Central Crete

 
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Land of Myth and History

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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

  • Palace of Knossos : Get up close to the mysteries of the 3,500-year-old civilization of the Minoans.

  • Beaches : From palm-backed Vai to remote Elafonisi, some of the finest beaches in Greece are lapped by Crete's turquoise waters.

  • Hiking the Countryside : With its snowcapped peaks and deep gorges, craggy Crete offers lots of escapes for those who want to get away from it all.

  • Luxurious Resorts : You can live like royalty in a Venetian palace or—at luxurious outposts like many of those in Elounda—sun worship the day away in your own private pool.

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Content provided by Fodor's Travel. Copyright © Fodor’s Travel, a division of Internet Brands, Inc. All rights reserved. Fodor’s is a registered trademarked of Internet Brands, Inc.

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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