Crete is one of the most emblematic and important islands in Greece as far as tourism, culture and tradition is concerned. Usual destination for millions of Europeans during the summer, magical island that offers an experience full of Mediterranean essence, exquisite cuisine, paradise beaches, hidden coves, smooth landscape and an artistic and historical heritage only found in a few places.
Travelling to Crete is one of the most interesting options if you are thinking of holidays to Greece with your family. Crete is the largest island of Greece and offers the most complete services for trips with children. The hotels in Crete are well equipped, many of them belong to world renowned chains and are placed in so beautiful places such as Panormo beach or Psalidi beach, both washed by the Aegean Sea.
You can fly from Athens and book a trip by boat to the island or opt for directly flying to Crete (there are many connecting flights that stop in one of the main airports, such as the Nikos Kazantzakis, in Heraklion, which is its capital, or the Ioannis Daskalogiannis airport, in Chania.)
Booking family rooms in Panormo Beach or in Psalidi beach is simple, cheap and comfortable, but there are many other similar areas surrounding the entire coast of Crete. The best option, when you travel with children, is to opt for an accommodation offering all types of services directly related to the hotel, thereby, we avoid unforeseen events or last minute surprises that could complicate the trip.
Once the accommodation is chosen, you only need to prepare your senses and enjoy. Crete is pure Mediterranean: turquoise blues, beige, terracotta, intense greens… The colours of this island will transport you to a magical universe where the relaxation and small pleasures of life get the prominence upstaged by the months of work and routine.
Its dozens of temples and monasteries stand out and, thanks to the intense light of this Greek island, shine in the horizon with its big white mountains (Lefka Ori). Peaceful and quiet destinations ideal for resting and seeing, simply, how time goes by.
But besides the contemplative life, Crete invites to delight the palate. Authentic lifelong flavours, cultivated in its land, are combined in delicious dishes served in traditional pubs of the island: Olive oil, vegetables, honey and yoghurt cakes, nuts and dried fruits, cheeses, fresh salads… Everything made with the maximum care to keep the unique flavour of every element.
Along with the cuisine and beaches, the main attraction of Crete is its historical richness: its wonderful sites, temples and monuments are nowadays almost intact. The Minoan remains are the most popular, there you can admire unique examples and impressive temples such as the Palace of Knossos. Other places with heritage significance are Rethymon, Preveli, Chania (the second city in importance of the island) Arkadi, Heraklion (the capital).
The most emblematic and remarkable beach areas in Crete is that formed by the Gulf of Mirabello and the beautiful town Agios Nikolaos, example of the seafaring life that fed the people of Crete.
Lively, affable and welcoming, the residents of Crete are very respectful with the visitors and are always willing to guide or recommend places to see and eat. Their lifestyle is relaxed, except in Heraklion, capital full of proposals and a dynamism that contrasts with the rest of the island and the typically Mediterranean quiet character.
Things not to miss in Crete
– Samaria Gorge: one of the most famous (although there are many others in the island). It is a national park with very interesting hiking routes. You can hike with children in some of them, but it is advisable to organise the route in advance.
– Loutro: one of the most pristine areas in Crete where there are only roads and the access is by sea.
– Its pubs: Eat in a traditional pub with background music and try its delicious cheeses with grapes.
– Neighbouring islands: if you have time, it is worth visiting the other islands near to Crete, some of them completely pristine.