One of the Greek Island’s most famous villa holiday destinations, Crete essentially caters for every taste. Yet while its better-known resorts are equipped for tourism and busy nightlife, vast areas remain beautifully untouched. Cosmopolitan cities, historical sites and - of course - idyllic Greek beaches are just some of the many reasons holidaymakers fall in love with the island. And who can blame them? With villas set near quiet coves, secluded beaches and mountain villages steeped in traditional Greek life, the charms of Crete might be second to none.
Crete - Mythological intrigue meets modern vitality
With an irresistible appeal, the northern coast is the coveted location of many of our Crete villas. Holidays here are made to be savoured, from lazy taverna lunches and beach days, to leisurely exploration with a fusion of modern and ancient cultures leaving their mark on the island.
There are countless things to do and see in Crete. Walks, climbs, drives and rides take you across striking plateaux, dramatic mountains and stunning seascapes. When you choose a villa holiday on this Greek Island, you can discover local customs and traditions, try new sports or simply soak up the stunning natural environment and its amazing views from snow-capped mountains to glistening bays. Swimming, watersports, fishing, diving and snorkelling are in abundance around Crete’s coastline. Climbing and caving are also a popular way to explore the island’s world-famous local gorges.
Crete is home to many architectural and historical jewels. From ancient labyrinthine ruins and scenic routes well-trodden by legends, you’ll be instantly transported back to the Minoan culture that flourished on this Greek Island thousands of years ago. Roman, Venetian and Turkish rule have also left their mark on Crete with cobbled alleys, monasteries, old fortresses, mosques and harbours. Multiple museums offer a fascinating insight into its long and colourful past, as well as Crete’s many cultural traditions still practised in villages to this day.
You’ll find an endless number of beautiful sand and coloured pebble beaches bordering Crete’s coastline - many awarded with the Blue Flag for cleanliness and safety and ideal for a family holiday.
Pretty secluded coves lapped by clear warm seas are dotted across Crete; while the larger and busier villa holiday resorts and bays offer waterfront bars, tavernas and every day amenities ideal for families. The island also provides practical seaside facilities, including sun umbrellas – as well as lifeguards in peak season to watch over visitors on the beach and in the water.
Shopping on Crete is an experience not to be missed! A wide range of small village shops and markets sell local produce and beautifully-crafted leather, copper, bronze, terracotta and wooden items. Explore the bigger towns on your villa holiday, where the streets are lined with chic boutiques offering the latest trends in clothing, shoes, and beauty items. With everything from top designer labels to original jewellery pieces, folk art and olive oil (Crete’s is rated one of the best in the world) – you’ll find great gifts, holiday essentials and luxury items at competitive prices.
Crete Holidays - Points of Interest
Visit King Minas’ Palace at Knossos to see where Theseus made his way through the labyrinth to slay the legendary half-man, half-bull monster - The Minotaur.
Visit Chania Town on the west coast, known as the prettiest town on the island for its combination of natural beauty and variety of archaeological and historical sights.
Join in the celebrations at the Rethymno Wine Festival in late July and witness spectacular Greek dancing and free-flowing wine.
Visit the delightful, cosmopolitian town of Agios Nikolaos in the est of the island, exploring the pretty harbour and experiencing the great cuisine and shops on offer.
Go hiking and take in the breathtaking scenery at Samaria Gorge - the longest in Europe. It’s a long, hard day’s walk – not for the faint hearted - but well worth the effort. A further 50 gorges are waiting to be discovered - some much easier to traverse than others – so seek advice before you go.
The picturesque harbour town of Rethymno is just an hour’s drive from Crete’s cosmopolitan capital Heraklion. This quaint town attracts locals and visitors alike to its choice of excellent waterside tavernas.
One of the prestigious regions in Crete, Elounda is a renowned for its stature within the Luxury holiday market, with many 5 star hotels lining the coastline. The quaint little fishing village of Elounda sits within the heart of area, offering a host of facilities and amenities.
The thriving resort of Georgioupolis is located in between the towns of Rethymno and Chania, and offers a great position to explore these two fantastic towns, as well as the neighboring traditional villages in this area.
If you're having trouble finding the ideal villa, we're here to help. You'll need somewhere that really feels like your home from home. Where everything is taken care of, so your only worries are which beach or sun lounger you’ll choose today. We've put together some of our top picks, so the villa of your dreams could be just a few clicks away.
James Recommends - Crete villas
Need some inspiration to help choose your perfect villa? Looking for a pool with a view, a villa in the centre of the action, or a property that sleeps a large group? James can recommend villas to suit you. Browse through our villas that have that specific something you're looking for.
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Views and opinions in these reviews are solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of James Villa Holidays (JVH). JVH provides no assurances regarding the accuracy of the information and cannot accept liability for complaints, loss or damage resulting from the article. It does not form part of the contract made when a holiday is booked with JVH and the information provided is not intended to be a rider or replacement to the booking conditions. Reference to the service or product of a third party, is not an endorsement or recommendation and JVH accepts no liability as a result of complaints, loss or damage arising from their use.
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