This Greek island is the largest of the country and an excellent location for summer holidays, walking breaks and history trips.
Most visitors arrive at Chania (CHQ) or Heraklion (HER) airports and the flight takes around 3-4 hours from the UK. Most visitors choose to travel during the summer and Easter holidays, but Crete is enjoyable all year round. May is a particular favourite and the island really comes to life with an explosion of flowers. September is also glorious and is when the sea waters are at their warmest.
Car hire in Crete is readily available and the best way to see the island, which is 250 kilometres long. You can organise car rental at the airports of Heraklion and Chania or at most of the resorts and towns, such as Agia Pelgia, Agios Nikolaos (ideal for Vai, Elounda to Sitia, Makry Gialos and Ierapetra, Gouves (for Kokkini Hani or Gournes) and Hersonissos (for those staying in Analipsi, Anissaras, Ano Hersonissos, Piskopiano or Koutouloufari). There's also Plakias and Rethymnon, with its beautiful Venetian harbour and old town.
The Greek people certainly do love their food and you'll find many local restaurants serving the best local produce, with plenty of fish, fruit and vegetables. With your hire car you'll be able to head out to some of the villages and try restaurants away from the main tourist areas. Try the mezedes, which are served at tavernas and bars and which include local specialties such as trypopita (a pastry filled with cheese) and local cheeses such as the hard and smooth Cretan graviera and the creamy and white mizythra. Look out for grilled pork and lamb and fresh fish of the day. Main courses and mezedas will usually be shared among groups, usually from big platters placed on the table. Traditional drinks will include ouzo, raki and Metaxa.