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Holidays in Crete

For an unforgettable holiday with a fabulous Greek flavour, the charming island of Crete has it all. The largest island of Greece is a favourite with holidaymakers and it's not hard to see why. There's a fantastic range of things to do on the island, whether you like spending time on the beach or exploring the crystal-clear seas, rocky terrains and ancient ruins. You'll be amazed by the superb resorts and ancient history the island has to offer - whether you love full-on getaways with adventure-packed days, or laid-back beach breaks, there's a holiday in Crete for you.

The gorgeous Mediterranean climate is a key factor in Crete's popularity with holidaymakers. Spending time on one of the picturesque sandy beaches is the perfect way to enjoy the blissfully warm summer temperatures of 26°C. Just don't forgot to bring your sunscreen with you! There are plenty of outstanding beaches to choose from in Crete - Balos beach is breathtakingly beautiful and a real favourite. It's hardly surprising that it's Crete's most photographed beach. On a warm sunny day you can experience absolute bliss and kick off your shoes and walk on the white sand before taking a dip in the turquoise sea. If you're looking for a holiday in Crete when the weather is a little cooler, it's pleasantly warm in spring. Crete is also ideal if you want to escape a cold British winter, with temperatures ranging from 14°C-17°C.

If you want a break from sunbathing, get involved in the beach watersports such as scuba diving, water skiing and windsurfing. To see Crete from a different perspective, take an exciting boat trip around the island, hike up the rocky terrain, or if you're a wine fan perhaps a wine tasting excursion will be more your style! When you want to embrace the local culture visit the Archaelogical Museum in Heraklion, or for a unique experience, head out to the iconic Samaria Gorge National Park to admire the beautiful White Mountains.

But which Crete resort will you choose? Among the most popular resorts are Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Hersonissos, Malia and Rethymnon. The port of Agios Nikolaos is one of the most photographed parts of Crete and is filled with chic cafes, bars and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Greek cuisine. History fans will love the Folk Museum and the Archaeological Museum. If you're a party animal, you'll love the bustling resort of Hersonissos where you can work on your sunkissed glow at the beach and have fun family days out at Aqua Plus Water Park. One of Crete's most popular resorts, you can dance the night away in the bars and clubs.

Elounda has everything you could possibly wish for on a chilled Crete holiday, yet there are a wide range of activities to get involved in, from boat excursions to sunbathing on the beautiful sandy beach. Then there's the famously lively resort of Malia which has so much more to offer than just a thriving nightlife - soak up the sun on the white sandy beach, or visit the Old Town if you fancy embracing the local culture. In the evening, dance the night away in the bustling bars and clubs the resort is best known for.

Adventure fans will love visiting the historic resort of Rethymnon. There are plenty are museums, quaint cobbled streets and old buildings to admire. In the evening, stroll through the pretty harbour before stopping for a cheeky cocktail or beer in one of the nearby cafes - an essential part of any Crete holiday.

Here at Hays Travel we have over 37 years of experience in booking unforgettable trips, and we offer a wide range of getaways to Greece and the Greek Islands, so there's something for every kind of holidaymaker. We have also been voted the UK’s Best High Street Travel Agent, and great value and customer service are our specialty - so why not speak to a member of our team to start planning your perfect holiday!

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Things to do

Like any Greek island, holidays in Crete start with the beaches and with water based activities such as windsurfing, water skiing, boat trips and scuba diving. Make the most of the rugged terrain and stunning scenery with walking, horse riding, cycling or a Jeep safari. Sample the local wines on a wine tasting excursion. For culture, head for the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion or visit the Minoan Palaces in Knossos and Phaesos. There's plenty of retail therapy in the cities of Heraklion and Chania. Don't miss a trip to the spectacular Samaria Gorge, which cuts through the soaring White Mountains. Nightlife on Crete is varied and depends greatly on the resort you choose to stay in. Malia, Hersonissos and Agios Nikolaos offer bustling bars and late night clubs, with Malia being a particular hot spot for clubbing holidays. Heraklion and Chania are packed with cosmopolitan clubs, international DJs and trendy bars. Enjoy the quieter life with a meal in a taverna in quieter resorts like Gouves, Elounda or Sissi. Many hotels offer shows and entertainment in the evenings.

Food and Drink

Greek cuisine is at its best when served on the terrace of a typical taverna and there are plenty of these on Crete. Enjoy all the Hellenic favourites, from Meze to Moussaka, made with delicious fresh vegetables, herbs and olive oil. Most hotels and resorts also offer an array of international cuisine, from Italian and Oriental to Indian and fast food. Larger resorts have Britishstyle pubs for those who like a familiar taste of home. All inclusive hotels offer great value for money and are ideal for those who like to eat at their hotel. Ouzo is the Greek national spirit, but don't miss a taste of the locally produced wine.

Things to know before you go

The weather in Crete is one of the island's main attractions. As with all Greek islands, summers in Crete are hot. The driest months are June, July and August, with daytime highs often peaking between 25 and 30°C. Because Crete is further south than other Geek islands, it is warmer in May, September and October. The spring and autumn months are a great time to explore the island, as the weather is a little cooler and the beaches and resorts less crowded. There's virtually no rain in the high season on Crete, making it a popular choice for summer holidays in the sun.
Holidays to Crete can be enjoyed by everyone, from families and couples, to parties of friends.
Average Flight Time:
4 hours
Time Difference:
+2 hours
Average Temp:
Top hotels
Below is a selection of our top Crete hotels
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