|Welcome to Crete, Greece. Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
As the largest of the Greek islands, Crete has plenty to shout about. It's a huge, diverse island that's packed to the rafters with amazing sights, superb beaches and wonderful things to see and do.
For anyone who likes to get away from the beach, Crete offers plenty of mountain ranges, gorges and rivers. There is an expansive mountain range crossing from east to west, formed by various ranges including the Dikti Mountains, White Mountains and the Kedros range, which offer superb walking, hiking, biking and exploring opportunities. Dotted around these beautiful peaks are deep cutting valleys with fertile plateaus, along with a number of rocky gorges, rivers and waterfalls.
|Escape to the White Mountains on Crete. Photo: 5Telios.|
But of course, not everyone comes here looking for mountains and lush valleys. If you're after more of a beachside retreat, Crete is renowned for its coastal resorts and beautiful golden sands - after all, isn't that what a holiday in Crete is all about?
|How about this beach-side bar in Hersonissos? Photo: Katie Belle.|
The great thing about an island the size of Crete is that you've got plenty of choice when it comes to resorts and hotels. For a quiet laid-back sort of escape, try lovely Koutouloufari - a beautiful hillside village that's just a stone's throw from the lively upbeat scene of Hersonissos. For a spot of honeymoon heaven, Elounda is a great spot with its upmarket appeal and five-star hotels. And if you're after something with plenty of life after dark, Malia is the place to be. Here's it's all buzzing bars and booming clubs, where the night owls stay out well into the early hours and sleep it off on golden sands the next day.
|Take a stroll through through charming Koutouloufari. Photo: Katie Belle.|
As for families, you really are spoilt for choice. Head to Stalis for a cheerful, upbeat holiday with plenty of great family-friendly hotels and well-equipped apartments. Rethymnon is another great family spot. Here you can enjoy a well-equipped resort that boasts everything from souvenir shops and local supermarkets to cheery cafes and traditional Greek restaurants. There's a beautiful little harbour for mum and dad to stroll around, historic ruins, and a fantastic beach with glorious golden sands - perfect for sandcastles and sunbathing.
|Voulisma Beach in the village of Istrol. Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
With so much to discover, when will you make time for a holiday in Crete?
This post was produced in partnership with Thomas Cook.