Crete is a popular Greek Island holiday spot, and it’s easy to see why. Bursting at the seams with natural and historical eye candy, it’s an assault on the senses of the very best kind. Here are ten of the hottest spots on this simply stunning island:

Neoclassical Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos Harbour, Crete

This harbour, with its backdrop of white-washed cuboid builds, is such a pretty place for a bite to eat or a drink in the sunshine while boat-spotting. It looks especially picturesque when illuminated at night.

The Fairytale town of Hania

Hania Old Town, Crete

Hania, or Chania, has one of Crete’s most picturesque waterfronts, with its rainbow of Venetian houses lined up by the waterside. Don’t miss the lighthouse and the former mosque that punctuate this fairytale view.

Get active in Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge, Crete

This glorious gorge, which cuts right to the heart of Crete, is an amazing attraction for active types. The 10 mile trek takes you through a most dramatic landscape, hiking beside running water, crossing makeshift bridges and visiting the village of Samaria on your way.

Secretive Spinalonga

Spinalonga Island, Crete

Spinalonga is an island just off the mainland that has a fascinating history. The still imposing Venetian fortress was a leper colony in the early part of the last century and, at just 15 minutes by boat from Elounda harbour, it’s well worth an afternoon visit.

See Europe’s oldest city!

Ancient city of Knossos, Crete

If you like to delve deep into the history of the country you’re visiting, Knossos is a must-see on Crete. As the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island, Knossos is also considered to be Europe’s oldest city.

Snow? In Crete?

Lefka Ori Mountains, Crete

A drive through the ‘white mountains’ of western Crete is nothing short of spectacular. You might look twice at the impossibly snowy peaks, but don’t be fooled – it’s quartz that gives the mountains their distinctive shimmer.

The Venetian Fortress

Heraklion Harbour, Crete

This fortress is unmissable as part of popular Heraklion Harbour and makes an especially pretty picture with the fishing boats bobbing about in front of it.

Ruins of Rethymno

Rethymno, Crete

With another interesting fortress for history buffs to snap their way around, the ruins of Rethymno also include a mosque and some of the best views on the entire island.

Lose yourself in Balos Lagoon

Balos Lagoon, Crete

These beautiful turquoise waters sit just off Balos Beach in Kissamos. It’s a tricky spot to get to – a boat from Kissamos is your best bet if you’re not one for hiking – but it’s well worth the effort.

Sunbathe in Style

Elafonsi Beach, Crete

If you’re looking for the most beautiful beach on the island, Elafonisi Beach, with its stunning pink sands and crystal clear waters, takes the prize – the place to go if you want to sunbathe in style.

Whether you’re a history buff or are at your happiest surrounded by nature, you’ll be in your element on the picture-perfect island of Crete. We fly from four UK airports to Heraklion and there’s still time to book to get away this summer. Just don’t forget your camera!






Jessica is a passionate traveller and regular contributor to the Monarch blog. She is also on a continuous hunt for the World's best beaches.


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