holidays2crete.com – Destination guides and holidays to Crete 2017 http://www.holidays2crete.com Crete holiday deals and resort guides Sun, 10 Jun 2018 17:35:38 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 111070772 Secret Beach Spotlight: Seitan Limania in Chania http://www.holidays2crete.com/secret-beach-seitan-limania/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/secret-beach-seitan-limania/#respond Sun, 22 May 2016 13:12:17 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=2572 Secret Beach Spotlight: Seitan Limania  in Chania Here at holidays2crete.com we know sometimes on holiday you just want to get away from the masses and enjoy some peace and quiet.  We aim to make this happen and highlight the beaches in this series that only the locals know about.  Here is the first secret beach in our series: Seitan Limania. You …

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Secret Beach Spotlight: Seitan Limania  in Chania

Here at holidays2crete.com we know sometimes on holiday you just want to get away from the masses and enjoy some peace and quiet.  We aim to make this happen and highlight the beaches in this series that only the locals know about.  Here is the first secret beach in our series: Seitan Limania.

You wont find throngs of tourists here, just a handful of locals and sometimes not even a soul.  On the quiet days you can enjoy the gorgeous warm waters, white sandy beaches all to your yourself.

The locals wont mention these beaches normally as they like to keep the secret beaches to themselves but this beach in Chania is too good not to share with our loyal holidays2crete.com visitors.

Seitan Limania hidden beach Seitan Limania hidden beach Seitan Limania hidden beach Seitan Limania hidden beach
Finding the beach

In order to reach the beach, drive towards Chania airport. After turning towards the airport, look out for the signs for the village Hordaki.

As you get to the entrance of Hordaki village take a right and just before the hill which leads to the mountain Skloka, you turn right again towards the church of Saint Rafael.

Drive by the church of Saint Rafael and keep following a  a twisty downhill road  leading over the beach, where you can park.  Park up and leave the windows slightly ajar to let in the breeze and cover your steering wheel with a towel(you will thank me when you get back in that you don’t burn your hands)

Then head down the dirt path on foot and you will reach the charming beach of Seitan Limania. Its a rugged, rocky path with local flora and fauna on each side (jagged spiky bushes at times) so wear decent shoes rather than flip flops.

There is nothing on the beach at all in the way of toilets or refreshments so pack a cool-box with plenty of water and food to keep you going through the day.  Remember the temperatures in Crete in the height of summer can reach the mid 40s so take an umbrella and towels for the hot sand.

 

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Anissaras holiday package in Crete for £189pp – incl. flights, 7 nights 3* hotel http://www.holidays2crete.com/deal-869031/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/deal-869031/#respond Sat, 21 May 2016 18:23:01 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=2559 The post Anissaras holiday package in Crete for £189pp – incl. flights, 7 nights 3* hotel appeared first on holidays2crete.com - Destination guides and holidays to Crete 2017.

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Anissaras holiday package in Crete for £189pp – incl. flights, 7 nights 3* hotel

OK deal spotters we have a last minute June deal near Hersonissos in Crete with lowcostholidays.com.  Located just outside of Hersonissos these apartments have a 7.5 rating on TripAdvisor and from personal experience have some really friendly welcoming owners who cant do enough for you.

This is a room only deal with the option to upgrade to self catering, bed and breakfast and more.  Flights are from London but there are some cheap flights from Birmingham and Manchester as well.

Hotel description

The Villa Marina Studios are located in the cosmopolitan resort of Hersonissos in Crete. The resort attracts a varied group of tourists, appealing to couples, young groups and families looking for a resort offering the ideal holiday package. Hersonissos has a thriving nightlife, sandy beaches with sightseeing boat trips, excellent Tavernas and shopping. For golf fans, there is an excellent course available.

The nearby sandy beaches, coves to explore, boat trips and excellent shopping haunts will keep you busy during the days with a vibrant and lively nightlife to enjoy in the evenings. The nearby mountain village of Piskopiano gives a taste of traditional Greek life, something that’s becoming a rarity on this side of the island.

The 19 studios available offer all the facilities you will need on your stay, including air conditioned rooms, a large swimming pool, children’s pool and playground, pool snack bar, exchange facilities, TV lounge, safety deposit boxes and a weekly BBQ held throughout the summer months.

Details of the deal:
  • Travel Duration is 7 nights
  • 3* Star Hotel rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor
  • easyJet Flights from Gatwick to Heraklion (HER)
  • Depart June 14th to 21st June
  • Hand & Hold Luggage – Included
  • Board Basis – Room only
  • ATOL Protected Package
  • Based on 2 Adults

As with all deals they are subject to availability and subject to change, we try our best to update the prices when we spot them increasing.

Travel Extras

Always make sure you book adequate travel insurance by wither taking out single trip or annual trip insurance.  We have found a decent deal with Flexicover who normally come out top on comparison sites for the lowest travel insurance quotes with some of the best perks.  At holidays2crete.com we use them year after year and touch wood have never had to claim but its reassuring to know they are there.

Don’t want to miss another holidays2crete.com deal?  Make sure you sign up to our newsletter.  We don’t send it too often but when we do its choc full of great Crete holidays and hotel deals.

 

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Malia, Crete, Greece bargain 11 night package just £185pp inc flights, 3* hotel & transfers http://www.holidays2crete.com/deal-3981001/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/deal-3981001/#respond Fri, 20 May 2016 15:50:27 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=2508 The post Malia, Crete, Greece bargain 11 night package just £185pp inc flights, 3* hotel & transfers appeared first on holidays2crete.com - Destination guides and holidays to Crete 2017.

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Malia, Crete, Greece bargain 11 night package just £185pp - incl. flights, transfers and 3* hotel

OK deal spotters we have a cracking deal on an 11 night holidays to Malia in Crete.  Its in the middle of June so a busy season and its getting quite hot in Crete at this time.  Would recommend this place for either young couples, best friends or young at heart couples as Malia is a party town and gets quite hectic in June, July and August.

The flights are from London Gatwick but there are other options to choose from, moving dates seems to up the price so they have priced this to shift quickly.  Its going fast and a few people have mailed already to say thanks for the find so get on it quickly before they all go.

Hotel description

The best thing about this place is its location. It’s on a side street just off Malia Mile, so you’ve got restaurants, bars and clubs to hand.

Hotel Malia Dedalos is on a quiet side street, but the strip is only round the corner, so you’ve got bars and clubs in arm’s reach. Paradise Beach isn’t far, either – it’s about 15 minutes’ walk away.

Bedrooms are simply decorated, and come with a balcony or terrace. The studios have handy kitchenettes, too. Outside there’s a pool and sun terrace, plus a snack bar.

Details of the deal:
  • Travel Duration is 11 nights
  • 2* Star Hotel rated 3.5/5 on TripAdvisor
  • Flights from Gatwick to Heraklion (HER)
  • Depart June 17th to 28th June
  • Hand & Hold Luggage – Included
  • Board Basis – Bed & Breakfast – Continental buffet breakfast.
  • Return Airport Coach Transfers – Included
  • ATOL Protected Package
  • Based on 2 Adults

As with all deals they are subject to availability and subject to change, we try our best to update the prices when we spot them increasing.

Travel Extras

Always make sure you book adequate travel insurance by wither taking out single trip or annual trip insurance.  We have found a decent deal with Flexicover who normally come out top on comparison sites for the lowest travel insurance quotes with some of the best perks.  At holidays2crete.com we use them year after year and touch wood have never had to claim but its reassuring to know they are there.

Don’t want to miss another holidays2crete.com deal?  Make sure you sign up to our newsletter.  We don’t send it too often but when we do its choc full of great Crete holidays and hotel deals.

 

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Top 10 Crete beaches to visit http://www.holidays2crete.com/top-10-crete-beaches-visit/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/top-10-crete-beaches-visit/#respond Sun, 08 May 2016 17:54:55 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=2129 Top 10 Crete beaches to visit Today we explore the top 10 Crete beaches to visit whilst you’re on holiday on the wonderful island.  Whether it’s your first time visiting Crete or you’re a regular visitor I hope you find this guide useful.  I’m open to more suggestion on other hidden beaches if you have any, as this list is …

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Top 10 Crete beaches to visit

Today we explore the top 10 Crete beaches to visit whilst you’re on holiday on the wonderful island.  Whether it’s your first time visiting Crete or you’re a regular visitor I hope you find this guide useful.  I’m open to more suggestion on other hidden beaches if you have any, as this list is by no means exhaustive

Balos Beach (1)
Balos Beach - Crete beaches

Balos Beach

It has to be Balos beach on the west side of Crete.  It sits west of Chania and can be reached by either hiring a car, taking an organised trip with your holiday company or from any number of organised boat trips that run throughout the summer from the port of Kissamos for around 25 euros.

The island and beaches are amazing, with crystal clear blue waters and white sandy beaches it does get very busy in the height of summer but its worth it for the views and the pictures you will get.

An interesting point about this wonderful area is the island you see in the picture actually has a Venetian fortress built atop it, this was to purge and then protect the island from the Turkish invaders, and was one of the first areas in Crete to get rid of the invaders in 1825.

 

Vai Beach (2)
Vai Beach - Top Crete beaches

Vai Beach

Vai  is a famous Crete beach and known throughout Europe for being where they filmed those old Bounty chocolate adverts of the 80’s and 90s.  It’s the only indigenous wild date palm grove in Greece, and they line the beach creating a very tropical paradise with golden sand being lapped by the clear blue sea.  It is said that Via beach and the date palm forest that now exists there came about by Phoenician merchants when passing by threw away the seeds of the dates they ate, they eventually washed up onshore and grew into the forest that’s there today.

For those wanting to get to Vai you will find it around 94km from Agios Nikoloas and 25km east of Sitia and there are regular excursions to the beach which can be bought from your holiday representative or through local Cretan travel agents.

There are quite a few snack bars and cafes on the beach so you wont go hungry, you can hire a couple of sunbeds and an umbrella and either chill out and relax or go snorkelling or use the water sports they also provide there for an additional cost.

Paleohora beach (3)
paleohora beach

Paleohora or Paleochora beach

A wonderful 1km stretch of beach on the southwest coast, well two combined beaches anyway and you can take your pick from the sandy Pahiá Ámmos beach on the west side or the quieter pebble beach of Halikiá on the eastern side.  If you are on this side of the island its around a 90 minute drive from Chania which sits around 75km away, and the same on any of the public buses.

The area has plenty of beach side Tavernas, cafes and fast food places to eat.  If you have never had a gyros before then try them here, only a couple of euros and you will remember the taste forever.

This beach is popular with windsurfers due to the winds that can pick up in the bay area, so if you’re feeling adventurous why not give it a try?  For a more relaxing time you can always grab your snorkel and flippers and take a leisurely swim around.

 

Elafonisi beach (4)

Crete Beaches - Elafonisi

This is probably one of our favourite Crete beaches and we find ourselves back here year after year.  It is actually a small islet connected to mainland Crete by a shallow reef.  You can get to the islet when the sea is calm but we always advise wearing suitable foot wear.   Elafonisi beach is around a 80 minute drive from Chania but again you will find they do regular boat trips here from Kissamos port.

What makes Elafonisi beach so nice is the pink sands and crystal clear blue waters.  The pink sand has come from the red and pink shells on the coral reef that have been ground up by the seas and has gradually built up over the centuries.

There are a few cafes and fast food outlets here with sunbeds on the main beach ready for hire with umbrellas.  You will also find normal toilet facilities and changing areas.

Preveli beach (5)
crete beaches - preveli beach

Preveli Beach

One of the most picturesque Top 10 Crete beaches sits in the area of Rethymnon and the beach sits around 40km from the town of Preveli.  You can get to the beach of Preveli by parking up near Preveli Monastery or by one of the many boat trip excursions that sail from Plakias or Agia Galini.

Preveli beach is pretty unique in Crete, with a large river called Kourtaliotis River ending up here, it’s surrounded by lush green vegetation, palm trees and the like.  The white sands draw visitors from all over the island and for those that like something different and a bit of a hike its the perfect place to explore.

Because of its natural beauty and its a popular beach in Crete it does get very busy in the height of summer, you will always find a sunbed but try and get there early for the best sports, or take your own towels and just lie on the waters edge and have the crystal clear waters lapping at your feet.

Myrtos Beach (6)
Myrtos beach Crete

Myrtos beach

Myrtos beaches lays at the base of Mt Díkti’s foothills and offers a  kilometre of  fine-pebble and shingle beach.  You can grab the local buses from Ierapetra which run daily through the week and a couple of times at the weekend or grab a car and drive down.

Myrtos beach is a lovely little beach, not too overcrowded now, and the sunbeds here are refreshingly free of charge, normally laid on by the Tavernas that line part of the beach in the hope that you frequent their restaurant.  And to be honest why wouldn’t you?  The food here is top class and the service is impeccable.

As for what to do on Myrtos beach then really its just sunbathing with a spot of snorkelling.  Or for the more adventurous you can grab a kayak from the local water sports company that operators on Myrtos.

Matala Beach (7)
Matala beach Crete

Matala Beach

The famous Matala beach, still known across Crete for its association with the hippy movement in the 70s and 80s, although most beaches including Via and Myrtos has a large population of hippies around that time it was Matala where the image of them stuck more than any.

Matala beach is always busy throughout the summer months, but you will always find a space to sunbathe.  The beach itself is around 300m long and there is normally a good set of bamboo umbrellas and sunbeds offered for small fee by the owners of the Tavernas.

Matala is covered more in our guides but the beach is flanked by some caves, once inhabited in pre-historic times, more recently by the hippy communes and now either free for you to roam or fenced off for preservation.  Back to the beach you will also find water sports available to enjoy for small local charge.

Plakias Beach (8)
Plakias beach Crete

Plakias beach

You will find the fine sandy beach of Plakias around 40km from the town of Rethymnon, around a 30 minute drive or bus trip.  Of course Plakias is a lovely holiday town by itself, so if you book a holiday here you get to enjoy this lovely beach on your doorstep.

Just like the other beaches you will find an organised assortment of areas set out with sunbeds and umbrellas.  These are normally served by the beach side cafe bars and Tavernas where you will find a relatively inexpensive snack or lunch.

As the other Crete beaches water sports are available for a small charge, and operate most days.

 

Tymbaki beach (9)
Tymbaki beach

Tymbaki beach

Not all  Crete beaches are organised with sunbeds, umbrellas and a multitude of cafes and tavernas.  Some like Tymbaki beach just past Heraklion airport stretch for miles and and almost deserted.  Why deserted?  Well there have been a few small hotels there and some studios and pensions exist around the area but it has never taken off as a big tourist area.

Which is to the benefit of the locals and holidaymakers looking to getaway from the crowds alike.  This beach is a fine sandy beach with plenty of fishing and snorkeling opportunities if you are near the rocks and due to its exposed location is the perfect place for windsurfers and surfers if the waves get high enough.

 

Falassarna beach (10)
Falassarna beach

Falassarna beach

Falassarna beach is not far from the town of Kissamos and 58km from Chania and has won prizes for its cleanliness and its crystal clear waters.  The beaches stretch that far in both directions that you are never too overcrowded like some of the more popular beaches we have mentioned in this article.

This is another of the exposed Crete beaches that gets quite a bit of wind, but makes it a very popular choice for windsurfers and surfers alike.  You can choose to go on the local water sports like the doughnut rides or jet skis.

There are of course plenty of facilities on the beach including cafes, fast food shacks, tavernas with toilets and changing facilities.

 

If you have any extra photos of our 10 favourite Crete beaches please feel free to contact us and submit them and we will add them on to help other new travellers to Crete choose their favourite beach.

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Four in Crete http://www.holidays2crete.com/four-in-crete/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/four-in-crete/#respond Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:22:48 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=1366 Four things to do in Crete There are few places in Europe where you can find such and amazing mix of cultures and landscapes in such a tiny little space. The island of Crete is packed full of history dating back thousands of years, rivaling places such as Rome and Athens. It has some of the best beaches in the …

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Four things to do in Crete

There are few places in Europe where you can find such and amazing mix of cultures and landscapes in such a tiny little space. The island of Crete is packed full of history dating back thousands of years, rivaling places such as Rome and Athens. It has some of the best beaches in the entire Med that despite tourism remain pristine and beautiful. It has a rugged mountainous interior forming a heaven on earth scenario for outdoor enthusiasts with skiing in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. All this in an area roughly 28 times smaller than Britain.

But how do you cram everything into just seven days? In fact, once you’ve taken into account arrival and departure days and at least one day to do nothing but relax on the beach or by the pool, you have just four days left to sample the best Crete has to offer. Here are four must see things to see and do on the largest of the Greek islands.

See ancient civilizations

Way back in 2600-1150 BC, Crete was home to the Minoan civilization, a sophisticated Bronze Age culture that built palaces, tombs and sacred sites and it even had a large navy. They were later superseded by Mycenaean’s from Greece and the Romans. The best places to explore this ancient history and the cultural remnants of a unique civilization are Knossos, Phaistos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

The remains at Knossos are alive with legends and myth. It is here that Prince Theseus supposedly killed the Minotaur in its labyrinth. There are only ruins to see, but the atmosphere is such you can imagine ancient civilizations living here.  

Experience amazing nature

The Samaria Gorge is 14km long and 1250 metres deep. It is part of a large national park of the same name and is one of the most outstanding gorges in Europe. It is a tough hike, particularly the last 3kms but well worth it for the views and overwhelming sense of achievement.

Seek out adventure

The Ha Gorge on the eastern side of Crete is popular with canoeists, white-water rafting lovers and rock climbers. The waters are wild and forceful, and the sheer cliffs, up to 300 metres high, make for challenging climbs with exhilarating views.

Taste something new

20% of Greece’s wine is grown in Crete and most of that is from the Peza area south of Heraklion. There are numerous vineyards allowing you to taste your way around the region, sampling the best wines of the season.

We have a growing selection of Crete holidays to choose from with a variety of hotel options so you can explore and relax in equal measure.

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Guide to the Nudist beaches in Crete http://www.holidays2crete.com/guide-nudist-beaches-crete/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/guide-nudist-beaches-crete/#respond Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:18:06 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=1362 Guide to the Nudist beaches in Crete Ever felt like casting off your clothes and just being at one with nature, well even if you haven’t there are a lot of visitors to Crete who do this on a regular basis or has been part of their lifestyle for many years.  So we decided to write down a guide to …

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Guide to the Nudist beaches in Crete

crete nudist beachEver felt like casting off your clothes and just being at one with nature, well even if you haven’t there are a lot of visitors to Crete who do this on a regular basis or has been part of their lifestyle for many years.  So we decided to write down a guide to the nudist beaches in Crete for all those naturists who have never visited this wonderful island.

Crete is one of the largest Greek islands and comes with a wide selection of amazing beaches all around the island.  We have travelled through most of Crete and counted there to be around 15 beaches on the Eastern side of Crete, 12 on the northern side, 13 on the west side of Crete and more than 30 on the southern side of Crete.

For those that haven’t tried it before and fancy trying it away on holiday where nobody knows you then you must know that nude sunbathing comes with a few do’s and don’ts – we will cover these here and give you a few recommendations to nude sunbathing in Crete.

•  Firstly the main do’s and don’ts of nude sunbathing are:  lewd behaviour is not tolerated, either is photographs or filming.  Don’t stare or gawp at others as this behaviour isn’t tolerated either.  By not following the rules you will be asked to leave a nudist beach.

•  Some beaches are split into certain areas, for couples, families, singles and gay.  Make sure you choose the right area to sunbathe in.

•  Remember to take sun block, if you have never been to a nudist beach before then you will burn badly as some areas of your body may never have seen sunlight….

•  Some nudist beaches are clothing optional, so if your not too confident these beaches may be the best start.

If your looking for nude beaches in Crete then we have listed a few for you start with.

For the east side of Crete try a small nudist beach near Hersonissos and Anissaras, its quite easily accessible shingle beach which sits at the bottom of a small cliff.  You can be overlooked by non nude people from the cliff areas, so if your a first timer or quite shy just be aware of this.

The south edge of the island near Sfakia has a wonderfully named beach called Sweetwater Beach.  This beautiful stretch gets its name from the springs of water that bubble under the stones at the back of the beach.  There is a Taverna at the western end of the beach where boats from Loutro and Chora Sfakia dock.  This beach is much more remote and can only be accessed on foot via Loutro.

If you need more information on nudist beaches in Crete then use Captain barefoot’s guide.

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Guide to the Eateries of Crete http://www.holidays2crete.com/guide-eateries-of-crete/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/guide-eateries-of-crete/#respond Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:59:41 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=1356 Guide to the Eateries of Crete What is there to know I hear you ask? Surely a restaurant is a restaurant in Crete, the same as it anywhere else? Well you would be forgiven for thinking so, but if you want to experience the best of Greek cuisine on the island of Crete, it is best to understand and recognise …

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Guide to the Eateries of Crete

greek-taverna-normalWhat is there to know I hear you ask? Surely a restaurant is a restaurant in Crete, the same as it anywhere else? Well you would be forgiven for thinking so, but if you want to experience the best of Greek cuisine on the island of Crete, it is best to understand and recognise the different types of eateries of Crete which are prevalent on this amazing island.

Furnos

Take a stroll down most Crete roads and you will see plenty of Furnos, or pie shops. They are literally everywhere and perhaps the most common type of eatery in Crete. They sell all sorts of pies, from cheese to spinach, and the locals are often seen walking down the street with pie in hand, at all times of the day. If you are a pie lover, then Crete has to be on your wish list as a holiday destination.

 

 

Kreperi

Another food shop which you may come across is a Kreperi, a place which sells crepes often at rock bottom prices. If you are a bit peckish then popping into one of these if always a safe bet. Crepes containing cheese are very popular, and can often be topped with mushrooms too.

Estiatorio

This is a classic restaurant and what many of you who visit Crete will be expecting to eat in most of the time. It will have a fairly broad menu, covering local dishes as well as certain international foods too. Prices can vary – if you are in a popular tourist resort then expect to see a bigger mark-up then you would do in a less popular area.

Taverna 

For a traditional experience, you must visit a taverna. These are essentially just small restaurants, run by families who have in some cases converted parts of their home to serve locals and increasingly tourists. These are the places to head to if you want home style cooing in a relaxing atmosphere without paying over the top for the pleasure as can be the case in some restaurants, as is the case in cities throughout the world.

No matter what you fancy to eat the best on your Crete holiday, you certainly will not be lacking in options. Why not try all of these different types of eateries on your visit? That way you can experience the food the locals eat and get involved in the local culture too!

 

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Visit the East of Crete http://www.holidays2crete.com/visit-the-east-of-crete/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/visit-the-east-of-crete/#respond Sat, 16 Apr 2016 10:11:55 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=311 Visit East Crete When people pick Crete as a vacation destination they either go for the east or the west side of the island.  The West is more laid back and perfect for those who want to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, but East Crete has so much to offer and a side of …

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Visit East Crete

When people pick Crete as a vacation destination they either go for the east or the west side of the island.  The West is more laid back and perfect for those who want to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, but East Crete has so much to offer and a side of many contrasts.

Firstly the main airport for the eastern side of Crete is Heraklion, and it accepts flights internationally and domestic, although the main influx of flights comes during the high or peak season of May till October.

Heraklion is the capital of Crete and is an excellent city with plenty of history.  With the Greek naval Museum and fortress on the port of Heraklion, moving into the city you can find local markets, and stunning architecture.  Another big draw for history lovers has to be the Archaeological Museum where the finds from Knossos Palace are held.

Knossos Palace is the main draw for tourists visiting Crete, the start of modern civilization as we know it with the Minoan Empire and the seat of King Minos.  The palace of Knossos was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans and is now open to the public daily.

Getting off the plane and heading straight for the coast you come across Kokkini Hani, Gouves and Gournes.  These small villages have a varied amount to do in them but all hug the beautiful Cretan coastline with nice white sandy beaches.  The nightlife in Kokkini Hani and Gournes is fairly limited, with a few small touristy bars and local Tavernas.  Gouves has quite a large amount of bars but is never to overwhelming and it’s a friendly and enjoyable place to take your family.

Moving onto Hersonissos, Stalis and Malia this is where it becomes livelier and where you will find the bulk of European holidaymaker’s who come here mainly for the clubs, bars and pubs and generally anyone wanting a fun filled holiday should visit this area.

Don’t discount this area for just clubbing and pubs, it’s also has points of interest like Malia Palace, Lassithi Plateau for you to explore and this area is very popular with hikers, walkers and mountain bikers.

Moving on further to the eastern tip of the island you will find Agios Nikolaos or Ag Nik for short with its famous bottomless lake, where it’s believed the Germans dumped all the munitions and tanks to evade capture by the British and locals in WWII.  Near Ag Nik you will find the buzzing cosmopolitan town of Elounda, which itself is a vacation haven for A list Hollywood stars and has some beautiful blue star beaches.

The island of Spinalonga is the main draw for holidaymaker’s visiting this area which was once a leper colony for all of Greece, where the lepers were held in isolation before much was known about the disease of leprosy.

Move around the coast to find the area of Sitia and Ierapetra, quieter by comparison to their south eastern neighbours.  Smaller fishing ports filled with lots of history, ruined fortresses and Byzantine churches.  This area doesn’t cater for tourists as much as Heraklion, Gouves, Elounda and the likes but depends more on the economy of farming and fishing so hotels are slightly harder to come by.

The east of Crete can be lively and packed with tourists during the summer, but escape into the smaller villages or Old Towns of the main areas of Hersonissos and Malia and you will find the real Cretan way of life.  But one thing you must do when visiting is to visit Spinalonga and Knossos palace.

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Visit the West Of Crete http://www.holidays2crete.com/visit-the-west-of-crete/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/visit-the-west-of-crete/#respond Sat, 16 Apr 2016 10:10:03 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=309 West Crete and why visit? Why do people prefer the visiting west Crete then?  Basically it boils down to the many varied resorts and small coastline villages on offer and the warm Cretan welcome you receive when you stay at many of the hotels and small private villas in this area. Starting off in the west of Crete you will …

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West Crete and why visit?

Balos Beach - Crete beaches

Why do people prefer the visiting west Crete then?  Basically it boils down to the many varied resorts and small coastline villages on offer and the warm Cretan welcome you receive when you stay at many of the hotels and small private villas in this area.

Starting off in the west of Crete you will arrive in Chania airport, which accepts domestic and international flights, it sits just outside the city of Chania, which is the old capital of Crete and the 2nd largest city on the island.  It has some amazing history to explore, with Venetian ruins and architecture to look at, including influences from the Turkish and Byzantine eras.  

Two of the most important features in Chania have to be the fountain of Rimondi, in the central square surrounded by cafes and Tavernas.  Also the Agora cross shaped market, this market is shaped like a cross, dating back hundreds of years and is a market where you can barter and browse the many Cretan wares including honey, fresh herbs, meats and an assortment of hand crafted goods.

Moving on from Chania you can visit the Akrotiri Peninsula, where the countryside becomes more rugged and mountainous, here you will find smaller villages of Souda, Horafakia and many more.  This is an area filled with caves and gorges which are all open to the public, but beware a good off-road vehicle will be needed to access many of these areas.  The beaches in this area are often deserted and you can enjoy a whole day on the beach without seeing a soul.

Next visit Rethymnon, the silver and gold capital of the island where you can find exquisite handmade jewellery available in a variety of shops and outlets.   The town of Rethymnon also has a great 2km long white sandy beach which wins a blue flag award every year so the sun worshippers among you will be well catered for.

If the hustle and bustle of Rethymnon  is too much for you then escape over the south west of the island, where you will find the hidden villages of Loutro and Sfakia.  Loutro is one of the few villages in Crete that has hardly been touched by tourism at all.  In fact the only way to get into Loutro is via daily boat trips or walking to it.

Sfakia has some amazing beaches to relax on, and has become very popular area for nudists to visit due to the fact some beaches are never set foot on.  The crystal clear waters here are excellent for scuba diving and snorkelling so remember to bring the right equipment.

One of the biggest draws to the area of Sfakia has to be Samaria Gorge, the 2nd largest gorge in Europe and home to the endangered Kri Kri goat and some very rare flora and fauna.  You can walk the area of Samaria Gorge all through the summer, as the Greek authorities open the national park to tourists ever summer from June until September.  To walk the gorge you must be physically fit and be used to walking long and arduous terrain.  When you come out of Samaria Gorge you have the welcoming sight of Agia Roumeli, a small port and village where the ferry will take you back to Chania.

One final place you will see in a number of photographs is the area of Gramavoussa or Balos, this is a large island on the western tip of Crete, with pink sandy beaches, it’s hard to get to in a car but well worth the views and pictures you will come home too.  Many people say Balos beach can be compared to the Maldives or a tropical beach.

if your thinking about visiting the West of Crete then be prepared for amazing sights, a friendly Cretan welcome and of course a very busy time sorting out the thousands of photographs you will take while there.

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100 Reasons to visit Crete in Greece – Updated 2017 http://www.holidays2crete.com/100-reasons-to-visit-crete-in-greece/ http://www.holidays2crete.com/100-reasons-to-visit-crete-in-greece/#respond Sat, 16 Apr 2016 10:07:53 +0000 http://www.holidays2crete.com/?p=307 The friendly welcoming locals that will make you feel right at home instantly. Crete has some of the hottest summer temperatures in Greece with the summer temperatures averaging 34°C The local drink of Crete is Raki and locals claim drinking it will give you a long and healthy life. Crete is only 4 hours flight from most European destinations and …

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  • The friendly welcoming locals that will make you feel right at home instantly.
  • Crete has some of the hottest summer temperatures in Greece with the summer temperatures averaging 34°C
  • The local drink of Crete is Raki and locals claim drinking it will give you a long and healthy life.
  • Crete is only 4 hours flight from most European destinations and only GMT+2 so its easy to adapt and enjoy your holiday.
  • This small island has some of the best wine in all of Greece but also famous for some of the strongest and sharpest wine called Retsina, a local wine which many compare to vinegar but its an acquired taste.
  • You will always find someone in Crete who speaks English, Dutch or German as well as Greek so you will always get help in one way or another if your lost or in need of a place to stay.
  • Visit the town of Spili near Agia Galini and see the amazing fountain with 25 carved lions heads spouting out clean and drinkable sweet water.
  • The palace of Knossos is a must see and is unique to Crete and believed to be the start of modern civilization.
  • Your just a short cruise from the romantic island of Santorini and can easily book to visit it in a day trip.
  • Victoria Hislop wrote a book based on called “The Island” and its based on the island of Spinalonga near Elounda.
  • Lady gaga was recently spotted taking her holiday in Crete and she is not the first, many of Hollywood’s A-lister’s choose to holiday here and get away from the paparazzi.
  • The olive oil you can buy in Crete is some of the finest in the world, look out for it in local markets and village stores rather than in supermarkets.
  • Visit the island of Spinalonga which was one of the last Leper colonies in the world, take a guided boat trip and enjoy a beach BBQ after.
  • The Greek island of Crete has been occupied countless times in the past, from the Ottoman Turks to the Venetians and their architecture is still present toady in the larger cities of Rethymnon, Heraklion and Chania.
  • Crete has some of the best beaches in Greece from the sandy beaches of Matala, Rethymnon, Malia and more to the secluded pebble and shingle bays on the southern side of Crete near Sfakia and Loutro.
  • Visit the area of Phaistos or Festos and explore the ancient ruins which date back to 4000 BC.  In 1908, one of Crete’s most famous artefacts was discovered in Phaistos, known as the Phaistos Disc.
  • Crete is the birthplace of El Greco and famous Renaissance artist and you can visit his birthplace in Fodele near Heraklion.
  • When your in Crete and visiting the eastern side then take a look at Cretan Open-air Museum ‘LYCHNOSTATIS ‘ near Hersonissos for an insight into the Cretan culture and the way things were done.
  • Thomson holidays has so much faith in Crete that they built their first Sensatori all inclusive luxury resort near Analipsi in Crete and its one of their premier properties for holidaymaker’s.
  • You can go deep sea sport fishing here with large Tuna shoals running on the southern side of the island.
  • The island is home to the unique Kri Kri goat and can be seen in and around the Samaria Gorge
  • Chania has a famous Cross shaped market and is open daily and your best place to find authentic local produce and goods like feta cheese, olive oils and local Cretan honey.
  • Take a tour around the Venetian fortress in Rethymnon and you will get some great photographs and memories to share with the family.
  • The food of Greece is some of the healthiest in the world, with amazing fresh Greek salads, goats cheeses, and grilled meats all normally hand reared locally.
  • Choose to visit in Easter and join the Greek Easter celebrations which are nothing like what you get back at home, with spit roasted whole lamb and sweet breads.  Its like an Christmas but better.
  • Crete is excellent for surfing, you can surf the huge waves that sometimes crop up near Kissamos and other parts of Crete.
  • Near Gouves and Gournes they have a huge aquarium called CretAquarium and its well worth a visit to see the local sea life of Crete and Greece.
  • Crete is home to some of the best citrus fruits in Europe, with some of the juiciest and sweetest oranges to be found in Fodele.
  • They recently filmed a version of a popular American show called Americas Next Top Model with Tyra Banks visiting Agios Nikolaos and doing model photo shoots on the local beaches.

  • Heraklion is home to the Saturday Gypsy local market and you can find all manner of local products and delicacies.
  • The island has a sleeping dragon lying just offshore, its called Drag or Dia island and when you look at it from near Heraklion city it looks just like a sleeping dragon.
  • Visit Preveli and see the amazing monastery and palm beach, one of the most photographed and popular destinations for visitors to Crete.
  • The chance of getting a sunny and hot holiday is high in Crete and waking up to the sun blazing through your window is enough to give your mind body and soul a much needed boost.
  • There are many activities to do in Crete also from scuba diving, swimming, fishing, climbing, horse riding and sightseeing to name a few.
  • Take a tour to the wonderful sandy beaches of Elafonisi and enjoy the pink sandy beaches and if you wonder far enough you may find your own private cove to relax and enjoy without being disturbed.
  • If your into walking or hiking then you have to visit Samaria Gorge, one of the longest gorges in Europe and a must do for those keen hikers.  You can get some amazing pictures too!
  • Visit the caves of Matala where Bob Dylan and others all chilled out and got high in the 60’s and 70’s.
  • The island of Crete was one of the last Greek islands to stand against the Germans in WWII and the famous battle of Crete took place here near Maleme and Souda.
  • If your a keen nudist then the island of Crete caters for this very well with nudist beaches in Hersonissos and near Loutro to name a few.

  • Nikos Kazantzakis was born here and he wrote some of the greatest books of our time including Zorba the Greek, Freedom or Death, The Last Temptation and many more.
  • The White Mountains or Lefka Ori mountains are the largest and most impressive in Crete and you can even go skiing in the winter here.
  • Malia is one of the most popular clubbing destinations in all of Greece and was featured in the recent “The Inbetweeners” movie.
  • Crete has the 2nd largest Waterpark called Watercity in Europe in its in Kokkini Hani near the airport.
  • Crete is home to Vai beach, one of the few remaining natural palm tree forests in Europe and where they filmed the bounty advert.
  • Holidays are relatively cheap to Greece at the moment due to the high euro and recent problems but rather than being put off make sure you grab a bargain holiday.
  • Try visiting Lake Kournas to see one of only 2 freshwater lakes in Crete and its one of the most beautiful.  With small Terrapins and goldfish seen swimming wild its a safe and relaxing place to bring the family for a different day out on the beach.
  • The clear blue seas, the Aegean and Libyan seas throughout the summer are warm and inviting and with gently shelving beaches you can be sure that the kids don’t go in too far.
  • The island of Crete has part of the E4 Trail and is an excellent place for walkers and hikers.  Try some of the many walking guides on our website.
  • Try visiting Rethymnon for some of the finest Gold and Silver jewellery in Greece.  You can get items made to order or choose from a selection of what’s on offer.
  • If designer labels are your thing then Heraklion city has it all, all the major chains are here and you can pick up some tax free bargains to take home.
  • Watersports are on offer on most beaches in Crete and are cheap enough for the whole family to enjoy.
  • The resorts are so varied with hectic party resorts like Hersonissos and Malia to the quiet and chilled out beach resorts of Sissi, Stalis, Ierapetra, Sfakia and more.  There is literally a resort for everyone.
  • A visit to Chrissi island or Donkey island has to be on the cards if you visit Crete.  You can enjoy a day on the beach or swimming in the clear blue waters.
  • Make sure you buy some local Cretan honey to take home, its fresh and sweet and you can taste the herbs and flowers that the bees feed off in the honey.  And it’s good for you!
  • If you’re into ghosts then a visit to the ancient castle of Frangokastello is in order, rumoured that you can see the ghosts of the fights who fought in the Battle of Frangokastello on the anniversary every year.
  • The charming mountain villages of Crete hold a secret, the food here is cheaper than the tourist’s resorts and it’s the real Cretan way of life you can experience here.  Try driving into the mountains of Lassithi and see what you find.
  • Buy up the grapes from any local market stall in the summer and you will find these to be the sweetest and most succulent grapes you have ever had.
  • Make new friends on your Crete holidays.  The hoteliers in Crete are famous for their hospitality and friendships have been forged between hoteliers and guests that have lasted for years.
  • Visit Topolou Monastery or one of the many others in Crete to see some amazing Frescos and stunning gold work.  These monastery’s and churches are treasured and offer some excellent photo opportunities where allowed.
  • They have some excellent organised Greek Nights where you can enjoy the food and wine of Crete and enjoy watching spectacular shows by professional Greek dancers.  You will find one of the best in Anopolis Village.
  • You can still take Donkey rides or horse rides on the beach.  A few stables in Crete offer this facility.
  • There is an amazing choice of hotels in every resort, from self catering villas and studios all the way up to sprawling all inclusive complexes.
  • If you’re a photographer you will find the views all over Crete something very hard to resist with photo opportunities cropping up everywhere you go.
  • Crete is an idea place to get married, it’s easy to get married and get it organised with companies doing the ground work for you and the locations can be stunning and normally always matched with perfect weather.
  • If you fancy living in Crete there is a wealth of information o help you choose the island and a thriving ex pat community in larger towns and villages.
  • Visit the many museums in Heraklion and find out the history of Crete and Greece and see some amazing pieces of artwork and artefacts.
  • Go Bungee jumping of one of the highest bridges in Europe with a fully qualified company.
  • Take boat trips all over the island and visit secluded coves and beaches and enjoy a day out on the waves.
  • If you’re looking to get off the tourist trail then there are plenty of hidden villages and villas you can book off the beaten track.
  • In Hersonissos there is a Waterpark just on the beach so you get the best of both worlds, beach and slides!
  • Visit the Palace of Knossos for a few euros and see where Theseus fought the mythical Minotaur.
  • Another great reason to visit Crete if you’re from the UK is to buy duty free in Crete.  Watch your limits though.
  • Become immersed in a different culture and join in cultural celebrations.  Planning  ahead and going at the right time the locals will include you in their celebrations.
  • Go mountain biking in Crete, there are many winding roads and off road trails to explore ad you will meet some friendly locals along the way.
  • Try your hand and skydiving or paragliding if you feel that way inclined, there is a school for both on Crete.
  • There are WWII wrecks to dive to on the coast of Crete including German plans and shipwrecks.  Some of these you won’t see anywhere else in the world so why no try your hand at learning to scuba dive.
  • Go island hopping from Crete, you can jump on at Heraklion or Chania airport and fly to other islands for the day or week.
  • Take up sailing; the island of Crete can get quite windy and is perfect for sailing and going yachting.
  • If you enjoy the Irish hospitality then try visiting the resort of Stalis on the eastern side of Crete and you will find some welcoming Irish bars.
  • Ouzo!
  • Get interested in learning another language.  If you go to Greece once you will go again, so why not learn a bit of the language as it always helps when ordering food or getting directions.
  • To fall in love! Yes you might be the next Shirley Valentine.
  • Have we said golden sandy beaches?  If we have then it can’t be stressed enough how beautiful they are all over Crete.
  • If you’re a keen bird watcher there are some bird species some of which are very rare including the Bearded Vulture and Golden Eagle.
  • Check out the Homosapien museum in the mountains of Lassithi, a great look into how man evolved in Crete from Neolithic times onwards.
  • Visit the birthplace of Zeus, the Dikteon Cave again situated in Lassithi.
  • Visit the Naval Museum in Chania, a cheap museum to visit and you can get round it in a few hours with some excellent examples of ancient naval warfare.
  • The Dourakis Winery is a must see if you’re visiting the area of Chania.  Get to sample some of the 17 excellent wines produced here.
  • See the Venetian Loggia in Heraklion which used to be a 17th century gentleman’s club.  It’s now the town hall for Heraklion but interesting all the same.
  • Did we mention OUZO!
  • If the history of the Minoan’s is more your thing and you have visited Knossos then why not have a look at the ruins of the Necropolis of Armeni just 9 km from Rethymnon.
  • The sunrises!  If you get up early enough and watch the sun rise over the Aegean sea it s a magical moment.
  • You get to try Mythos for the first time!  Mythos is one of the best Greek beers and is cheap and very tasty.
  • For the variety, every time you visit Crete its always different.  Things are always changing but in a nice way.
  • You can play golf in Crete with 2 courses now.  There is a PGA golf course near Hersonissos and a smaller course near Elounda.
  • Gyros!  You have to try a chicken or pork Gyros at a takeaway in Crete, one of the best I found was in Stalis and its only a couple of euros.
  • To take up art!  There are a few holiday companies that do painting and drawing holidays now and what better way to learn that by painting Cretan landscapes.
  • Visit Crete and relax, what better way than unwind from your day job than sitting on a white sandy beach reading a book.
  • To walk with Donkeys!  Take a trail around some of the finest landscapes and mountainous regions with a Donkey tour.
  • I’m not sure if we got this in anywhere but a good reason to visit is to try OUZO!Updated for 2017
  • The Greeks weathered their country almost going bankrupt and still have a smile on their face
  • The choices of island hopping are insane! You can day trip to Turkey, Albania, Egypt and many more wonderful places
  • The small villages that are hard to find offer a real taste of Greece
  • You will never find a friendlier bunch of people
  • Gyros
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