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Crete

Crete holidays

Sandy beaches, seafront tavernas, ancient palaces and neon nightlife – this sun-soaked island has the lot. It’s a place of delectable cuisine, too, from your standard cheese and olives to local wine, honey-covered goods and freshly caught fish. Snaffling food almost goes in tandem with uncovering Minoan history.
No.6 – TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Destinations
Congrats to Crete! Thousands of happy holidaymakers have crowned this gorgeous Greek Island number 6 in TripAdvisor's Top 25 Destinations in the World.

Language

Greek

Currency

Euro

Time difference

+2hrs

Cost of a beer

from €3 a bottle

3 course meal

around €20

Flight times

4.5hrs

Beaches aplenty

Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands and comes with can’t-beat swathes of beach-blanketed coastline to complete every holiday snap album. You’re sure to find the perfect spot, whether you’re after superb sandy stretches for sunbathing, rocky coves for snorkelling or wind-swept waters for surfing.

Resorts for all sorts

Aghios Nikolaos, Sissi or Stalis will tick all the boxes – especially if sun, sea and sand are your main criteria. For a taste of tradition, head to the hills where you’ll find quaint villages like Koutouloufari and Piskopiano. If it’s world-renowned nightlife you’re after, make it Malia, the island’s party capital.

Step into the past

Crete is steeped in history – fact. Some of the mountainside villages have barely changed in centuries, while the sprawling ruins at Knossos are over 3,000 years old. Heraklion’s museum is one of the finest in Greece and will teach you everything essential about the island’s past, including its glory days under King Minos.

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Chania Area

Split into two parts, Chania shows off an old town and a new, modern city.

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Elounda

Lose yourself in the rich blue sea. Jump in and get a snapshot of how Elounda does things.

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Rethymnon

Unlock your own nugget of culture in this classy Cretan resort.

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Aghios Nikolaos

You’ll find a permanently cheery feel to this resort, with plenty of sun beating down throughout the year.

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Malia

Calling all party people! Malia’s a Mecca for fun in the sun, and each bay has its own lively beach bar, with resident DJs pumping out floorfillers throughout the day and well into the night.

Agia Pelagia

Unmask the vast history of Agia Pelagia by starting at Knossos, the famous Minoan palace, and working your way back into town.

Beaches

For the widest stretch of the softest sand, head to Aghios Nikolaos. Nearby, you’ll find the place to go for cute seafront tavernas serving fish fresh from the Med. Laid-back stretches offering the coolest water sports will entice families, but if you want to dance on the sands, make for the Malia seafront.

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Agia Pelagia Beach

Agia Pelagia Beach

Agia Pelagia, Crete

It may be a small coastal town, but the beach in Agia Pelagia is well worth a visit if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busier beaches. Situated 20 kilometres east of Heraklion, the...
Ammos Beach

Ammos Beach

Aghios Nikolaos, Crete

Meaning sand in Greek, Ammos Beach is found on the south side of Agios Nikolaos and it certainly lives up to its name, with a large stretch of white sand and calm blue waters that’s laden with umbrellas and...

Sights

A trip to ancient palace complexes is a must in Crete. The ruins are thought to be part of Europe’s oldest city, while the region’s also home to some impressive and fascinating medieval castles. If you’re looking to dig up some history, the resorts all have something to gawp at.

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A very Venetian harbour

A very Venetian harbour

Rethymnon, Crete

After a visit to the Venetian harbour in Rethymnon, you’ll be fooled into thinking you’d just been to Venice itself. The Turks built this impressive harbour back in the 17th century and it still stands firm...
Aghios Nikolaos Harbour

Aghios Nikolaos Harbour

Aghios Nikolaos, Crete

Immerse yourself in the beautiful harbour surroundings of Aghios Nikolaos with a visit to one of the many bars, cafés and tavernas lined along the waterfront. The food is quite pricey, but well worth the money...

Activities

If you’re after a family-friendly day out, Crete has three waterparks to whet your appetite. Hardcore hikers will not want to miss a ramble through gorgeous gorges and canyons, while the water sports scene is a massive draw for marine fans. You can even try your hand at a spot of fishing.

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A choice of water sports

A choice of water sports

Aghios Nikolaos, Crete

For those who seek a little more adventure than a causal swim and snorkel, Aghios Nikolaos offers a great selection of water sports and boat trips. Rent a canoe to explore the bays, scuba dive into the depths...
A day trip to Achlada

A day trip to Achlada

Agia Pelagia, Crete

Enjoy an incredible trip to the remote hillside village of Achlada, enjoying stunning views over Heraklion and eastern Crete as you reach the top. The once thriving village is now almost abandoned, but visitors...

Eating and drinking

Traditional Cretan food is fresh and rustic – think hearty lamb pasties and olive oil-rich salads. Being an island, the seafood is second to none and is served fresh from the net in many of the seaside tavernas. Raki is the local tipple and tastes a bit like Italian grappa. It’s strong stuff, so be warned!

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Bakeries, cafés and small tavernas

Bakeries, cafés and small tavernas

Fodele, Crete

The village of Fodele is known for its rustic charm, so eating and drinking here is a low-key, traditional affair. You can try delicious local dishes in the tavernas, and there’s a nice bakery. In the gift...
Cretan cuisine

Cretan cuisine

Hersonissos, Crete

Trying the delicious local food is all part of the fun on holiday. In Hersonissos, grab the chance to taste endless Cretan delicacies such as traditional cheeses, olive products, aromatic honey, top quality...

Shopping

Crete’s famous for its leather goods and you’ll find plenty of boutiques and markets all over the island. Keep an eye out for ceramics and silver, too – in some shops you can watch the craftspeople as they create their wares. Foodies will want to take home the local olive oil and honey.

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A super selection of stores

A super selection of stores

Elounda, Crete

Whether you need to stock up on the essentials or want to buy a unique gift, Elounda has a great selection of shops to suit every shoppers need. You’ll find genuine gold and silver jewellery, leather goods,...
Aghios Nikolaos Market

Aghios Nikolaos Market

Stalis, Crete

Shop like a local at the weekly market in Agios Nikolaos. This food market, held every Wednesday, is favoured by local people and has a delightfully vibrant atmosphere. Have a go at bargaining with the stall...

Nightlife

Malia is Crete’s hottest spot when it comes to nightlife. Its beachfront bars and clubs promise booming sound systems, laser shows and foam parties. Elsewhere, there’s a share of waterfront clubs, while the smaller towns boast live music bars where you can listen to everything from traditional Greek tunes to jazz.

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Beach bars

Beach bars

Stalis, Crete

From cocktails to a pint of Guinness, the many beach bars on the seafront will cater for your needs. Some stay open until dawn so you can dance the night away. For good craic, there's a few Irish bars, but if...
Buzzy bars

Buzzy bars

Elounda, Crete

See the streets of Elounda come alive, as the sun sets and the drinks start flowing. Spend your evenings dancing to the beats of popular and live music, catch the latest sports on the big screens in the bars...
Climate

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