Crete

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Greece’s biggest island

Crete subscribes to the bigger is better school of thought. Not only is it the largest of the Greek Islands, but it’s the 5th biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea – Corsica pips it to the 4th place post by just a few hundred acres.

The full spectrum of beaches

Crete’s super-size means it’s got 650 miles of coastline to go around. The beaches in the Lassithi area, to the east of the island, are annexes to the cosmopolitan towns of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda. Here, sunbathers can mix stints on the sunbed with shopping sprees and long lunches in the squares. Further west, the Chania area teams Blue Flag beaches with an historical old town. The 12-kilometre-plus swathes of sand in the Rethymnon area are covered with the footprints of families, while the beaches in the Heraklion area are the staging areas and recovery spots for nights on the tiles.

Historical sights

Crete’s timeline stretches back more than 4,000 years. In fact, the island is credited with being the birthplace of modern civilisation. Evidence for this claim can be found at the Palace of Knossos, in the Heraklion area – the Minoans who lived here were some of the first people in the world to have fashions, parties and women’s rights.

Mountain scenery

Finally, Crete has a lion’s share of unspoilt scenery. You’ll get the best feel for what the island has to offer at Samaria Gorge, an hour’s drive from Chania. Stretching for 16 kilometres, it’s the longest in Europe.

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Heraklion Area

The Heraklion area’s bragging rights begin with its beaches. The stretches of sand in this central part of Crete’s north coast are impossible to pigeon hole – they range from the lively 18 to 30s hangouts in Malia to the rugged bays of the deserted island, Dia.

Chania Area

Set on Crete’s north coast, the Chania region knows how to score brownie points. For starters, it offers up more beaches than you can count on two hands. The stretches of sand range from the Blue Flag beauties in Agioi Apostoloi and Gerani to the chic bar-lined strip in Agia Marina.

Rethymnon Area

It’s the beaches that turn heads in the Rethymnon area. This part of north-east Crete has some of the best stretches of sand on the island. The main town beach is so long, you could run a half-marathon along its length. Most beaches come with the full list of facilities, too. There are tavernas by the shore, watersports in the sea, and sunloungers on the sand.

Heraklion Area

The Heraklion area’s bragging rights begin with its beaches. The stretches of sand in this central part of Crete’s north coast are impossible to pigeon hole – they range from the lively 18 to 30s hangouts in Malia to the rugged bays of the deserted island, Dia.

Chania Area

Set on Crete’s north coast, the Chania region knows how to score brownie points. For starters, it offers up more beaches than you can count on two hands. The stretches of sand range from the Blue Flag beauties in Agioi Apostoloi and Gerani to the chic bar-lined strip in Agia Marina.

Rethymnon Area

It’s the beaches that turn heads in the Rethymnon area. This part of north-east Crete has some of the best stretches of sand on the island. The main town beach is so long, you could run a half-marathon along its length. Most beaches come with the full list of facilities, too. There are tavernas by the shore, watersports in the sea, and sunloungers on the sand.

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Top 5 resorts in Crete

Top 5 hotels in Crete

Top 5 villas in Crete

 

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Online savings - Refers to an online discount of 9% on September holidays (10% from 5th September) and 9% on holidays in October. Applies to the basic adult cost before supplements. Available on package holidays booked online departing between 1st May 2014 and 31st October 2014 Online discount only applies to package holidays booked on firstchoice.co.uk and does not apply to flight only, accommodation only and tailor made flight+hotel bookings. Online discount is not combinable with free Child Places.

 

 

Save up to £400 per couple on September & October holidays – Saving offer applies to new bookings only on selected Thomson package holidays booked on thomson.co.uk. Offer applies to holidays departing between 01 September & 31 October 2014 and is subject to limited availability. Savings is against brochure price. Excludes flight only, accommodation only, cruise, Thomson Ski and any other bookings. Additional supplements may apply. Saving is based on a minimum of 2 adults travelling. Thomson reserves the right to withdraw or change this offer at any time. We reserve the right to change or withdraw the offers at any time.

Free child places - Free kids offer applies to new bookings only, on selected summer 2014 holidays, subject to limited availability. Only 1 free kids place is available in each selected hotel room or selected apartment type or villa with 2 full paying adults. Other children must pay the full brochure price. Available on First Choice holidays only. Free child places may not be combinable with other discounts.