A week in Crete
Where to fly
Crete has two international airport (Heraklion and Chania) both with direct flights to and from the UK. Flights to Heraklion are more frequent.
What to do
1. Explore the narrow streets of Chania’s old town where Venetian and Turkish influences meet. Don’t miss the produce market, the bold, colourful textiles of the Cretan Rugs and Blankets store in 3 Odos Anghelou, and the shops in Odos Skridlof for a selection of leather handbags, sandals and shoes.
2. Take an early morning walk down the steep, ten-mile Samaria Gorge then soothe your tired body with a heavenly dip in the Lybian Sea at the beach of Agia Roumeli. A boat will take you back to the village of Hora Sfakion (and from there by bus to Chania) but try and stay the night at Agia Roumeli to enjoy the sunset on the bay.
3. Drive up to the sleepy, whitewashed villages of the Rodopos peninsula above Chania for a trip back in time.
4. Head to Rethymno for the imposing Venetian fortress, the café-studded harbour, the dazzling jewellery stores and many unusual shops (including one at 35 Odos Arabatzoglou which specialises in carved olive wood wares).
5. Go beach-hopping: rugged Erimoupolis, pristine Balos, vast, golden Falassarna, palm-fringed, crystalline Vai, and pink-hued Elafonisi, with its turquoise waters, are all considered some of Europe’s best beaches. Try them all, then pick your favourite.