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Crete is best for...

Scenery lovers:

Spinalonga - cruise to this famous island and discover the village ruins before sailing away to enjoy a sumptuous barbecue.


Land Rover Safari off-road adventure - pass by rugged mountains, historical sites and remote villages.

History fans:

Travel back into the Bronze Age at the ancient palace of Knossos.

Fast facts

Language: The language spoken in Crete is Greek.

Currency: The currency used in Crete is Euro (€).

Local time: Crete is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: The primary airport, Heraklion Airport (HER) (also known as “Nikos Kazantzakis”), is located just outside the island’s capital. You can also fly to Loannis Daskalogiannis airport (CHQ), situated just 14km from the southern city of Chania.

Flight time from UK: 4 hours

Tourist Information: Further Crete tourist information can be found here.

Visa & Health:Before you travel, click here for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Crete.

Weather & Climate

Temperatures: Up to the high 30s (°C) from April to August in the coastal areas.

Best time to visit Crete: From May to mid-June and mid-September and October

Weather in Crete varies from part to part. Its coastal resorts enjoy scorching temperatures, and can even hit the low 40s (°C) in the southern part of the island. The hot desert winds blowing in from North Africa give an exotic feel to the most southern parts. In contrast, the mountainous, central region enjoys cooler temperatures in summer averaging the mid-to high 20s (°C). Winters are snowy on the peaks of Crete’s long, mountainous backbone (Psiloritis) but always mild on the coastal areas.

Getting Around

By hire car: Being the largest out of all the Greek islands, the best way to get across the vast distances in Crete is by hire car.

By bus:Crete’s local bus services are efficient and run throughout the day to and from the capital and biggest cities to all the resorts, beaches and archaeological sites.

By boat?Why not hop on a boat tour from Chania to the unspoiled islet of Gramvousa and the luminous waters of Balos lagoon?


Bands on the beach: Matala Beach Festival (end of June) is one summer event not be missed. With famous bands performing underneath Matala’s old hippie caves, thousands of visitors arrive here every year to revive the spirit of the flower children.

Folklore: For a taste of traditional Cretan live music, head to Rethymno, Crete’s summer hub for music and folklore tradition.

Holidays in Crete

Boats in Crete 2013 Souvenir on Crete holiday Crete holidays Crete Buildings

Crete has much more besides beaches. For a start, 4,000 years of civilisation have left a legacy of world-class archaeological sites. There's a vast array of interesting day and nights out, whether by hire car or on one of the organised excursions. Experience the hospitality and tradition of the locals, who’ll always give you tips on the best beaches and picturesque villages to head to.

Prices start from £135

Elounda is a cosmopolitan, beachfront resort located on the east coast. Head here for some celeb-spotting and seaside exploration: its countless hidden coves and underwater city of Olous are the best place to start from. Also located in the east, you’ll find the small village of Sissi. Enjoy serene, romantic walks next to its harbour and indulge in its fish tavernas. Not far from Sissi is fun-packed Malia. Join top music names on its Strip by night followed by maxing out your adrenaline levels by the beach. From jet-skis and giant-trampolines to go-karting and seafront parties, Malia keeps the fun going past sunrise.


Elounda in Crete

A small resort that offers plenty of history and places to visit, including Spinalonga island. Activity centres around the harbour and the village's lively square where there are bars and restaurants. Attracting mostly families, couples and VIP’s, hotels in Elounda enjoy a truly cosmopolitan feel to them.


Sissi in Crete

Quiet and picturesque, this resort offers a sandy beach, a shingle beach and access to other areas of the island. A good range of restaurants serve excellent seafood, and there's a handful of shops and nightlife. Surrounded by mountains and Sissi’s charming harbour, Sissi hotels are perfect for a romantic getaway.


Malia in Crete

Crete’s party central guarantees legendary party cruises and live performances from some of the best music names around. With this, plus six golden beaches for you to soak up the sun on during the day and dance on at night, your Malia hotel will be your haven of relaxation.

Recommended offers in Crete

Greece, Crete, Sissi

Vasia Beach Resort & Spa

4 Stars
Vasia Beach Resort & Spa

7 nights All Inclusiveflying from Gatwick

  • Hotel-run kids' club
  • Close to resort centre
  • Plenty of sports and activities
Thomas Cook

Stay from £420

Greece, Crete, Hersonissos

Creta Maris Beach Resort

Creta Maris Beach Resort

7 nights All Inclusiveflying from Gatwick

  • Set on a secluded beach
  • Traditional Aegean style
  • Eco-friendly environment

Stay from £695

Greece, Crete, Stalis

Anastasia Hotel

3 Stars
Anastasia Hotel

7 nights Half Boardflying from Gatwick

  • Friendly, family orientated hotel
  • Comfortable and spacious guest rooms
  • Watersports available on the beach

Stay from £365

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