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Crete Hotels and Apartments
Accommodation in Crete
Crete is the largest island of Greece and has been inhabited for almost 8000 years, so finding the perfect accommodation in Crete is a surprisingly easy. Chania region has many aparthotels, villas and budget hostels both in the town area as well as on the beachfront and in the heart of nature. Rethymno and Heraklion hotels are cheaper than Chania and if you are looking for cheap flights and hotels in Crete and it is good to book in advance before summer to grab the best deal. Heraklion has many budget hotels and apartments, some high end boutique hotels and also a few historical hotels if you love history. Lasithi is even cheaper and good for monthly rentals as well.
Located around 160 km away from the Greek mainland, is the limestone island of Crete, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. From west to east the island is divided into 4 regions- Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi. Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia are some major cities of Crete which offer an urban experience. The overall town architecture will take you through a walk in history when you will find the influence of the civilizations that flourished here on the city architecture and style. Some of these historical buildings are reopened as hotels in Crete. The mountainous terrain of Crete has enhanced its beauty and also added landscapes like the beautiful valleys, gorges, rivers, lakes, etc.
Where to Stay on your Crete Holiday
Crete is the preferred summer destination for families, couples, and also for weddings, thanks to easy availability of low cost holidays in Crete. Those who want to stay longer as well as families with kids opt for air conditioned studios and apartments with kitchens so that you can prepare your own meals. Families can also look for cheap hotels in Crete with all-inclusive deal and stay frill free with food and drinks included in room prices. Although most of the hotels in Crete are aparthotels offering villas, bungalows, apartments and low cost studios, you can also find upscale hotels in Crete close to the town areas. In the northern part of Crete, you can find magnificent hotels with many guest rooms and ideal for large parties who are looking for chic beachside accommodation with good services. The beauty of the island also attracts a lot solo travellers who can find hostels easily in Heraklion, Rethymno and Plakias.
Things to See and Do in Crete
If you are looking for some serious adrenalin fun on your Crete holiday, then there are a lot of outdoor sports and activities waiting for you like rock climbing, Nordic walking, hiking, windsurfing, skiing, scuba diving, horse riding, etc. Some hotels in Crete include these sports in their all-inclusive deals along with food and drinks. Those who want to explore the island can go for city day tours. History lovers can find the rich heritage of Crete in its museums, archeological sites and buildings. Crete is also a destination for culinary tour, eco tour, sports tour, etc. Nature lovers can have a blissful experience here thanks to the indigenous flora, fauna, wetlands, waterfalls, mountains and its gorgeous landscapes. You can get a ferry at Chaina and take a trip to the nearby islands and islets where you can find even uninhabited ones and truly undisturbed nature.
Nightlife in Crete
Chaina is the hub of nightlife in Crete offering a plethora of options for all kinds of tastes and age groups. In the streets of the old town of Chaina, you will find many clubs and bars and there are a few others on the beachside as well where parties are organized with views of the sea and under open sky. Malia, Stalis and Elounda also have many bars and clubs open till 3 am. The local taverns are also open till late night offering Raki. In August you can also be a part of the famous Panigiri of Crete that include traditional music and dancing till the sunrise. Some of the famous clubs and discos in the heart of the town are Loft Club, Fagotto, Fortezza and Halkina. Cinemas, theaters, plays, music concerts and themed Cretan evenings, also attract a good number of visitors’ year on year.
Food options in Crete
The Cretan cuisine is a blend of Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine. The humble looking Cretan cuisine is going to surprise you with its fresh and flavor packed servings. Crete locally produces almost everything from cheeses, herbs, honey, meats, olive oil, wines, local drinks, sea food, spices and fruits and vegetables. Some local Cretan specialties that are a must try are cheeses graviera and myzithra, Greek salads, coffee, fresh made dips and Giemista and Briam for vegetarians. Everything here is prepared with olive oil and thus very healthy. The drinks Ouzo and Raki are made locally and can’t be missed on your next Crete holiday. Crete also produces wines that you might not have tasted ever. The Douloufakis wine tasting room in Heraklion is good for tasting all of them. Restaurants serving these delicacies are found almost everywhere on the island. In a culture that celebrates food, its festivals are incomplete without a good feast associated with it.
Shopping in Crete
From beauty products to a range of footwear, handbags and clothing, you can find anything in Crete at great bargains. If you are looking for a perfect wedding dress at a good price then Crete will leave you spoilt, as you can find plenty of designer shops here for all kinds of brides. Chaina indoor market, supermarkets, local independent shops in Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos and Chinese shops are good for buying embroidery and needle work, ceramics, jewelry shopping, leather goods, clothing, souvenirs, local art and craft items at discount prices. Cheap accommodation in Crete and great choices for everyday shopping has made it an ideal destination for some, who spend entire summer here. The roadside fruits and vegetable stalls and farmer’s market sell all fresh ingredients at cheap prices. While on your Crete holiday you will find Peripteros on almost every road. These are 24/7 stores that sell all kinds of essentials.
Trivia facts about Crete
Crete was once the centre of the Minoan civilization, which is the earliest known civilization in Europe. At its narrowest point north-south Pacheia Ammos to Ieraperta is just 12 km and is 260 km from west-east. Crete has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and bright summers. Only at high altitude regions you can find snowfall from November to May. Although car rental is the most well-known option, it’s informative to know that owing to the mountainous terrain in Crete, diving is more difficult and tiring than usual, so you need to be a good driver. Local buses in Crete are cheap, safe and easy and punctual if you wish to travel long distances or into small remote villages. The southern part of the island is well connected with ferries that you can get from Chania. Hitchhiking in Crete much easier and good for those travelling to less visited places.
Fast Facts about Crete:
Capital city: Heraklion
Language: Cretan Greek
Nearest airport: Heraklion International Airport (HER) and Chania International airport (CHQ)
Flight duration from Dublin to Crete: 5 hours approx.