Spectacular scenery, 7000 years of history and contemporary water sports - all this and much more make Crete one of the world's most popular destinations. These islands have also been described as an open-air museum, since there are vestiges of many centuries of history everywhere. But, if you are seeking more modern pastimes, then indulge in outdoor living at it's finest. You can enjoy the sun all year long, and also relax in the peace and serenity of the fabulous beaches which make Crete such a great place to visit.
Crete is a country in itself, rather than just the largest island in Greece. Many believe it to be the most beautiful place on this earth, and every visitor comes back charmed by this unique landscape. It can range from rugged mountains to coastal beaches, from elaborate gorgeous homes, to simple hillside cottages. Renowned for it's sun and sea, it also boasts of excellent tourist facilities and for the warmth of it's people and their homes.
You can visit the ancient ruins of the Minoan palace at Knossos, or you can travel to the legendary birthplace of Zeus and the Byzantine monasteries. If you are a nature lover, then this is just the island for you. The spectacular hillside has caves which are a nature-lovers delight. You can also visit the only palm-fronted beach in all of Europe at eastern end of the island.
Crete has accommodation to suit all types of people. There are homes in the villages which can offer you simple rooms with home-cooked food, and there are resorts which cater to the package tour groups and offer all the modern amenities.
The gorge at Samaria. Take a walk through this impressive gorge and stop to eat at one of the cafes in the village.
The Minoan Palaces at Knossos. The home of King Minos, these excavated ruins date back to civilisations from as long ago as 7000 BC.
When to visit
As with the rest of Greece the best times to travel are spring and autumn if you want value for money and slightly cooler weather. The high season is from mid-June till mid-August and the island is quite crowded during these months. The better time to visit would be from April till mid-June when the weather is also better and the prices are also reasonable. The island gets rain only 60 days in the year, and there are many parts which are very dry with desert like terrain.
The main airport is situated at Iraklio (Heraklion) and the smaller one is located at Hania. The facilities are simple and very basic and there are plans to build a larger and more modern airport at Kasteli.