The birthplace of civilisation: home to the original Homer and the world's best olive oil, Crete is Greece's largest island whose culture and coastline have inspired the best in food and literature. Although famously teeming with package resort hotspots, these are confined to certain areas, which, if it's flora, fauna and archeology you're after, are easy to avoid, so your holiday to Crete can be just as you like it.
How to get there
The budget airlines haven't got there yet, but since they have long been popular packages, cheap holidays in Crete are easy to come by through the major tour operators. Thomson, Thomas Cook, First Choice and My Travel offer holidays to Crete with flights to Heraklion (the capital) from London and a large number of regional airports, including East Midlands, Liverpool and Bournemouth, which take three-and-a-half to four hours. It's also easy to book a flight and put it together yourself with a cheap Crete hotel deal to create a full package for your Crete holiday. Their offshoot airline, Flythomascook.com and Thomsonfly also offer flights to Heraklion.
When to go
Holidays in Crete can vary with the time of year. A normal day in July or August is 29 to 38 degrees C, though the sea brings a good breeze, with June and September a more bearable 23 to 29, usually fine and sunny. If you want your holiday to Crete without the crowds, March, April, October and November are a a good bet, still 17 to 26 by daytime but less predictable than mid-summer. May is a happy medium. Cheap holidays in Crete are also available in December, January and February, though it can be chilly, 9 to 18 degrees C, particularly in the mountains .
What to do
The island's distinct regions make it easy to choose the exact cheap holiday in Crete you want: its population of 500,000 are mainly in the north, with a backbone of mountains to the south, where the coast is rugged with sandy coves. The nightlife is in the east, and higher, wilder mountains to the west, with olive-groves, wild fennel and basil blanketing much of the interior. In the north west is Chania, the Venetian village and harbour. For natural wildlife or wild nightlife, there are plenty of easy ways to find your cheap holiday to Crete. To see it all book car hire from Heraklion airport and become your own tour guide.
"If weather in Britain during the month of April were a train, it would surely only stop at the stations of Hopelesstown and Depressingville. Peering g..." 26 April 2012
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