Central Crete

 
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Cradled in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Crete is home to a land of myth and history. Visit the famed mountain cave where Zeus was believed to be born, travel to the Venetian castle at Rethymno or visit the archaeological sites of the Minoan civilization, Europe’s first civilization. Don’t forget to stop along the way and enjoy the various and rich cuisine that is native to Crete.

Crete hotels are open seasonally, April through October.

Central Crete Hotels

More About Central Crete

Overview

To Greeks, Crete is the Megalonissi (Great Island), a hub of spectacular ancient art and architecture. Fabled as the land of King Minos, it is a unique world where civilization is counted by the millennium. From every point of view travelers discover landscapes of amazing variety. Mountains, split with deep gorges and honeycombed with caves, rise in sheer walls from the sea. Snowcapped peaks loom behind sandy shorelines, vineyards, and olive groves. Miles of beaches, some with a wealth of amenities and others isolated and unspoiled, fringe the coast. Yet despite the attractions of sea and mountains, it is still the mystery surrounding Europe's first civilization and empire that draws the great majority of visitors to Crete and its world-famous Minoan palaces.

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Planner

The best times to visit Crete are May, when every outcrop of rock is ablaze with brilliant wildflowers and the sea is warm enough for a brisk dip, or September and October, when the sea is still warm and the light golden but piercingly clear. A spring visit comes with the advantage of long days.

Most of Crete, outside the major cities, is really only noticeably busy from mid-July through August, when the main Minoan sights and towns on the north coast come close to overflowing with tourists.

Even in the height of summer, though, you can enjoy many parts of the west and south coasts without feeling too oppressed by crowds. Crete can also be a pleasure in winter, when you can visit the museums and archaeological sites and enjoy the island's delightful towns without the crush of crowds. Remember, though, that rainfall can be heavy in January and February, and note that many hotels and restaurants, especially resorts, close from late October or November through mid-April or May.

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Top Experiences

  • Visit Knossos : An ancient palace of Minoan Crete. Originally built around 3,000 years ago, this palace features in Greek mythology. Even though it has been affected by multiple catastrophic events, you can still see the remnants of the throne room, royal apartments and a large courtyard.

  • Beaches : Crete is renowned for its beautiful beaches. Falasarna, Elafonisi and Balos Lagoon are just three of the Mediterranean delights with turquoise water just waiting for you to swim.

  • Samaria Gorge : A 16-kilometre hike, you may catch a sighting of a kri-kri, a feral goat that hops along the sheer cliff faces.

  • Chania Harbor : Originally built by Venetians in the 1300’s, you can still find traces of ancient dry docks and ship building.

  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum : This houses the biggest collection of Minoan artefacts in Greece. Jewelry, vases, weapons, armor, frescoes, and the mysterious Phaistos Disc, which is still waiting to be deciphered.

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Transfers

Region: Crete
Transfer Company: Travel Center
Telephone: From USA and Canada 011-30-6943-291-452. Within Greece 6943-291-452 or 6949-610-478.

Instructions: While in Europe, or in case of a flight delay or change of plans while traveling, please contact the appropriate local representative.

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