Holidaying in Crete and renting a Crete villa or apartment are a great and unique way to see the largest and most southern of the Greek islands. The island has an enormous wealth of myths, legends and historical sites. There is also incredibly natural beauty on the island, with the stunning mountain ranges running from one end all the way to the other, breaking only for the fertile plateaus of Lasithi, Omalos and Nidha. The landscape is also dotted with caves and gorges, like the famous Gorge of Samaria, the home of the kri-kri, which can now only be found on Crete.
Climbing and walking in the mountains is not only exhilarating, but provides spectacular views across the island. The village of Audou is in the mountains, and a Crete rental villa here gives you easy access to some of the best climbing, walking and paragliding in Crete.
Crete also boasts magnificent beaches, and most of those who take a rental property or luxury accommodation in Crete are looking to spend some time on the Cretan beach. Water sports such as water skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving and whale watching are all popular in Crete.
For a full submersion in Cretan culture, the traditional village of Milia is a must. Rebuild in traditional style the Cretan rental accommodation, without modern luxuries such as electricity; you get a chance to really feel the magic of the island.
Chania (Hania) is today divided into two parts, the old walled town around the Venetian port, considered the most beautiful urban area in Crete, and the modern city. The Elefterios Venizelos, or Main Square, is the centre, with not only good bars and restaurants, but many of the historical places of interest within easy walking distance. The new city of Chania (Hania) houses the vast majority of museums, and due to its mixed history, there is a vast wealth of culture to be absorbed in the form of theatre, art galleries and concerts.
Rethymnon’s old town is one of the best preserved renaissance towns, combining Turkish and Venetian style architecture. This is combined with a long sweeping sandy beach that attracts visitors from all over Europe. Rethymnon has the largest carnival in Crete, and the Thursday market or Laiki makes the whole of the Old town bustle with activity. The east of the town is the more modern end, which has the feel of a modern Cretan beach resort, and boasts all the facilities expected of such a resort.
Lassithi is the easternmost tip of the island, which is steeped in thousands of years of history. Here, you can routinely find traditional music played on lutes, violin and the lyre, and see the folk dancing of the pentozales. However, Lassithi is also a great beach resort in Crete, and there are 32 blue flag beaches, offering waterskiing, sailing, wind surfing, excellent snorkeling and fishing, and hiking, caving, climbing and mountain biking is available on the mountains just inland.
Iraklio is the fourth largest city in Greece. It hosts the countries Archeological Museum, and the 5km Ammudara beach, where conditions are perfect for windsurfing.
The average temperatures in Crete in the summer are mid 20’s to low 30’s (degrees Celsius), although the south coast is warmer. Winters in Crete are mild, and before the cold snap of February 2004, snow was unheard of.
Crete has two international airports, Heraklion and Hania (Chania), both receiving cheap flights from the UK.