Holiday rentals in Crete
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Your guide to Crete
All About Crete
Not only is Crete the largest of the Greek islands, but it’s also the fifth biggest in the entire Mediterranean. With a dramatic mountain range rising out of the sea and running across its 160-mile-wide span and natural harbors peppered along its northern coast, the varied topography means there’s something for everyone. Adventurers flock to hike the peaks of the White Mountains, beachcombers marvel at the pink hue of the sandy beaches of Elafonisi, celebrity jetsetters enjoy the high life in the former fishing village of Elounda, and towns like Agios Nikolaos manage to mix it all, with nature, marinas, shopping, and beaches.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Crete
As the most southern of the Greek islands, Crete’s temperatures tend to be a touch lower than its neighbors. Its mountainous areas add to cooler air flow, making the island-wide averages in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit in the summer, but in the mid-60s to mid-80s on the northern side. As the rainy season comes (January through March), so do the chills, with averages in the 30s and 40s and high 40s to 60s in the north. Spring and fall are ideal travel periods, with a general range of 50s to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Seawater may be cooler in the spring than fall, but nature is in full bloom in April and May. With its varied zones, pack in layers to prepare for any kind of weather.
Top things to do in Crete
Palace of Knossos
The size of two football fields, the ruins of this palace date back to the prehistoric Minoan civilization (part of the Bronze Age), which ended around 1100 B.C.E.
Rethymnon Old Town
Venetian Renaissance architecture is garnished with Turkish touches in the narrow lanes of this seaside neighborhood.
The highlight of the island’s White Mountains is this massive gorge — thought to be Europe’s longest — at an altitude of about 4,000 feet. A day-long, 10-mile hike leads to Agia Roumeli, where a boat ride back to Chora Sfakion passes by some of Crete’s most beautiful beaches.
Heraklion Architectural Museum
For codebreakers, this may be one of the best places to try to solve a mystery. The Phaistos Disk clay tablet, with symbols etched from the Minoan period, still hasn’t been deciphered — and that’s just one highlight of the impressive prehistoric collection.
The small northern coastal town has the best of both worlds. There’s Old Town, with its charming narrow streets, and Dimokratias Street — better known as Beach Road — with its lively nightlife. Nearby Hersonissos (also written Chersonissos) provides a scaled-back version of both.