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Ship anchored in the bay in Crete, Greece

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The Greek island of Crete is a goddess of the seas in this part of the Mediterranean. She's utterly beguiling and once you've experienced a holiday here, you'll want to see her again and again. The isle is blessed with natural beauty but her age and history show brilliantly.

Why go?

With aqua-marine waters, long sandy stretches, history by the bucket-load and stunning natural beauty, Crete has plenty awaiting lucky visitors...

Crete holidays begin at one of two international airports: Heraklion Airport (HER), midway along the north coast, or Chania Airport (CHQ), in the north west.

From there it's history and beauty all the way to your chosen resort. Some resorts are lively party towns, with thumping bars and a lively beach scene; others are havens of relaxation, where the sound of the waves crashing gently on to the beach makes up your holiday soundtrack.

Sandwiched between seaside resorts, traditional villages, and amid cliffs, gently shelving beaches and lush green hillsides is the evidence of Minoan civilisation, one of the world's earliest advanced cultures. Savour the history at sites such as the Minoan palace Knossos and its interesting museum.

Reputedly the birthplace of Zeus, Greek mythology echoes around Crete and you're never far from a reference to the legends and fables of ancient Greece. It's a fascinating island on which to holiday, though if you prefer to simply soak up the sun in your resort there are plenty of excellent hotels that cater superbly for visitors.

There are also villa and apartment accommodation options for holidays in Crete, and families, couples, groups and singles will all find their perfect place to stay at competitive prices.

From Heraklion Airport, the lively resorts of Hersonissos and Malia sandwich the slightly quieter Stalis, while the relative peace of Gouves, Koutouloufari, and Sissi are also best reached from here. The coastal towns of Elounda and Agios Nikolaos are further east on this coast and family-friendly WaterCity aquatic park is near Heraklion.

In the western half of Crete, Chania Airport delivers holidaymakers into the lap of resorts such as busy Rethymnon and Chania Town, and friendly Plakias, where there is just enough to keep holidaymakers happy.

The stunning natural wonder of Samaria Gorge is also located in the west and day trips can be organised in your resort if you haven't opted for car hire in Crete.

Wherever you choose to take your holidays in Crete, you are bound to enjoy delicious food, a tantalising after-dark scene, soft sandy beaches and enough sunshine to make you forget that rain exists.

TravelSupermarket offers an easy-to-use holiday comparison tool to help you find the best price for your Crete holidays.

When to go?

Crete enjoys one of the longest summer seasons of the Greek isles due to its position in the south of the Med. Find out the best months to travel for you...

Expect 25°C between May and October, with the hottest temperatures in July and August. Temperatures dip to around 10°C in winter; most of Crete's resorts shut down for winter. Rainfall is still likely in April and at the start of October, though summer will see hardly any drops from the sky.

What's on?

Join the locals by getting involved in an event or festival on this sunshine island. Find out what is going to be on when you’re on holiday…

Chania Rock Festival; August: Rock out with the locals at the annual rock festival at a site within the University of Crete.

Tsikoudia Festival; October/November: A week dedicated to the strong local spirit Tskikoudia, also known as raki. Voukolies is the place to get a taste of the 36 percent stuff.

St Nikolaos Day; December 6: Agios Nikolaos is the best place to join in the celebrations of the city's patron.

What to do?

Whether you’re looking for great days out for the kids, romantic locations, or action and adventure, Crete won’t disappoint…

Kids & teens: The kids will love making a splash at WaterCity. Join in the fun as they fly down slides, bob along the lazy river and play in Europe's biggest wave pool.

Romance: Take a romantic boat trip out to the beautiful island of Gramvousa and the Balos Lagoon. Walk hand in hand on the white sand, take in the spectacular scenery and top up your tan as your relax by the blue lagoon.

Grown-up families: Explore the ruins of Phaestos, an important palace city of Minoan Crete. Not only will you get to step back in time as you look around this ancient site, but there are stunning views of the adjoining plain and Mount Psiloritis.

Babies & toddlers: Little ones will love the colourful characters on show at Crete Aquarium. Discover sharks, seahorses, jellyfish and numerous other underwater creatures.
Active types:
Seriously sporty types may like to take on the challenge of the Samaria Gorge hike. It's no walk in the park - so be prepared!

Shopping: Shop till you drop in Hersonissos where an array of clothes, shoe and jewellery shops will keep you busy for hours.

Free & cheap: History buffs can enjoy exploring Knossos Palace for which entry is inexpensive.