Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, and it’s a popular destination due to its lively nightlife and fabulous shopping opportunities. However there’s so much more to this charming island, with citrus trees and olive groves for miles, rocky valleys and hidden coves; discover the untouched side of Crete.
Our villas are located in some wonderfully secluded parts of Crete, and many of them offer a quintessential Cretan experience. Take Horafakia, for example. A charming and pretty village, home to antiquated tavernas and stunning sandy beaches, all within the surroundings of rich countryside. Although it’s a mere 20 minute drive from the main town of Chania, you’ll feel miles away in this family-friendly village.
For a truly medieval experience, the village of Loutra is a special destination. It’s a practical spot just a few kilometres from Rethymno, but feels a whole world apart. Explore narrow, cobbled streets, Venetian buildings and a medieval fountain. Take a stroll and get lost in the olive and citrus groves that surround this quiet village.
Crete is famed for its natural beauty, and it has inspired artists and philosophers throughout history. There are beautiful, long sandy beaches to the north, as well as smaller, more secluded beaches for you to enjoy. The cliffs that are dotted along the southern coast provide fantastic walking routes, even if you’re just looking for a sunset stroll.
Fantastic hiking spots
A walk through Patsos Gorge near Rethymnon will take you over weathered rocks, along ancient pathways through a scenic valley. Crete is also home to Europe’s longest gorge – Samaria. At 16 kilometres long, it’s near to the town of Charia and is a really worthwhile place to visit whilst on your villa holiday.
If you’re looking for a picturesque beach, look no further than Frangokastello Beach in the south of Crete. This idyllic setting boasts a Venetian castle and white sands. Also in the south, Plakias village boasts its own beautiful beach, and a walk along the riverside route from here will lead you through green luscious forests.
Eat like a Cretan
The food in Crete is healthy, fresh and full of flavour. The cuisine emphasises produce that has been locally grown, and when dining out during your villa holiday you should aim to eat some home-grown dishes from the local tavernas.
A great local dish to try is ‘dakos’ – crispy rusks topped with freshly diced tomato, olive oil and cheese. You’ll also find locally reared meat, such as lamb, served up alongside fresh horta (wild greens). Follow up your Cretan meal with some of the delicious locally-produced wine.
The home of Minoan civilisation, you can visit Crete time and time again and will still discover new facts and historical sites to visit. Check out the archaeological site of Knossos, which was inhabited as far back as 6000 BC, whilst the first Minoan palace was built here around 1900 BC.
The palace of Knossos is one of the most celebrated sites on Crete, and myths say it was the home of King Minos, son of Zeus. Another great place to check out is the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. This is one of Greece’s best museums, and holds some fascinating Minoan art and artefacts.
Befriending the locals
Cretans are famed for their warm and friendly nature and they may well greet you at the local kafeneia (coffee shop). Whilst you’re out walking, look out for solitary shepherds tending to their goats and sheep, as they traverse the stony paths that have been used by Cretan shepherds for hundreds of years.
Find out more about our villas in Crete, to plan your perfect holiday today.