Crete Holidays 2014

Elounda Relax in West Crete Knossos Plaka Rethymnon Chania Aghios Nikolaos

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Crete Holidays

Book your summer 2015 holiday in Crete now and benefit from deposits from as little as £49pp!

Pack your swimsuits and flip flops for a fun-filled adventure in Crete. As the largest and most southern of the Greek islands Crete is a popular holiday destination for British holidaymakers. This fascinating island offers beautiful sandy beaches and pebble coves that will fill cameras with postcard-worthy photos.

However, what you don’t hear very often is how the stunning island of Crete is so much more than just a beach holiday. Brimming with majestic mountains, gorges to hike, plains to see and curving coastlines to drive- there’s a plethora of things to get your teeth into. That’s not to mention the 5,000 plus years of history, culture, and delicious mezzes on hand!

If you want lively bustling resorts like Malia and Hersonissos, secluded Greek villas in Elounda, or a village full of welcoming Greeks, there’s a place for you on holiday in Crete. With only a short flight time, Crete is the perfect choice for your cheap holiday in the sun this year.

Kick Back in Crete

As Crete is a Greek island, you will want spend some time relaxing on the beaches. The north is home to an array of sandy stretches and the meltemia – northern summer winds - provide ample opportunity for windsurfing and wave-jumping on Crete holidays. Head to the southern coast for warmer waters and the frequently rocky beaches of the Libyan Sea for phenomenal snorkelling and diving. Traditionally the cleanest beaches around the island are the Blue Flag beaches like Platanias or Amoudara, near Aghios Nikolaos, and are great for families to splash around in.

Crete also has several smaller islands just a ferry ride away that make for an excellent day trip. Take a boat from Ierapetra on the south coast to tiny Chrysi Island for a view of Crete you’ll never forget. Gavdos, also in the south, can be reached for the western town of Palaiochora.

Always an adventure

From the breathtaking beaches of Elafonissi in the west, to the stunning waves and palm trees of Vai in the east, Crete has more than enough beaches for a perfect Greek holiday. Crete is also full of beautiful Venetian towns and picturesque villages like Sissi, and just as many winding roads that lead you to unexpected sights and tavernas full of delicious food.

The main city of Chania and its harbour look magical in the evening light, and the lighthouse at sunset provides a romantic feeling you can’t shake. The capital of Heraklion is full of winding cobblestone streets that will keep shoppers occupied for days. Siteia is a quieter option and worth the drive, for its sandy stretch of beach lasts for kilometres, and its archaeological sites are just up the hills.

For something livelier, the resorts of Stalis and take your pick from the tavernas, modern restaurants, pubs and clubs that line their streets. From a quiet evening in a traditional restaurant to dancing all night in one of the clubs, whatever you decide, holidays to Crete have it all.

Take the kids to the Aquapark near Gouves, outside Heraklion, or to any of Crete’s stunning beaches. For something both you and the kids will remember, take a 10-minute boat ride to the island of Spinalonga for an incredible view and learn about its roles from a Venetian fortress to a former leper colony.

Top Hotels

With a huge range of hotels to suit any budget, from 5 star hotels to self-catered properties, you're spoilt for choice with lowcostholidays. The Imperial Belvedere Hotel offers a beautiful hilltop location and guarantees a relaxing break just five minutes from the beach.

If you're heading to the Greek sunshine and want to make the most of the scenery, The Elounda Ilion Hotel is perfect with a panoramic view of the Bay of Mirabello. You'll enjoy a warm welcome before unwinding in a charming Greek village overlooking the island of Spinalonga.

Important Information

Travel Information
Language: Greek (English widely spoken)
Currency: Euro
Local time: GMT/BST +2 hours
Local airport: Heraklion
Flight time: 4 hours

Our top hotels in Crete

Sweet Memory Apartments

from £4.25 pp

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Filion Suites Resort & Spa

from £25.85 pp

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Imperial Belvedere Hotel

from £28.12 pp

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Piskopiano Village Apartments

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Piskopiano, Crete

Based on 2 sharing, Self Catering, 7 nts, from London Gatwick more info >

Flight + Hotel from £146.50 pp

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Maria Apartments Sissi

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Sissi, Crete

Based on 2 sharing, Self Catering, 7 nts, from London Gatwick more info >

Flight + Hotel from £149.50 pp

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Kleanthi Apartments

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Gouves, Crete

Based on 2 sharing, Self Catering, 7 nts, from London Gatwick more info >

Flight + Hotel from £153.50 pp

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Sweet Memory Apartments

Our rating

Gouves, Crete

Based on 2 sharing, Self Catering, 7 nts, from London Gatwick more info >

Flight + Hotel from £163.00 pp

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Elgoni Apartments

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Hersonissos, Crete

Based on 2 sharing, Self Catering, 7 nts, from London Gatwick more info >

Flight + Hotel from £172.50 pp

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Island's History

Crete is fully of amazing Bronze Age palaces, like Knossos, whose ruins are one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. On your holiday to Crete you can uncover the island’s past from the Minoans at sites like Phaistos and Kato Zakros to World War II monuments in villages. Discover the Hellenistic city of Lato and Byzantine churches, like the Basilica of Ayios Titos in the city of Gortys- the first church founded on the island. You don’t have to be a historian to enjoy Crete’s history!

Museums

Discover Crete’s culture with a visit to its many – air-conditioned – archaeological and folklore museums that are home to the thousands of archaeological discoveries. See exciting artefacts found across the island over the centuries, and many date back three or more millennia. The most famous museum, located in Heraklion, houses the artefacts from excavations on the island – temporarily on exhibition. For a more recent past, check out the island of Spinalonga and discover the Greek culture at the Folklore Museum at Aghios Nikolaos.

Walking in Crete

Samaria Gorge is the perfect place on Crete for a fabulous and scenic hike. The famous Iron Gates, where the gorge shortens to only four feet wide is a marvellous spectacle of nature that is a definite must-see if you’re on the west side of the island. Kato Zakros is an 4000 year old Minoan palace on the eastern side of the island near another national park, and only a few steps away from the brilliantly blue waters and cosy beach of the same name.

Tavernas and Raki

For traditional Cretan delicacies and dishes, head to a local tavern, or a restaurant where the locals eat. If you’re looking to sample the local seafood dishes - which are usually freshly caught - then have lunch or dinner in a psarotaverna, a restaurant specialising in fish fare and sports its catches at the front of the establishment. For the local sweet delicacy of cakes and coffee try out the beachside coffee shops or those in the heart of Cretan villages. Don’t forget to try a bit of raki after your meal!