knossus and the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion are a must-see for any visitor to Crete. If you have bags of energy, walk the Samaria Gorge. The 14km gorge descends through stunning scenery; a wonderful experience for all travellers. For a slightly less energetic hike try the Zakros Gorge; this can be walked in less time. For Crete’s best beach take a stroll from Sitea to find the palm tree lined sandy beach of Vai. It’s an idyllic location worth the effort of getting there.