With so many resorts, Crete really does have an enormous selection of beaches all around the island, from sheltered sandy coves to busier, lively resort beaches with lots of watersports on offer. Do try and venture outside of your resort as you're sure to find much quieter beaches away from the crowds.
A must-see for anyone who visits Crete, this incredible Minoan archeological site lies in the north of the island near Heraklion and is said to be the palace of the legendary King Minos, who lived 4,000 years ago. Discovered by archeologists in 1878, the ruins include the main Royal palace, with its labyrinthine rooms and corridors, where the Minotaur, a man-eating monster that was half bull, half man, was reputed to have been imprisoned. Here you can see the original six-feet tall storage jars used in the palace, as well as fascinating ancient chambers, courtyards, stairways and even frescoes that once adorned the palace walls. A fantastic day out for history lovers and anyone keen to learn more about Crete's colourful past.
One of Europe's most spectacular National Parks, a walk through the island's immense Samaria Gorge is an unforgettable experience. Located near Chania, this amazing 18 kilometre canyon is open for walkers between May and October. First, you take a zigzagging path down to the gorge floor amid scented cypress forests and then follow the stream along the bottom enjoying dizzying views of the canyon and sky above. The highpoint of the excursion is when the gorge passage narrows to around 10 feet, with the soaring, steep canyon walls bearing down on you from both sides. It's an arduous but exhilarating walk - most trips start at dawn to combat the heat - and there's no turning back, so ensure you're well kitted out with strong shoes and bottled water.
This beautiful, Venetian-style harbour port on Crete's northern coast is a real delight whether you want to shop, sightsee or simply take your time strolling around. The heart of the town is its much-photographed picturebook harbour, crammed with waterside fish tavernas and dominated by a grandiose 17th century Venetian fortress. Beyond, you'll discover an atmospheric Old Town, honeycombed with narrow, shop-filled streets, ornate fountains, romantic architecture, flower-laden balconies and little mosques and museums. Once you're done with meandering around and shopping in the cute craft, jewellery and lace shops, you can head for the town's beach, a long stretch of pale sand and pebbles, which will make an ideal finale to your day.
Frangokastello & western Crete
The western end of Crete is wonderfully scenic and untouched, with towering mountains, craggy cliffs, remote sandy coves and arid plains ablaze with wildlife and flowers. A main attraction here is the stunning, honey-coloured Venetian castle of Frangokastello, a huge 14th century fortress overlooking the Libyan sea. Now an empty shell, the castle still make a dramatic sight and is said to be haunted by the ghosts of 600 Cretans who were massacred here by the Turks in 1828. The sleepy hamlet of Frangokastello set around the crumbling ramparts has a beautiful beach with calm, shallow waters and nearby are the picturesque villages of Hora Sfakion, Plakias and Agia Galini with their inviting tavernas and shops ranged around their harbours.
Crete holiday resorts
|Hersonissos Holidays||6 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Aghios Nikolaos Holidays||4 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Malia Holidays||4 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Rethymnon Holidays||3 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Gouves Holidays||3 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Stalis Holidays||3 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Agia Pelagia Holidays||2 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Elounda Holidays||2 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Kokini Hani Holidays||2 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|
|Sissi Holidays||1 Hotels, Villas + Apartments|