Crete, the biggest of Greece's islands and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean, is a treasure trove of fabulous beaches, lovely rural vistas, and fascinating historical sites dating back thousands of years to the very dawn of Western civilisation. It's an amazing place for a holiday, whether you want to just lie on the beach, explore the rugged mountains, party in the vibey towns and cities, or wander through charming villages lost in time. It's the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation, the first in Europe, and its splendour echoes through many aspects of the island – its art, architecture and many fascinating museums, monuments and historical sites.
Crete's heartbeat is its people, who are genuinely friendly and welcoming, and love to share their culture with visitors. Whether it's a simple meal in a small roadside café, a traditional folk festival (panigri) or a religious festival, the sights, sounds and tastes of the island will enchant you.
Crete's unique terroir has, for centuries, shaped the way we islanders eat. Cretan diet has been recognised as the healthiest sub-group of the Mediterranean diet, which is widely considered one of the most nutritious diets on earth. From simple village tavernas to high-end restaurants, Cretan gastronomy adds a deliciously invigorating aspect to your stay.
Music and dancing are, and always have been, an essential part of life in Crete. Heráklion Summer Festival, held in the Cretan capital, is one of the richest events in Greece's cultural calendar.
With warm summers and mild winters, which start about the middle of December, the island is bathed in sunshine for the greater part of the year. So there's always a good time to delve into Crete's beauty and rich cultural heritage.