There are endless reasons to visit the unforgettable Greek island of Crete; the fabulous beaches & breath-taking scenery, the amazing archaeological sites, the delicious local food & the welcoming, hospitable people to name but a few.
Each of the four main regions of the island has its own unique charm; Rethymno with its excellent beaches & picturesque old town, the capital city of Heraklio for the fascinating Minoan sites of Knossos & Phaestos, Chania with its beautiful venetian harbor & majestic white mountains and Lasithi for its famous plateau & rolling plains. And it is perhaps for these unique characteristics that each part of the island is best known.
But each area also boasts its own individual vibe & appeal which makes them all truly worth a visit during your stay. With a coastline stretching for 1046 kilometres and almost all year round fine weather & sunshine, one of the most rewarding things to do in Crete is to rent a car & set out to discover all that this Mediterranean gem has to offer: north, south, east & west. The impressive mountain ranges, which dominate the landscape, run from one end of the island to the other and overlook the glorious beaches with their turquoise waters & long stretches of golden sand.
The quieter south coast of the island offers tranquility & relaxation as well as its outstanding natural beauty and it’s here that you’ll come across some of the remoter, picturesque villages of the island. Often known as the ‘hippy south’, the famous caves of Matala are located in the south west and the popular 3-day matata festival, made famous in the 60s & 70s, takes place on the beach here every summer. Crete’s south coast experiences hot, sandy winds blowing in from Africa, the coastline of which lies just 200 kilometres to the south. The north eastern region of Crete has a reputation of being the party capital of the island and it’s here that you’ll find lively nightlife in the resorts of Malia & Hersonissos to suit all tastes with clubs & bars staying open until the early hours.
The east is also home to some remarkable archaeological sites: a short boat trip from the pretty town of Elounda takes you to the fascinating island of Spinalonga with its poignant past as a former leper colony, and steeped in history.
The southern & eastern parts of Crete are also warmer & drier than the northern & western areas. The greener west part of the island is where you’ll find the spectacular Samaria gorge, Europe’s longest gorge at 18 km long, with all its amazing flora & fauna. The gorge ends at the shores of the Libyan sea in the authentic Cretan village of Agia Roumeli.
Also to the west is the famous Elafonissi beach with its crystal clear waters and unique pink-hued sand and Gramvousa island which boats a majestic venetian fortress & the most photographed beach in Crete: the breathtaking lagoon of Balos with its aquamarine waters and white sands. The north coast of Crete is blessed with an impressive number of fabulous golden beaches and amazing places to visit including the captivating city of Rethymno with its picturesque venetian harbour dating back to the 16th century and the historic Arkadi monastery, a symbol of Crete’s fierce independence.
Rethymno is the third largest city on the island but still manages to keep both an ancient & modern feel, and is always welcoming. Each part of Crete has its own wonderful charm & charisma but we have to admit that for us, Rethymno has that extra touch of magic & definitely holds a special place in our hearts!
With such a diverse range of stunning locations and its ideal climate, Crete is the natural choice for the destination wedding of your dreams!