Crete has always been one of our favorite holiday destinations. That’s right, we need a holiday too! Even long-term travellers take “time-off”. We need a vacation from travel which, as travellers know, isn’t a vacation. Well, Crete has something for everyone. From historians to hikers and foodies to fun-seekers, there are plenty of reasons to holiday on this stunning slice of paradise.
Here are our five reasons to fly to Crete and start your holiday now!
1. The Beaches: We all love to laze on powdery white sand and gaze out at dazzling, aquamarine waters. Crete has some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever find in the Mediterranean. In particular, Balos beach will make your heart melt and your camera sing. The drive here isn’t easy, which ensures that this enchanting stretch of sand remains relatively relaxed and uncrowded (especially in the off-season). If you want to escape this summer, don’t miss Balos Beach!
2. The Food: It’s hard to beat Greek food, with Gyros and Tzatziki, wine and feta, what more could you ask for? Crete has a few dishes all its own. Make sure you try Dakos, a Cretan meze consisting of a slice of soaked dried bread or barley rusk, topped with chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta or mizithra cheese and olives, all flavored with herbs such as dried oregano. Mmmm!
3. The Samaria Gorge: What’s a holiday without a knee-jarring, 18km trek down into a magnificent gorge? Take a break from your beach-chair cocktail session and go get some exercise! The Samaria Gorge is a great trek that starts at 1,250 meters, and meanders through forested cliffs and waterfalls before ending at the base of the Libyan Sea. The Gorge can be quite crowded in the high-season, so try to arrive bright and early so that you can enjoy the serenity and calm of Crete’s true natural beauty.
4. Knossos: Now it’s time to mix in a little bit of history… well, a lot of history. This ancient ruined city was abandoned in 1100 B.C, but amazingly, much of its bewildering architecture remains intact. Walk around a maze of artifacts and rock structures, built on fertile soils that still bear an amazing amount of vegetation. Some rock carvings appear as they were created yesterday while others barely stand, crumbled and corroded. A subtle reminder of how old Knossos really is.
5. Road Trip!: Crete is a great place to rent a car or motorbike. We’ve listed what to eat, where to hike, swim and find history, but how are you going to get there? We suggest that you rent a car and tour the island yourself! Check out Rental Center Crete, a specialist car hire company offering car rental services throughout all the major cities on the island. There are some beautiful stretches of road along the way, and a lot of what Crete has to offer, is between its major attractions. Find yourself driving on cobble-stoned streets through an old village. Stop in for an authentic Greek lunch, complete with a bottle of local Cretan wine (not for the driver of course). This will keep you from wasting time waiting for buses and tour groups. A car gives you all the freedom you could want on your Crete vacation!
So there you have it. This is just a quick list of some of the reasons to holiday in Crete. It could go on and on, and surely after a visit to this incredible island, you’ll be able to compile your own list. Crete is a place that stays in your heart and memories for years after you leave. So pack your bags, book a cheap flight to Heraklion and get going. It’s time for a vacation!