Crete Mini Guide
Crete is an extremely popular holiday destination and this Greek island has built its economy on tourism. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is located in the Mediterranean Sea between the Libyan Sea and the Sea of Crete. The island is so popular for holidaymakers, in fact of all those renting a car in Greece
, around 1 in 3 bookings are made for picking up in Crete.
Visitors are drawn to the beauty of Crete, especially its white sandy beaches which sit under bright sunshine along over 1000kms of coastline. On rocky beaches watch out for the spiny sea urchins, they can be very painful if you step on one.There is also a wealth of history and archaeology to explore in Crete, good food, friendly people and a buzzing nightlife – in short everything the traveller could possibly want. The island's main airports are Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, which is the capital of Crete, and a new public airport in Sitia.
There are long term plans to replace Heraklion Airport with a new inland airport at Kasteli to the southeast of Heraklion, as Sitia Airport only has a small number of domestic flights which go between Athens
Rhino Car Hire can set you up with a vehicle on arrival at either of these airports. If you prefer to enter Crete by boat there are numerous ferry connections with the other Greek Islands and mainland Greece.
One thing to note when you are driving around the island is that the petrol stations are not always open. If fact they can often be closed after 7pm in the evening and on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Therefore you should always plan ahead and make sure you have enough petrol for the journey you need to make.
As long as you have fuel there are some fantastic sights to see in Crete such as ruins, mountains and gorges. Among these is the archaeological site of Knossos - and its famous palace. Knossos was the major city of the Minoan civilization 4,000 years ago. The beautiful harbour town of Chersonissos is worth seeing too, while young holiday makers who are looking for excitement and nightlife might head to the town of Malia.
Traditional food of Crete include the skewered meat dishes (Souvlaki), local cheeses, mountain goat, seafood and lamb. You could also try out snails, smoked ham or sausages.
You will find many excellent tavernas dotted around Crete which serve these delicacies. Lunch is the main meal of the day in this part of the world and it is savoured slowly over the course of the afternoon. There are many package holiday deals going to Crete. However, you may wish to book independently if getting away from the madding crowd is important to you.
Crete is an island with a fascinating history, centring on the fabulous palace complex of the Minoan civilisation at Knossos. There are other interesting places to visit on the island including the former leper colony at Spinalonga and the deserted island of Chrysi.
Hire a car to get to these places more easily and cheaply – tour operator excursions can be expensive for families and groups. Then, at the end of the day, head to the tavernas on the beaches and sip a cold beer whilst tasting the local fresh fish dishes.