Travels to Crete
TOP hotels on Crete
There are places on the planet where it is good all year round. Greece's largest island, Crete, is one of such places where you’ll like to stay for a long time. It has been well said that this is the pearl of Greece. Although most tourists associate this resort, first of all, with a summer beach vacation, locals are often called the best time to visit the island in mid-autumn or spring. This is the period when it is still quite warm here, but there are not so many tourists. Not to mention the fact that in Crete you can sit out in the heat when cold winter months catch you at home. Today, more and more people often have thoughts where they can have a rest - at least a week or two, even a couple of months. For the most part, people, of course, primarily think about exotic places that are 10 thousand kilometers from their home. Well, what about those who do not want or cannot climb so far from Europe? Perhaps, the ideal place for them is the island of Crete.
The temperature, even in winter, usually does not fall below +10°C, while minus temperatures are generally nonsense for this region. The island occupies two climatic zones - the Mediterranean (the main part) and the North African (the southern coast). In the summer months, the average temperature in Crete ranges from +20 to +30°C, while the average temperature in winter sometimes reaches +16°C minimum.
Crete is famous for the diversity of its beaches. On the island, you can find well-equipped places with sun loungers, locker rooms, and cafes or deserted corners of paradise remote from the towns. An amazing variety of impressions is given by the beaches of Crete: sandy and pebble, crowded and deserted, open to all winds and quiet in small bays, with white, golden, light brown and even black sand, long and tiny, surrounded by rocks, hidden in gorges, in palm trees groves.
The total length of the coastline of Crete is just over 1000 km, which cannot but please fans of traditional relaxation under parasols from the sun. So, there are those beaches that are the best for families with children, those where to go for fun, and where the atmosphere of peace prevails. It should be noted that all pebble and sandy beaches of Crete and the whole of Greece are municipal, therefore admission to them is free. True, the use of sunbeds and umbrellas will have to pay.
Crete is washed by three seas - the Aegean Sea in the north, the Mediterranean Sea in the south (by the way, Crete is the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica) and the Ionian Sea in the west. The coveted point on the map is Balos Bay with the beach of the same name. This is the famous confluence of the three seas - the Ionian, Aegean, and Libyan. However, this is one of the most inaccessible beaches of Crete. You can get there either by car (but this is a rather difficult task since there is no normal road) or as part of an organized excursion to Gramvousa island from the port of Kissamos. But it's worth it to see a huge amount of shades of blue and the purity of the water on this beach. Just add to this picture the white sand and a small bay where children can splash around - and you will fall in love with this place forever.
The second most visited beach is the Elafonisi beach with pink sand. The shades of water are also really amazing there - seawater in the lagoon of Elafonisi has a light turquoise hue with a slight pink tint and changes color throughout the day. But this beach is mainly appreciated by tourists for the unusual color of sand - it is often pink in the surf. So, enlarge your collection with the photos from this place that will be the most colorful, especially at sunset, when fragments of shells flicker in the rays of the setting sun.
Vai Beach is considered to be a paradise, located at the palm grove. This is one of the few beaches in Crete where palm trees grow. The landscape is rather tropical, and therefore unusual. Without any doubt, it is very picturesque. When you get to the white sand Vai beach, it seems as if you are somewhere in the Caribbean Islands.
Well, what summer vacation in Crete without at least one noisy party and dancing until the morning? The nightlife is concentrated in the city center and on the promenade. Besides, you will find many nightclubs in the nearby resorts of Hersonissos and Malia. In the latter, the nightlife is a little bit softer and more suitable for older tourists. In each town of Crete, a lot of interesting entertainment venues are waiting for vacationers - from foam parties to traditional evenings with Cretan music and dancing.
When the sun goes down, people gather in a cafe serving ouzo, and in taverns (which are usually located on the beach or looking at the sea) to drink tsikoudia (a traditional local drink) and taste special snacks. The fun continues until the morning in a cabaret, at discos, in clubs, bars, places where “Bouzouki” or “Cretan lyre” play. Disco bars and many other venues are open until morning, and admission is free in most of them.
Crete is a unique island, multifaceted, with its unique character, amazingly beautiful beaches, famous sights, playing with bright colors of the sea, healing climate. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists come here to touch ancient history, get acquainted with local traditions and just have a great and carefree time on the beach. So, where to stay? Below, we present the main parts of the island: Heraklion, Lassithi, Rethymnon, and Chania.
Heraklion. This is the central and largest region of Crete with well-developed tourist infrastructure. There are comfortable hotels, noisy resort centers, and two water parks along the northern coast of the Cretan Sea. Ancient Heraklion is a city with a seaport, an international airport (3 km east of the city), a variety of shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, and disco bars. Such popular resorts as Malia, Stalida, Hersonissos, Gouves, Kokkini Hani are in the Heraklion region. Consider these places for your first vacation in Crete. They are located not so far from Heraklion International Airport, which excludes a long transfer.
Lasithi. The resorts located a little further from the airports, such as Agios Nikolaos, Elounda in the region of Lasithi aren’t less popular among tourists. It is in the eastern part of Lasithi that the paradise beach Vai is located. Most say that it was the place where the same Bounty advertisement was shot. Lasithi is rich in historical sites and beautiful landscapes. For example, there is the most beautiful bay in all of Greece - Mirabello. The diverse landscape makes the region very attractive for recreation. The high level of tourist services, well-developed infrastructure, many fashionable hotels make holidays in Lasithi incredible.
Rethimno. This is called the soul of the island because of its old and captivating look: paved streets, ancient churches, and mosques, roofs made of tiles. In addition to postcard views, tourists are attracted by mountain gorges and caves, valleys and beautiful beaches. These are good clean sandy beaches with a length of 16 km, among which there are rocky, intimate coves, and even sandy stripes with a smooth slope of the bottom. The coast with quiet and calm villages is suitable for solitary and family vacations with children.
Chania. This is the western, greenest part of Crete. There is everything for a busy holiday: incredible landscapes, ancient streets with architectural and natural attractions, diverse cultural life. In this area, you’ll find the White Mountains (Lefka Ori), 12 gorges and the largest European canyon - Samaria. Primarily the pink sands of Elafonisi attract many tourists every year.
Good to know
Airlines: Several airlines operate to Crete. We will always offer you the best price for flight tickets to Crete
Airport: Heraklion Airport, Chania Airport and the small Sitia Airport
Distance from Airports: On average, 15-20 minutes, 20 km
Flight time: 4 hours
Timezone: Eastern European Standard Time
Population: Around 630.000
Passport: Valid passport is mandatory
Tipping: Not included. Customary to give 5 - 10% of the bill
Electricity: 230V 50Hz, power plugs and sockets are of type C and F
Tourist tax: 3-6%
Water: Clean and drinkable, but it may have a bit mineral taste
Things to do
1. Stroll through picturesque natural places and see unique historical sights in Crete. Numerous transformations in the history of the island left a mark on architecture. Today, vacationers who have bought a last-minute package tour to Crete can touch this heritage and experience the infinity of history. You should definitely take part in a trip to Spinalnga Island. The most attractive nature reserve is the Vai date grove. In summer, the grove becomes the venue for the grand Lato festival, which hosts the best Greek musicians and theater actors.
2. Try out water activities. Agios Nikolaos is a port city, therefore, it has a rich maritime tradition. You can ride on a submarine or a simple boat. Those who like to explore the underwater world will also like this vacation because you can see turtles and sea fish there. Fans of luxury yachts will definitely enjoy the fact that it is possible to make full-featured cruises to Elounda, Kolokythas, Plaka. Among other activities on the island, you can do parasailing and arrange a kind of water ski safari.
3. Visit aquaparks. If you come to Crete with children, you should not be limited only to swimming on the beach. Children can be entertained, for example, in water parks, which are four on the island (this is not counting the mini water parks at the hotels). They have many attractions, pools, slides, playgrounds.
Tour guide service
Our tour guides are available on Crete throughout the season.