Thinking about a Greek Island holiday this year? Holidaymakers love these exciting islands for their sunshine, history and warm-hearted people: why should you miss out? With 650 miles of gorgeous coastline, Crete is the biggest of all the Greek islands, as well as one of the most historic – it’s a great choice. It is as relaxing and entertaining a destination as you are likely to find anywhere in the world. Here are some top Crete holiday tips:
Crete is well known for giving its guests a warm welcome. Whether you travel to one of the highly developed tourist areas on the island or to a more secluded spot, you will find that the people of Crete take hospitality seriously. The summer season in Crete begins in early April and ends in October, giving you plenty of booking flexibility. You will get great prices for early bookings, with a wide range of operators flying to the island’s Heraklion and Chania airports.
As well as a stunningly beautiful coastline, Crete has a rugged and mountainous interior and over 3000 caves. Although it is a relatively dry environment, Crete is also home to many plant and animal species. The island is great for hiking, with the highest mountain Psiloritis soaring up 2456 metres above sea level. If hiking (or even cycling) sounds like too much effort, rest assured you can easily spend your quality time by the beach. The sands at Rethymnon have a lovely family atmosphere, whereas the Lassithi beaches offer the promise of sunbathing and shopping in equal measure. Anywhere you stay on Crete you will never be too far from the sea.
Crete’s history dates back around 4,000 years – many experts believe it was the birthplace of western civilisation. As such, the Minoan people who lived on the island long ago are commonly called the first Europeans. Built at the height of the Minoan civilisation, the Palace of Knossos, just outside Heraklion, is a must-see. Filled with incredible frescoes and ceramics, the palace is the second most visited landmark in Greece after the Acropolis in Athens. Visit the Historical Museum of Crete to see ancient artefacts from across the island’s history.
Nicknamed Megalónisos – the ‘Great Island’ – Crete has its own distinctive culture and style. Enjoy your trip!