Holidays to Crete revolve around sandy beaches, scenic countryside, and an encyclopaedic offering of myths and legends.
Greece’s biggest island
Crete subscribes to the bigger is better school of thought. Not only is it the largest of the Greek Islands, but it’s the fifth biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea – Corsica pips it to the fourth place post by just a few hundred acres.
The full spectrum of beaches
Crete’s super-size means it’s got 650 miles of coastline to go around. The beaches in the Lassithi area, to the east of the island, are annexes to the cosmopolitan towns of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda. Here, sunbathers can mix stints on the sunbed with shopping sprees and long lunches in the squares. Further west, the Chania area teams Blue Flag beaches with an historical old town. The 12-kilometre-plus swathes of sand in the Rethymnon area are great for families, while the beaches in the Heraklion area are recovery spots for late-night drinks.
Crete’s timeline stretches back more than 4,000 years. In fact, the island is credited with being the birthplace of modern civilisation. Evidence for this claim can be found at the Palace of Knossos, in the Heraklion area – the Minoans who lived here were some of the first people in the world to have fashions, parties and women’s rights.
Finally, Crete has a lion’s share of unspoilt scenery. You’ll get the best feel for what the island has to offer at Samaria Gorge, an hour’s drive from Chania. Stretching for 16 kilometres, it’s the longest in Europe.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CRETE
How long does it take to fly to Crete?
Flights from the UK to Crete take between three hours and 45 minutes and four hours, depending on which airport you fly from.
What is the time difference between the UK and Crete?
Crete is two hours ahead of the UK – so when it’s 9am here, it’s 11am there.
Which part of Crete has the best beaches?
The Chania region is home to some of Crete’s best beaches. There are more than you can count on two hands, and lots of them have been awarded a Blue Flag.
What is Crete known for?
Crete’s recognised as the largest of the Greek islands. It means you’ve got a heap of diverse resorts to choose from, including quiet Rethymnon, historical Lassithi and beachy Chania.
Is it easy to travel around Crete by bus?
Yes, it’s super simple. The main resorts all have bus stations, and the bus routes will often take you out into the island’s more rural areas for a pretty cheap price.