Crete is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest island in the whole of the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s the ideal destination for both couples and families, with its architecture and glorious sunshine. So, why not soak up the sun on the sandy beaches, take in the impressive mountains and treat yourself to delicious food?
Here’s some of our favourite places to explore in Crete, and why you should make it your next getaway.
The largest region of Crete is Heraklion, best known for the Palace of Knossos that sits just outside the city.
The ancient ruins of the Palace of Knossos is one of the most visited ruins in Europe. It’s said to be the home of the mythological Minotaur and his labyrinth.
Heraklion is a great place to stay if you’re after historical architecture and want to get a glimpse of Minoan life.
Heraklion’s history can be found throughout the city. The huge walls of ‘the old city’ were first built by the Moors and later reinforced by the Venetians in the 15th century. It’s also home to the Historical Museum of Crete. Established in 1953 in a neoclassical mansion, it offers a wonderful insight into Crete’s history and is an ideal day out for history lovers.
Situated on the westernmost point of Crete, Chania is one the most relaxing and idyllic regions of the island.
The old town is a mix of medieval architecture, elegant villas, large mansions and the city’s most famous feature — the Venetian harbour. Chania’s port is a popular place for Mediterranean cruises, traditional fishing boats and impressive yachts. A perfect spot to enjoy some local cuisine on the terrace of a waterfront café and take in the view of the harbour.
Rethymnon beach is home to a 12km stretch of sand and is a child-friendly beach — perfect for a family day out. Its promenade surrounds the bay, filled with shops, cafes and a small arcade.
Nicknamed the jewel of Crete’s North coast, it’s easy to see why young families are drawn to the old town charm of Rethymnon. The tourist-friendly yellow bus takes families through Rethymnon and into the surrounding towns. The Aquaworld aquarium in the neighbouring village of Chersonosis caters for children of all ages and is easily accessible by a yellow bus. Here the whole family can get up close and personal with an amazing array of aquatic wildlife.
The Lefka Ori mountain range (translates as ‘the White Mountains’) sits in western Crete.
This beautiful mountain range is a must for nature lovers and keen hikers and is known worldwide for its extensive, unspoiled countryside. There are a number of quaint, traditional villages in the scenic mountain slopes, including Imbros, Madaro and Anoyia.
The hillside village of Vamos is home to lush green land, rolling vineyards, orchards, vibrant orange groves and long stretches of almond blossom. A must-see!
This picturesque mountain range is suitable for all levels of ability, from a short stroll to challenging walks for experienced hikers.