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EUROPE // GREECE
A PARADISE ISLAND FULL OF HIDDEN GEMS
santorini travel guide
We have gathered and answered the most frequently asked question about Crete
Low season (Nov – Mar): Sights, tourists attractions and restaurants scale back their hours or close down. Beach resorts close down.
Shoulder season (Apr-Jun & Sep-Oct): Shoulder season is the best time for hiking and outdoor activities. The temperatures are moderate. Hot and rainy days can be expected interchangeably. Lower rates and higher availability for lodgings.
High Season (Jul – Aug): You can expect hot days and balmy pleasant evenings. The sea is warm providing the best conditions for swimming. You can expect heavy traffic at popular beaches. Prices for lodgings are at their peak.
If you want to get a proper grasp of the island we would recommend staying at least 14 full days. With a high intensity of movement you will be able to see majority of the natural wonders of mountain and sea and several of Crete’s most famous historical treasures. You will also get a chance to feast on mountain-village cuisine and compare it with the seafront one.
However, with 7 days in Crete you can get a good grasp of the Western side of the Island that will give you a fantastic holiday with the right balance of culture, architecture and paradise beaches. In your 7 days itinerary make sure to visit Hania town to wonder around its beautiful Venetian-harbor. Your cultural visit can be followed by an escape to our 3 favorite beaches in Crete: Balos, Elafonisi and Preveli (in no particular order)
Crete is a big island with a varied landscape across its 4 key regions:
The region of Chania, or Hania, is located on the western side of Crete island. It is a perfect place if you are planning to visit small villages and Crete’s best beaches. There is also an amazing Chania Town with the characteristic Venetian, Turkish and traditional architecture.
Choose Chania for: Picturesque town, architecture, family friendly holidays, romantic destination, luxury hotels, exotic beaches, amazing landscapes, great gastronomy.
The region of Heraklion is known for its lively beaches on the northern side and idyllic family-friendly destinations on the southern side. This area is a home to the traditional mountainous villages and ancient sights including world-famous Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaestos.
The region of Rethymno: Located between busy regions of Heraklion and Chania, Rethymno keeps calm pace even in the high season. You will love Rethymno for its Venetian style, traditional villages and pretty beaches for long, relaxing days.
Choose Rethymno for: Picturesque town, architecture, romantic destination, beautiful beaches and great gastronomy.
The region of Lassithi: Apart from the busy resort of Elounda, the picturesque region of Lassithi gives an authentic sight of the traditional Cretan life. Holidays in this secluded region will bring you to amazing beaches, interesting monasteries and seaside villages.
Choose Lassithi for: Family friendly destination, luxury hotels, great food, nice beaches, remote places, calm atmosphere, authentic Cretan life, beautiful landscapes.
Crete is a very safe destination. Violent crime is rare, with a petty crime in the bigger cities is the only real concern for visitors – however it’s still uncommon. Stick to common sense rules, keep you valuable belongings close, especially on the beach.
If you are driving, stay cautious as Crete’s roads are known for being under-developed and really winding, on top of that there is no real signage.
Overall follow the rule: if you don’t do it at home, don’t do it in Crete
Car: The best way to explore the island while keeping your own pace is a car rental. Car rental services are widely available in towns and resorts. Remember that many roads are paved but winding, narrow and missing missing a proper signing systems. Some unpaved roads will require 4WD.
Bus: Public transport services are widespread in the high season between major towns, but they don’t reach many small villages and beaches. Keep in mind that the timetable is significantly reduced over the low season. A 90-minute drive from Heraklion to Rethymnon costs €8.30 EUR ($9.35 USD).
Taxi: Taxi services in Crete will charge approx. €1.40 per kilometer. Bear in mind that you will be charged a surcharge for the journey to/from the airport.
Low cost: If you are tight on budget you can expect to spend around $50/ day. This budget includes a bunk bed in a lively hostel, public transport, street/market food and spending some time cooking by yourself, free attractions and hanging out on the beach
Mid- range: Bringing your budget up to $120/a day will cover a private room in Airbnb, eating out in a low to medium ranged restaurants/cafes, scooter rental and some paid attractions.
High budget: on a luxury budget of $250/a day you can choose to stay in a comfortable 4-start hotel, eat out including one sophisticated meal in a high-end restaurant, get around with a taxi, and enjoy majority of paid attractions.
A REGION FULL OF ARCHITECTURE SIGHTS AND A BEAUTIFUL NATURE
A REGION WITH LIVELY BEACHES AND MOUNTAIN VILLAGES
A REGION OF CROSS-CULTURAL INFLUENCES AND REMOTE SHORES
FOR A CULTURE TRIP
FOR THE BEST NIGHTLIFE
A REGION FULL OF BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
HOTELS IN LONDON
Crete at its Best: The splendid Venetian Port of Hania, pristine, crystal-clear waters, pink-sand beaches connected through winding roads make Western Crete a perfect place to go for those looking for a place that has it all.
Remote Shores and Cross-cultural Influences: There is something about Rethymno’s landscape that feels like a different planet where craggy inlets embrace perfect little beaches that are often footprints-free.
Ancient Sites, Hiking, and Activities for Kids: Being a home of the greatest concentration of Minoan Ruins Heraklion is a perfect place for archaeology fans – but not only. From the spectacular gorges to kids-friendly aquariums, adrenalin-packed water parks, and hands-on museums Heraklion is a delight for those who are looking for active holidays.
Beyond the Main Beach: Find yourself in some of Crete’s finest mountains, deep gorges, and quiet beaches surrounded by a lost-world like surroundings. If you are looking for a more personal, peaceful, and authentic place Lassithi should be on your list.
HAWKSMOOR SEVEN DIALS
FOR THE BEST STEAK
CRETAN DISHES TURNED INTO ARTISTIC CREATIONS
TRADITIONAL FOOD EXPERIENCE
INTIMATE, FAMILY-OWNED RESTAURANT WITH
HERITAGE REACHING BACK TO 1974
THE FRESHEST FISH AND SEAFOOD DELICACIES
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