Presidential Spa Pool Villa
A day that starts with breakfasting on a terrace with views out to sea, is always going to be a good one, so you can rest assured that every day that begins at the Presidential Spa Pool Villa on the Elounda complex is going to be very special....
Royal Spa Pool Villa
This luxury villa in Crete has been a favourite with celebrities, politicians and royalty for some years, and it’s easy to see why. Perched on the edge of the north-eastern coast of the island, Royal Spa Pool Villa offers a secluded location but...
Executive Spa Pool Villa
A break to the Executive Spa Villa at The Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites boutique hotel is a real escape from reality. This luxury villa in Crete has a fabulous location, looking out to sea, and the restful sound of the waves is with you from the...
Beach Front Villa
Relax and enjoy your own private bit of paradise. This luxury beachfront villa in Crete boasts a unique location and views that will lift your heart each morning when you wake. Perched on the edge of the north-eastern coast of Crete, the Beach...
Destination Guide: Crete
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is so steeped in its own particular culture it feels like a completely separate country in many ways.
The middle of the island is rugged and wild, with wonderful hiking terrain in the White Mountains and every area has something striking to recommend it – definitely don’t miss the famous windmills on the Lassithi plateau.
With a chequered and fascinating history taking in the Minoans’ culture as well as Venetian rule and German occupation, there is plenty for culture vultures to soak up, from ruined palaces to 14th-century churches. The Heraklion Museum has also recently been refitted and holds the largest and most impressive collection of Minoan artefacts in existence.
But there’s history in surprising places – some of the very pretty mountain villages are astonishingly modern, having been centres of resistance during the war, which were destroyed by the Germans as a result.
However, if you want nothing more improving from your break than to lie on beautiful beaches soaking up the sun and wandering to a pretty bar for early evening drinks and then back to your luxury villa for a fine meal, you’ve also come to the right place.
The longest sandy beaches are on the north coast of the island, but there are lots of smaller secret coves to explore and spend a day hiding out in with a good book, a decent picnic and some fine wine.
From April to October lots of UK airlines fly direct to Heraklion and Hania. Out of season, the island can be reached by ferry from Crete.
Best places to eat and drink in Crete
You’ll obviously enjoy plenty of all the things the Greek islands are famous for – Feta, olives, honey and sweet and sticky desserts. However, Crete has many specialities specific to certain areas of the island – from lemony biscuits, to deep-fried savoury pastries and much more that you’ll discover in your own time.
Luxury villas in Crete tend to come with their own talented chefs, but there are also lots of places to eat out very well indeed.
Locals and those in the know head away from the tourist hotspots and seek out little gems such as The Old Phoenix in the south west of the island on the Bay of Finix. This wonderfully charming seaside taverna is accessible only by boat or foot.
To try Cretan cooking with a modern twist, try Ela & Diosmos (Olive & Mint) in Skalani, just south of Heraklion. The establishment uses only the freshest local ingredients and has won awards for its food.
And for something more upmarket and formal, head to the Elounda Peninsula’s All Suite Hotel’s Calypso restaurant – its French chef has a Michelin star for his Paris restaurant and the food here is of an equally high standard.
Best time to visit Crete
The majority of the festivals take place in July and August and the sea is thoroughly warmed up by this time, however, it will be busier and pretty hot at this time of year. May and June – and late September - are very pleasant climate-wise.
What we love about Crete
We love a trip to the uninhabited island of Spinalonga. The island was once a leper colony so has a fascinating history as well as pretty, pebbly beaches to relax on and abandoned streets that wind across the island. You can catch a boat here from Elounda. Ten out of 10 for atmosphere!
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