Spreading its rows of olive trees along the hills and diffusing the perfume of laurels and bougainvilleas in the villages, Crete is a resolutely Mediterranean island. Located about 200 kilometers from the Cyclades, two weeks would hardly be enough to visit Crete, the cradle of Minoan civilization: golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, constant warmth, tasty Greek cuisine, picturesque villages and places steeped in history. Take the time to visit its palaces and ancient ruins, such as the famous palace of Knossos a few kilometers fromHeraklion or the one in Malia. This guide to Crete will help you to piece together the puzzle of European history of which Crete holds many memories and treasures. A must-see destination, Crete has preserved its authenticity and its natural wonders such as the beaches ofElafonissi or Gramvoussa in the south of the island. Life is peaceful and the fishermen are happy to share precious moments with travellers, ignoring language differences. The day is marked by the unavoidable siesta that follows lunch and coffee freddo, to let the hottest hours pass. In the evening, locals and tourists meet on the terraces of restaurants, enjoying the mildness of the night, a good local wine and fresh fish. This is an opportunity to try saligaria, the Cretan snail, and raki, which breaks down any inhibitions. The villagers sometimes sing Cretan folk songs, accompanied by pendozali steps, the traditional dance. Forget the looks and let yourself be taken in. A holiday in Crete is an opportunity to discover its specialties. Far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, you will be charmed by its small traditional villages with their feet in the water. Follow the Crete guide to discover this exciting destination!
When to go to Crete?
The tourist season runs from April to the end of October due to the resumption of direct flights from Western Europe, which cease at the end of October. The majority of establishments for travellers therefore open during this period (sometimes only from May onwards). As the island has a highly developed tourist infrastructure, it is best to avoid the period of July and August, which is saturated with tourists from all over Europe and mainland Greece
The off-season. As Crete enjoys a very mild climate in spring and autumn, we can't recommend the relatively quiet and warmer months of May and October (or the relatively quiet and warmer months of June and September), which are quieter and cheaper for hotels
Low season: from November to April. It is also possible to leave in winter. This will allow you to discover a Crete with different colours, but it is better to plan ahead for some pied-à-terre, as most hotels outside the cities close during this season, except for a few seaside resorts. Please also be aware that it is not possible to visit the Samaria Gorge in winter