With summer just around the corner, you might be feeling the draw of a last minute holiday. But, where should you go? There are many enticing destinations in Europe and beyond, and it’s important to feel like you’ve found the best deal for your money and made the most of your time off work. With that in mind, why not consider Crete? Here are five reasons you should make Crete your next holiday stop….
Dominated by tall mountains and bordered with bays and beaches, Crete is a truly beautiful island. The northern coast of the island is the busiest, and is host to four large cities: Agios Nikolaos, Rethymno, Chania and Heraklion (the largest city of all), so you’ll have plenty to do if you like to shop, visit galleries and museums or simply people-watch.
The centre of the island is home to a mixture of rugged, majestic mountains that are ideal for hikes, rock climbing and other outdoor excursions, and the southern coast is peaceful and tranquil if you want to just read and sunbathe in peace. However, the perimeter of the entire island offers an array of beaches, archaeological sites and resorts, so you’ll have a wonderful holiday in Crete wherever you choose to explore.
2. It enjoys fantastic weather
Summer temperatures are always high in Crete, with the average temperature peaking at around 28°C to 29°C and lows of no less than 18°C in the evening. Real sun-seekers should head to the south of the island – hot winds sometimes blow over from the Sahara Desert, bringing temperatures of up to 40°C. However, Crete enjoys a regular breeze, making the hot summer temperatures very pleasant indeed.
3. It’s an ideal destination for families
Crete is the kind of place your kids will love: there’s a real spirit of adventure here, with ruins, caves and rock pools for young explorers to investigate. If your family like being outdoors, you’ll find plenty to do in Crete as it’s known for its child-friendly horse riding opportunities (particularly at Avdou below the Lasithi Plateau), hiking, and boat trips around Elounda. And, there are lots of organised activities to do too. Plan trips to the the Natural History Museum in Heraklion, Aqua World in Hersonissos and the Cretaquarium in Gournes.
4. There’s great nightlife for party-loving groups and couples
As well as being a great family destination, Crete is known for its nightlife. In fact, it’s affectionately known as being one of Greece’s ‘party islands’ with visitors flocking to its lively bars and bustling nightclubs. Head to Malia and Hersonissos if you fancy dancing the night away with an energetic crowd to whatever the DJ is playing.
If you prefer a slightly more laid-back vibe but still love a late night with live music, check out Fagotto; it’s a jazz and blues bar that’s been running since the 1970s, and it often hosts live performances of Cretan music.
5. It’s home to some beautiful beaches
Many of us hope for a stretch of sandy shore when we go on holiday, and Crete certainly doesn’t disappoint. In fact, Crete is home to a number of beaches you’ll want to spend all day on. Paleóhora is said to be the best beach on the southwest coast, and due to its shallow sea it’s the perfect place to take toddlers and children. Or, lay your towel on the soft sand at Elafonísi – it’s an area of outstanding national beauty and you’ll have seen photographs of its pink-tinged sand online if you’ve been researching the area.
There are so many more reasons to consider making Crete your next holiday stop, such as the fantastic array of restaurants to sample, and the historical sites and attractions ready and waiting for curious travellers. So, why not put it on your shortlist or go ahead and book a holiday?