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Crete is a popular Greek Island with holidaymakers, providing a vaiety of holidays from quiet beach resorts such as Kamisana to the more lively resort of Malia. Find out more about Crete holidays in our Crete travel guide and discover when is the best time to book a cheap Crete holiday in our cheap holiday guide.
Crete is the largest, and one of the most spectacular, of all the Greek Islands. Lying in the southern Aegean Sea with a high mountain range crossing from east to west, it is an island of fertile plateaux, valleys, plains and stunning beaches. With millions of olive trees, wild basil and fennel, Crete is an island of beautiful sights and smells. The beaches and the facilities in Crete are wide ranging and have broad appeal.
Crete has so much to offer the holidaymaker regardless of age and interests. Guaranteed sun and sandy beaches draw thousands of holidaymakers every year. There are peaceful resorts made for relaxing, lively resorts for the party seekers, water sports for the active and very many more amenities which will help you to enjoy the perfect holiday.
Crete has widespread appeal. Beautiful beaches with safe bathing for families with small children, water sports with varying degrees of excitement for adults, interesting historical sites, shops and markets and with a varied nightlife it is no surprise that so many people holiday here.
The most popular time to visit Crete is in the summer. The season extends from Easter to October when the temperature range is from twenty to thirty degrees.
Visitors to Crete for the first time will be stunned by the beauty of the mountain ranges with its caves and gorges, olive groves, wild flowers and herbs. As if this isn’t enough, turn your back to the mountains and you will find long expanses of golden sand and isolated coves.
The mountain villages and coastal towns on the east and west of the island remain very traditional and the pace of life is calm and relaxed.
There is a wealth of activities available from wind surfing to paragliding, horse riding to cycling and from bird to whale and dolphin watching..
Picturesque towns are a Cretan speciality where you will find old cream houses with coloured shutters and trailing bougainvillea in narrow streets.
Architecture reflects the various influences over the centuries. Rethymnon has examples of both Venetian and Otterman architecture and the charm of the town draws many visitors to its streets year after year.
During the summer months in Crete there are many cultural festivals. Most are related to the Christian church's calendar with patron saints’ days being very important. Wine festivals are also lively affairs with Cretan music and dance.
For those interested in history, there is a wealth of archaeological museums and old monasteries.
The nightlife in Crete varies according to the resort. There are tavernas on every beach and restaurants along the water front with menus to suit all tastes. There are calm, peaceful areas where you can enjoy a meal and a glass or two of wine. Crete is well known as a party island and there are certainly many very lively resorts, particularly the wild resort of Malia.
Most resorts have the usual gift and souvenir shops. Among the local crafts are ceramics, leather goods, jewellery and embroidered linens, all of which make very popular holiday mementos. Markets are lively places, often with entertainment, and are well worth a visit.
There are a vast number of tavernas, cafes and restaurants in Crete which provide a wide range of food to suit all tastes.As expected fish dishes abound in Crete with fish and shellfish being firm favourites. Food is generally simple, fresh and extremely tasty. The local wines are usually very palatable.
Family is very important to the Greek people who often have a close extended family who eat and socialise together. The feast of the Assumption in August is a time for family reunions.
Children are made very welcome in restaurants.
When visiting monasteries shoulders and legs should be covered in order to avoid offence.
If you're looking for a cheap holiday to Crete, the best time to book is in April, May or October. Because this is just outside of the peak summer holidays, the resorts will be less busy and the food and drink will get cheaper too. It could also be a good idea to book a room only or self catering basis for your accommodation and save even more money.
What's more, the island of Crete receives sunshine throughout the whole year, so you won't be missing out on any of the heat or sunshine by taking a holiday just outside of the peak period.
With beautiful natural beaches and mountainous regions, Crete is packed with wonderful sights to see. It is also very popular with bird watchers, although if you pull out some binoculars and look out to sea you may well spot a whale or dolphin too.
There are plenty of markets and gift shops in the small towns around Crete, and you may pick up a bargain out of season as the locals attempt to make some business. There are also many high quality restaurants and tavernas which will be much cheaper outside summer too.
With all of this and so much more, Crete is a fantastic place to visit. If you're looking for a cheap Crete holiday then the best time to look is in April, May or October.