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Travel pick: Island of Crete

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The largest of the Greek islands, Crete has warm weather, a beautiful coastline, and a rich history. It’s no surprise that it’s a hugely popular destination for tourists, with lots to see and do. Greece has plenty of great sites for tourists, but we believe that Crete is a stand-out destination. If you’re planning your next holiday, we’ve put together this handy guide, so you know what to expect from the island of Crete.


Climate

No one likes a rainy holiday but fortunately, that’s rarely an issue in Crete. The island has a Mediterranean climate with warm temperatures lasting much of the year – expect the thermometer to read well above 30 degrees in the summer months! You can expect plenty of sunshine and little rainfall during the peak season. Crete has a large mountainous region and snow often caps the mountains during winter, but it would be highly unusual for these conditions to reach the towns and cities.

 
Food

Greek meze usually includes lots of fresh salad & vegetables, seafood,
fish and meat.


As you’d expect, the Mediterranean diet is usual here. Expect plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, and meat. Vegetarians are well-catered to and you can often find international cuisines, especially in tourist areas and larger cities. For an authentic experience, try Greek and Cretan dishes in a local taverna amongst the local people. And don’t forget it’s Greece – expect portions to be large! The local spirit raki is commonly offered with fruit or desserts after a meal.



The people

The local people in Crete tend to be friendly and hospitable. The older generation might be less likely to speak English but most people speak the language well and may speak other languages too. This is especially true for workers in the hospitality trade. Any efforts you make to speak Greek are usually appreciated. Such is the welcoming attitude of many Cretan people that if you visit an establishment once you’re often treated like an old friend on your second visit!



Public transport

Crete has three international airports and is well-connected to other islands and mainland Greece by ferries. Currently, there’s no railway network and many major roads lack modern infrastructure. Public buses are available but may be infrequent, especially for journeys between different towns. The island’s capital, Heraklion, is well-served by local buses. If you plan to travel around the island you might want to consider hiring your own vehicle.



Accessibility

Floating wheelchairs and accessible equipment are available on some beaches
on the island of Crete.


Crete is one of the more accessible Greek islands for disabled travellers. In particular, the city of Rethymno has a “Rethymno For All” initiative that has introduced wheelchair ramps, disabled parking facilities, and wider streets throughout the city. Some beaches are equipped with floating wheelchairs and accessible equipment but it’s advisable to find out about what’s available. The larger towns and cities like Rethymno, Heraklion, and Chania tend to have more accessible options for disabled visitors.



Where to stay

There are many towns where you can stay across Crete that can keep you entertained during your holiday or serve as a base for exploring more widely. Heraklion is a developed urban city but may have less character than other locations. Malia is the go-to destination for younger party-lovers whereas Hersonissos is a quieter resort that’s suited to families. Rethymno is picturesque and popular with creative people, and Chania in the west of the island is a desirable destination for its Venetian harbour and 16th-century lighthouse. Accommodation on Crete ranges from budget apartments to luxurious resorts.



What to do

Crete has so much to offer, whether you want a relaxing holiday or an action-packed adventure. Of course, you can’t visit Crete without a trip to the beach and there are many beautiful ones to choose from. Preveli Beach is popular, with its picturesque river running straight down the beach into the sea.

Archaeology and history buffs will find lots to enjoy, with sites including the Knossos Minoan palace and Malia Palace. There are lots of museums in Heraklion, including a natural history museum and an archaeological museum. Art lovers can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete in Rethymno. For something more adrenaline-filled, hire a quad bike and cruise along the coastal roads.


Something for everyone

Whether you want a family holiday, a relaxing break, or a huge party, Crete has something to offer every type of traveller. The great weather, friendly hospitality, beautiful surroundings, and host of things to enjoy mean it continues to be a popular holiday destination. If you’re dreaming of a warm island where you can get some sun and have some fun, Crete might be the ideal place for you.

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call 0333 331 3770