Greece's largest island, Crete is renowned for its large sandy pebble beaches, magnificent rocky coastline, and historical ruins. There is plenty to see and do here, from a trip to the ancient ruins of Minoan Palace of Knossos to the various watersports that can be found from the many beautiful beaches.
So whether you venture into the city for a traditional tourist feel or drift into the villages for a more authentic Cretan vibe, you are bound to have an amazing time.
Due to its southerly location, Crete has the mildest climate in Greece, with a summer season that lasts for six months and more than 2800 hours of sunshine a year. The hottest months are July and August where temperatures are often in the high-eighties and even into the nineties.
Out and About
Once home to Mythical characters and legendary Kings, Crete has now become one of the best destinations for stunning countryside, beautiful beaches and a great range of attractions and outdoor activities.
Among the many archaeological sites is the ancient Minoan Palace of Knossos which was the legendary home of King Minos and the source of the tale of Theseus who slew the minotaur, half man, half bull in the labyrinth. Whilst you are there, have your photograph taken next to the statue of the bull's horns.
Some amazing artifacts can be found in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, it is a great way to find out a little more about the Minoan civilisation. There are various other museums dotted around Crete and are all worth a visit to get a glimpse of the past.
Crete's many beaches are the perfect spot for soaking up the sun or taking part in the many watersports on offer. There are also plenty of opportunities for scuba diving and snorkelling around the island. If watersports are not for you, why not take to the hills on horseback to explore the many trails and paths to see Crete at it's best. For the more adventurous, there is mountain biking and rock climbing.
Although it can be hard work in the sun, it is worth a visit to Samaria Gorge, the longest and one of the most beautiful Gorges in Europe. Found near Chania, the national park is 16km long and offers stunning wildlife and plants. To walk the full length will take approx 6 hours but definitely worth it for the incredible sights you will encounter. The walk ends at the sea near Agia Roumeli but don't worry you don't need to walk all the way back, you can catch a ferry and a bus right back to the starting point.
Another popular attraction is the Limnoupolis, Crete's largest and most entertaining waterpark where there are thrills and spills for all the family.
The most beautiful resort on the island is probably Chania which was briefly the island's capital. The old town is full of cobbled streets and stunning Venetian architecture. There is a museum housing artefacts from the Roman times but if you prefer to sit and relax you can choose from the many quaint cafes and tavernas on offer. A great way to see the town is by horse drawn carriage which you can board near the harbour.
So whether you are interested in the ancient history or the more up to date attractions, there is a little something for everyone in Crete.
Out for Lunch!
The Cretan diet is known to be one of the healthiest in the world due to using the freshest ingredients and olive oil. As you travel through the countryside of Crete, take in the wonderful smell of the herbs and flowers growing in the wild. Olive oil plays a major role in Cretan cuisine with most dishes having at least a spoon or 2 of olive oil in it. Some of the traditional dishes to try are Dakos-a very typical Cretan dish of rusks baked and topped with tomato, olive oil, cheese and oregano, Dolmades-stuffed vine leaves with rice and herbs or Crete cheese which comes in different varieties.
You can dine in a variety of establishments throughout the island. There are numerous luxury restaurants and tavernas, traditional tavernas along the beach roads and further inland. If its a quick bite you're after there are plenty of snack bars located in every town on most street corners.
Flight Time - From Glasgow 4 hrs 25 mins, From Manchester 4 hrs 15 mins, From London 3 hrs 30 mins
Currency - Euro
Nightlife - Restaurants, Bars and Cafes - mixed and varied.
Best Time to Visit: May to October
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