Incredible Crete. As the largest of the Greek islands you are spoiled for choice whether you are looking for sunshine, beaches, adventure or culture. I said this so many times on our recent trip – it felt like paradise. No day was the same, it was incredibly relaxing yet we left so much for us to see and do on our return. It’s always feels good to be planning your next trip.
A few people asked what attracted us to Crete. In part it was from what I had seen friends share, secondly from our research we could see that there were areas we wanted to explore that looked truly beautiful. We could see that there was so much to explore in the region of Chania and Rethymno. From the beautiful beaches, archaeological sites, Byzantine churches, quaint villages, and cosmopolitan resorts. Rethymno looked like a beautiful place in Crete.
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. Which is exactly how we feel about Crete.
And here are my 5 reasons to holiday in Crete
- Rethymno – east of Chania and west of Heraklion, the town is a brilliant mix of old and new. The town is impressive and laid back all at the same time. An enchanting blend of Byzantine remains, Venetian grandeur and fine Ottoman buildings. Wandering through the streets in the early evening was one of my favourite things to do. The shops, the culture, the people. And don’t forget to look up – the streets of Rethymno are colourful, filled with street art and have flowers draping overhead and if you’re lucky you’ll see locals sat out chatting. Grab a drink early evening on the harbour before the crowds arrive. And don’t forget to explore The Fortezza Castle.
2. Beaches – in Crete you will be spoiled for choice. The beaches are heavenly, they are such a treat – especially the views. Whether it’s water sports, relaxing with a book, cosmopolitan beach bar vibes, feeling the water crashing against your sunbed or a quiet cove to escape in you have so many to choose from. And even more if you hire a car and are prepared to travel a little further out. It’s pretty difficult to resist the crystalline water and golden sands. What can I say other than I will be dedicating a whole blog post to our favourite beaches and the ones we missed getting to.
3. Greek food & drink – I was surprised by how much we all enjoyed the food. Mr H and I were keen to try as many traditional dishes as we could and we were never disappointed. George ate less Greek inspired meals than we did but he definitely tried some dishes and enjoyed what he ate. From cheese-stuffed pastries to Cretan salad, meat dishes including gyros and stews to seafood (so much seafood), the food in Crete was ridiculously delicious. And if like me and desserts are equally important, Crete has this covered! You will be in awe of some of the views and locations, we were lucky to stumble across some gorgeous restaurants right on our doorstep.
4. Warm and friendly hospitality – The entire atmosphere is relaxed yet contagiously lively and happy. I loved the vibe in Crete, so much. Really helped me switch off, reconnect with my family and nature. The Greek people – we found them to be warm, friendly, helpful and completely grateful for our custom. Great with families, they were so accommodating. And I love some of their customs, like fresh fruit or cake and Raki after a meal! A lovely tradition. I would recommend picking up a phrase book and trying to speak some of the language, I found it really helped and another reason why they were so friendly.
5. Places to visit – Crete’s off-the-beaten-track sights were my favourite. Although don’t tell the beaches! We explored 1043 miles of Crete’s rolling hills including Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Preveli Palm Beach, Matala Caves, Elounda, Seitan Limania, Lake Kournas, Chania and the Waterparks. As well as stopping off at beaches and little coves along the way. I would highly recommend hiring a car as you really do get to see some incredible sights, although driving around Greece isn’t one for the faint hearted. The roads are winding and full of hills so you have to be prepared for that. It is absolutely worth it for the views let alone the points you stop off at.
And that’s my 5 reasons to holiday in wonderful Crete
If you’re wondering about flying and travelling during Covid-19 then do read my recent post talking about how we found it. I’ll be sharing lots more tips, recommendations and information from our trip in August 2021. We have lots to share and hope our experiences help you in your planning. Crete really surprised us, it was an incredible destination, so beautiful with breath-taking views and certainly has left us with a travel bug for exploring more of the Greek islands.