The Ultimate Crete Island Travel Guide

A Land of Myth & Untamed Beauty

Crete

Crete Aegean Sea

The Destination

The Cretans are notoriously proud of their island, and for good reason. Crete’s landscape is as diverse as it is enchanting, from its cosmopolitan seaside towns with the yacht-packed marinas to its hidden mountain villages where time seems to stand still. Driving along the coastline is an experience in itself, every turn revealing a beach more beautiful than the last. Like their land, Cretans are rugged, yet renowned for their hospitality, an attribute that traces back to the ancient times, when the thriving Minoan civilisation influenced both sides of the Mediterranean. Equally famous is the local cuisine, a fusion of traditional and modern recipes that introduces a whole new world of tastes.

The Cretans are notoriously proud of their island, and for good reason. Crete’s landscape is as diverse as it is enchanting, from its cosmopolitan seaside towns with the yacht-packed marinas to its hidden mountain villages where time seems to stand still. Driving along the coastline is an experience in itself, every turn revealing a beach more beautiful than the last. Like their land, Cretans are rugged, yet renowned for their hospitality, an attribute that traces back to the ancient times, when the thriving Minoan civilisation influenced both sides of the Mediterranean. Equally famous is the local cuisine, a fusion of traditional and modern recipes that introduces a whole new world of tastes.

Highlights

CHANIA

Chania offers everything a visitor can ask for: an enchanting waterfront that buzzes with activity, gourmet restaurants, fashionable bars, stylish shops and beaches that are among the best in Greece. A stroll through the town will reveal not only the beauty of modern Chania but also traces of the blend of cultures and civilisations that forged the town in its current form – the Minoan palaces, the Venetian port, the Turkish houses and the Greek-Orthodox churches.

ELOUNDA

Chania offers everything a visitor can ask for: an enchanting waterfront that buzzes with activity, gourmet restaurants, fashionable bars, stylish shops and beaches that are among the best in Greece. A stroll through the town will reveal not only the beauty of modern Chania but also traces of the blend of cultures and civilisations that forged the town in its current form – the Minoan palaces, the Venetian port, the Turkish houses and the Greek-Orthodox churches.

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In Details

Among all of the Greek islands, Crete is perhaps the only one that offers such diversity, both in terms of scenery and lifestyle. The northern coast of the island is the more populated and popular part. Heraklion, the island’s capital and main port, has one of the country’s best archaeological museums. A few kilometres away lays the palace of Knossos, a place of legend and home to the Minoans, one of Greek history’s greatest civilisations. About 70km west from Heraklion, the seaside village of Matala has been a popular tourist attraction since the ’60s, when the hippies used to live inside the caves formed in the sandstone cliffs of Kokkini paralia (red beach). Just 15 minutes away from Matala, the ruins of the palace of Phaestos offer a glimpse of ancient grandeur in a spectacular natural setting, with the imposing peaks

Among all of the Greek islands, Crete is perhaps the only one that offers such diversity, both in terms of scenery and lifestyle. The northern coast of the island is the more populated and popular part. Heraklion, the island’s capital and main port, has one of the country’s best archaeological museums. A few kilometres away lays the palace of Knossos, a place of legend and home to the Minoans, one of Greek history’s greatest civilisations. About 70km west from Heraklion, the seaside village of Matala has been a popular tourist attraction since the ’60s when the hippies used to live inside the caves formed in the sandstone cliffs of Kokkini paralia (red beach). Just 15 minutes away from Matala, the ruins of the palace of Phaestos offer a glimpse of ancient grandeur in a spectacular natural setting, with the imposing peaks

Location

Crete has three airports that serve flights from Greek and other European cities. There are also three main ports in Heraklion, the island’s capital, Chania and Sitia, with ferries coming from Pireaus and several Aegean islands.

Accommodation

Crete is vast and offers plenty of options regarding accommodation. Our team has created a diverse collection of hand-picked luxury villas in Crete’s hottest locations. Whether you are looking for an isolated holiday villa with a pool where you can sit back and take in the Mediterranean sunshine away from the summer frenzy, or a luxury private villa that offers tranquility but is at the same time minutes away from some seaside town buzzing with activity, our Greek Villas team will find the ideal home for your perfect holiday.

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