Largest of all the Greek islands, Crete is surrounded by swathes of beach-blanketed coastline as it peers out across the Mediterranean. With the Aegean and the smaller Greek Islands to the north, Cyprus to the east and less than 300km from the coast of Northern Africa, the island is at a junction between Europe, Africa and Asia. Whether you’re after white sandy beaches for sunbathing, rocky coves for snorkelling or wind-swept waters for something a little more athletic, Crete certainly isn't short of options.
Aghios Nikolaos, Sissi or Stalis will tick all the boxes – especially if sun, sea and sand are your main criteria. For a taste of tradition, head to the hills where you’ll find quaint villages like Koutouloufari and Piskopiano. If it’s world-renowned nightlife you’re after, make it Malia, the island’s party capital.
If you're looking to experience more of the local culture, you'll find that Crete is steeped in history. Some of the mountainside villages have barely changed in centuries, while the sprawling ruins at Knossos are over 3,000 years old. Heraklion’s museum is one of the finest in Greece and will teach you everything you need to know about the island’s past, including the belief that it was the birthplace of Zeus and home to the infamous Minatour.
With a time difference of +2 hours, the local language is Greek and their currency is the Euro. A beer will cost you around £3 while a three-course meal will set you back about £25 but of course, the further you head away from the tourist spots, the cheaper everything becomes. Temperatures sore in July and August with highs of 28°C and it's not much cooler in June or September when the temperatures still reach 26°C and 27°C respectively, but the start and end of the season, when things are considerably quieter in May and October, get you really great prices while the temperatures are still a very pleasant 23°C -- perfect for getting out and exploring.
Crete climate ℃