Crete, the largest island in the Greek archipelago, is perhaps its biggest show-off. This island has 650 miles of golden coastline, dramatic mountains, picturesque villages, and a cavalcade of ancient ruins that will set any historian's heart aflutter. Few places live up their lofty reputations, but after a luxury holiday in Crete, you'll understand that this island does not underwhelm.
Explore the cobbled streets of the ancient settlements of Heraklion, Chania, or Rethymno, offering you a chance to lay on sandy beaches, swim in crystal clear waters and take in the relaxed atmosphere of coffee houses and tavernas as they spill out into the streets.
Late May to early October is a popular time to visit Crete, when temperatures are typically over 25 degrees. During these months there is next to no rainfall, and the sea is nice and warm. Late June to mid-August are the hottest months with temperatures around 30 degrees.
With lots of gorges and hiking trails, Crete is a great place to go walking and exploring. April and late October are popular for these kinds of activities because the weather sits at a comfortable 20 degrees.
Crete is a cosmopolitan island, so you can sample international dishes, from Italian pastas to Asian curries, as well as indulge in local specialities, like moussaka and souvlaki. Fresh fish, fruits and vegetables and fine olive oils are the main staples of the Cretan diet.
Chochlioi boubouristi is a popular Cretan dish of snails fried in olive oil and flour, then sprinkled with wine, and if you like trying something new, this is the place to start. Try raki too, a grape-based pomace brandy, and the island's signature aperitif.
You should carry identification with you at all times and keep a photocopy of your passport. British passport holders do not need a visa to visit Crete and can stay on the island for up to 3 months. Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports, visas and travel.