The island of Balos, Crete, Greece

Compare the best Crete flights

The largest of the Greek islands by far, Crete offers all the ingredients for the ideal holiday: sun, beaches, delicious food, natural beauty, quiet villages, lively resorts, plus history and legend to stir the imagination. .

Why go?

Crete offers families, couples and young travellers the perfect package of sun, sea and fun...

Legend has it that Crete is the birthplace of Zeus, father of the gods, ruler of the Olympians, god of sky and thunder, and an all-round fearsome chap by all accounts.

One thing for certain is that Crete was the centre of Minoan civilisation, the world's earliest advanced culture. Evidence of this rather important claim to fame can be found at Knossos and at other sites around the island.
Visitors will find a modern culture that takes care of its ancient roots, while nurturing more recent developments, such as mass tourism.
Tourists really are spoiled for choice in Crete. From Heraklion Airport, the northern resorts of Hersonissos, Stalis, Malia, Gouves, Koutouloufari, and Sissi can be reached easily.

Further east Elounda and Agios Nikolaos are pleasant coastal towns. Trips to the now-deserted island of Spinalonga, one of Europe's last leper colonies, are frequent from the area.

Out west, and best served with flights to Chania Airport, are the resorts of Rethymnon, Plakias and Chania Town.
Samaria Gorge can also be found in the western half of Crete. Designated a national park, the gorge shows off the power of nature at its magnificent best and tourists flock to see the wonder.

Family holidays are catered for wherever you choose to stay in Crete. Watery spills and thrills can be found at WaterCity aquatic park near Heraklion.

Party animals will be most at home in the neon-lit resorts of Hersonissos, Malia and, with a slightly quieter revelry volume, Rethymnon.

Car hire is ideal to navigate around the island. Both airports offer car hire options and buses and taxis are available for airport transfers if you don't want to have your own wheels.

How to get there

Because this is such a popular island destination with Brits, flights are plentiful and bargains can be found if you price compare...

Flights to Crete land at either Heraklion Airport (HER), halfway along the huge stretch of north coast, or Chania Airport (CHQ), which is located in the north west.

Flight times from the UK are around three and a half hours.

Crete flights are frequent and great deals can be found, especially when booking early.

Getting to and from the airport

Whichever airport you arrive at, modern and efficient transfers operate day and night...

Nobody wants to waste time in an airport, especially when flying somewhere as beautiful as Crete. Be sure to confirm a transfer with your hotel if such a service is provided - often these include drop-offs at various points on the island and while they may take a little longer than a cab, they are a cheap way of getting to your destination.

For those who haven't got this option, taxis are plentiful and run all night. Be sure to agree the price before you step inside. Often you will be charged a euro (or more) per piece of main luggage.

Public buses do run from the terminals regularly and are cheap - but be aware they become less frequent after 10pm and on Sundays.

Where to stay?

Crete is a fantastic holiday destination with superb places to stay to ensure your Greek break is a true Odyssey of relaxation...

The variety and quality of accommodation in Crete is among the best of the Greek islands. From plush, almost palatial spa resorts, to family friendly all-inclusive complexes with great pools and restaurants, it's hard to go wrong here.

Apartment rentals are less popular in Greece but growing. Villas are popular and often include swimming pools and a weekly maid and bed linen change.

So, where to stay? Well, even if you base yourself in one resort, the size of the island does mean day trips to other beaches and towns is possible.

The north east and north west remain popular choices for British travellers.

Chania is a great choice for families and has several gorgeous former Venetian villas now converted to hotels. Its harbour is impressive and there are small, friendly, family-run hotels dotted along the shop and restaurant-lined pedestrian streets. Nearby is Souda which has modern holiday complexes and busy beaches - but is great for families.

Malia to the east is still very popular with young holidaymakers and those looking for a vibrant club culture and nightlife.

In contrast, further down the coast road from Malia is Agios Nikolaos - a lovely horse-shoe shaped harbour with pretty cafes, shops and restaurants where couples and older travellers enjoy watching the world go by over a glass of Ouzo. Hotels here are more expensive but rentals are available if you head further back from the harbour front.

Wherever you choose to stay in Crete, be sure to book your flights in good time and use our price comparison tool to get some real bargains.