South of mainland Greece and with 650 miles of spectacularly varied coastline and beaches, framed by a series of mountain ranges, lies Crete, the largest of all Greek islands.
Combining a temperate Mediterranean climate in the north and a drier, hotter North African variety in the south, with mild winters rarely below 15°C even in December and reaching the late 20°Cs and baking 30°Cs in July and August, holidays in Crete can be enjoyed from April to October.
A three and a half hour flight from the UK brings the visitor to a landscape that still feels true to its roots as the cradle of European civilisation, a stunning mix of mythology and mountains, Gorgons and gorges, baklava and beaches, minarets and Minoans.
Holidays In Crete
True to its principles, Sunvil concentrates on the “real Greece”, which we believe is best represented by the less developed western half of Megalonissos (“the Great Island”) and we have chosen locations that are characterised by their individuality. Regarded as the most hospitable of all Greeks, Cretans are renowned for their generosity and loyalty. Here, where friendship is considered a friendship for life, you will have the time and opportunity to discover just why Crete holidays become so memorable.
As well as the magnificent beaches and warm seas, the size and physical variety of the island invites exploration. Uniquely among Greek islands, Crete’s mountainous spine creates a sense of spaciousness, a life distinct from sea and sand. Fly-drive holidays to Crete - or simply the hire of a car for some days during your stay – will enable you to seek out the rugged formations of the interior, the fertile countryside and tiny chapels filled with frescoes, the mountain villages where time has stood still.
Always, the authentic spirit of the islanders, their fierce independence and pride – as well as the best cooking and most delicious meals that constitute the famed “Cretan Diet” – will more likely be found where few others are looking.
The countryside is at its freshest and most colourful in April and May, and though the weather can be changeable it is usually sunny and warm during the day, with the additional benefit that fellow tourists are a rarity. The island heats up during June and early July with almost guaranteed sunshine but without the crowds, whilst from mid-July to the end of August the island is at its hottest and busiest and the exceptional beaches attract visitors from all over the world. As the crowds in Chania diminish, September remains warm and popular, and the season winds down comfortably through October – a last chance of sunshine before winter! - after which the island “closes” till March.
With an island so various in its fascinations, it is certainly worth considering a multi-centre holiday. Perhaps a first week in Paleochora and a second at Loutro, where the transfer is a scenic two and a half hour cruise along the dramatic south-west coastline. Any holiday to Crete should include a trip to the interior as well, a hike through the stunning Samaria Gorge for the active, or a gentle ride on the “road train” from Panormos to the tiny villages in the foothills of the White Mountains.
With so much to see, with dolphins to watch, shaded squares to paint, olive trees and wild orchids, Minoan remains and sweeping beaches, no wonder Crete holidays are revisited so often.
Tueday day flight from Gatwick or Manchester to Chania. Then transfer by coach or taxi to your accommodation. Find out more about Crete flights and transport .