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Crete Holidays

Crete Holidays

Read more about Crete

Set on the largest of the Greek islands, Crete holidays offer everything you could ever want from your perfect beach break. From clubbing holidays in Malia to family escapes in Chania, there’s something for everyone to love about this Mediterranean marvel. Crete’s charismatic culture and beautiful scenery provide the ideal backdrop to get up close and personal with the island’s laidback way of life and incredible food scene. What’s more, the island's diverse landscape – you’ll find sandy stretches, rolling hills and ancient ruins here - makes it an idyllic destination for beach lovers, history hunters and intrepid explorers alike. We absolutely adore visiting Crete, and we’ve collected some information and inspiration below to help you wing your way to this Greek paradise as soon as you can.

On the Beach Perks - FREE Lounge & FREE Fast Track

Today is the day. You’re up early, the other half has checked the passports a thousand times and you’re on your way. The kids even had cake for breakfast… because you’re on your jollies. Holiday mode is on! The only thing between you and the beach is the dreaded airport faff - the security queue, the food and drink queues and all that money you spend. But, what if we skipped that bit? Skip the security queue. Stroll into the swanky airport lounge and load up on free cake. Enjoy Free airport beers and Wi-Fi access to brag about it? Now, that’s what I’m talking about. With FREE security fast track on all package holidays and FREE lounge access for 4 or 5* package holidays, that’s exactly what you get. Your jollies just… jollier. Free security fast track and free lounge offers apply to outbound journeys only, and some airports may be excluded. Terms and conditions apply.

On the Beach perks

Best beaches in Crete

With sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, broken up by secret coves and olive groves, Crete’s pretty plateau lends itself flawlessly to family getaways and romantic retreats. For a wilder beach, try the hidden gem that is Stefanou Beach north of Chania. Also, to see something really special, be sure to experience the pink sands of Elafonisi Beach in the southwest. The island is even home to Vai – Europe’s only palm-tree forest beach, where you can live those Caribbean dreams without leaving the incredible food and feel of the Mediterranean behind.

Crete holidays

Best hotels in Crete

When it comes to hotels in Crete, only the best will do, but where do you start looking when you’re deciding where to stay in Crete? The truth is, you can’t really go wrong; from family-run boutiques to five-star resorts, you’re bound to experience warm, friendly Greek hospitality wherever you choose. To start you on your way, we’ve handpicked three of our favourite places to stay on this Greek Island. First up is the Kiani Beach Resort, situated to the east of Chania in Kalyves. This chic pick complements its surroundings with a style that is luxuriously understated, and offers a stunning beachfront location and entertainment for all ages. Visiting Crete with little ones? The kids club at Vasia Resort and Spa keep them enthralled while you hit the swimming pools, beach or spa. Prefer child-free travel? The Adults Only Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa is just the ticket for serenity by the sea.

All Inclusive holidays to Crete

From picturesque, sleepy fishing villages to all-out party towns, Cretan escapes already feature the best of the Mediterranean: irresistible beaches, sunny weather and warms seas. Going All Inclusive in Crete tops all that off with mouthwatering meals, refreshing drinks and plenty to do, all sorted for you before you fly. We love All Inclusive holidays here at On the Beach, because there's nothing we like better than knowing our customers are jetting off without a care in the world. You can book with confidence, too: all of our flight-inclusive package holidays are ATOL protected. What are you waiting for? Go all in and let's get you to the Greek, the mezze platters are calling...

2021 holidays to Crete

We can feel it already, 2021 is the year that you finally get that Crete getaway you deserve. Whether you're a first-timer or a repeat Crete visitor, there's no better choice for your next beach break. If you've been daydreaming about 2021 holidays then it might be time to add that autumn escape or dash of winter sun to your calendar. Get the earlybird pick of the best hotels, resorts and flights in Crete when you book your holiday in advance.

2021 holidays in Crete

Family holidays to Crete

Family holidays are what life is all about. Splashing about in the pool, raiding the buffet table and exploring new places together - could it get any better than that? Crete is the perfect setting for your trip together, as there are plenty of resorts and hotels that are family-centric and tons of fun. Agios Nikolaos, Gouves, Chania and Elounda are all great choices of where to stay in Crete when you're travelling with children. So, whether your family consists of two or twenty two, we have plenty of cheap holidays to delight family members of all ages.

Couples holidays to Crete

There's nowhere quite like Crete for sweeping that special someone off their feet. With romantic backdrops everywhere you look, your couples holiday could not be better placed. Keep an eye out for Crete hotels with a spa if you fancy some pampering. You could even book an Adults Only stay if you want to go all out on the just-the-two-of-you time. The whole island is brillian for couples, but populars places to stay on trips for two include Rethymnon, Chania and Elounda.

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Clubbing holidays in Crete

The clubbing capital of Crete is Malia. A favourite for mates escapes, stag dos, hen parties and lively group holidays of all kinds, Malia’s clubbing scene is famous for its tempting mix of DJ nights, live music and incredible atmosphere. Hit the strip as the sun goes down and you’ll find yourself surrounded by like-minded party people and enough bars and clubs to keep you dancing until dawn. Resorts like Stalis, Agios Nikolaos and Hersonissos also top the party charts thanks to their energetic nightlife. Elsewhere, expect late night Greek tavernas, bustling beach bars and sundowners in cocktails bars if you’re looking for a more chilled-out night.

Things to eat in Crete

Island holidays are all about tucking into fresh fish and Greek salads, complete with olives and feta cheese. Meat eaters will love dining out on ioukanika (Greek sausages) and moussaka, while the classic mezze options, full of dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice), taramasalata and tzatziki are not to be missed. Local delicacies include mini cheese pies known as kalitsounia, along with dakos – rustic bread with a mezze of tomatoes, feta, herbs and olives piled generously on top. To wash it down, try a shot of the local raki if you’re feeling brave.

Cultural holidays in Crete

History fans may want to make a beeline for the award-winning Knossos Museum and get drawn in by the remains of the Minoan Empire, while Greek mythologists may be more interested in a date with Lassithi Plateau, believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Meanwhile, much of modern-day culture centres around the Greek Orthodox church, which plays a huge part in local life and is the reason for many of the island’s religious festivals and celebrations.

cultural holiday in Crete

Things to do in Crete

Visit Spinalonga

Although Crete holidays place you on the largest of the Greek islands, there are plenty of smaller islands peppered off the coast that are worth a visit too. A short boat ride away, the fortress island of Spinalonga carries a turbulent past, including serving as a leper colony during the 20th century. Don’t be put off by tales of tragedy, though; there is much beauty to be discovered here, too.

Hike to the Balos Lagoon

If it’s stunning views you’re after, this is one to tick off the bucket list. With parking available nearby, the beach trail leading down offers a viewpoint to the lagoon below that is postcard picture-worthy. You’ll be greeted with aquamarine waters, white sands, rugged scenery and – if you plan your hike to avoid the crowds – you can enjoy it all for yourself! The lagoon offers warm and shallow waters, while swimming further out gets you to deeper waters ideal for snorkelling.

Discover the Palace of Knossos

Known as Europe’s oldest city, this Bronze Age archaeological site can be found within easy reach of Heraklion. The palace was part of the Minoan civilization back in the 2nd century B.C. and was one of the grandest architectural feats of even our time. The complex was restored in the 1900s and is open to tourists today, so you can appreciate the labyrinthine splendour of the site.

Explore the village of Loutro

For a break from the beaches and tours, head to Chania’s secluded southernmost village of Loutro. Exuding Greek charm, its quaint streets offer peaceful relief from the hustle and bustle of the island’s larger cities. This is largely owed to its lack of vehicles as the village can only be reached by boat or on foot. Simply peruse the cobbled streets, gaze at the whitewashed houses and drink in its air of tranquillity. There’s also a delightful crescent-shaped bay where you can laze the day away.

cultural holiday in Crete

What's the weather like in Crete?

Sharing climates with both North Africa and the Mediterranean, Crete has a varied – mostly sunny – weather forecast. Crete holidays boast the loveliest climate compared to anywhere else in Greece, with temperatures during summer hovering around the high 20s (°C). The mountain regions tend to be cooler, but the warm sun makes the whole island of Crete into a summer paradise. The sizzling heat also makes the sea temperature climb high during peak season, with invitingly warm water in the shallows around the coast and in the deeper areas further out too.


Average temp.

Sea temp.

Hours of sunshine per day

Jan11 °c16 °c3 h
Feb12 °c15 °c3 h
Mar14 °c16 °c5 h
Apr17 °c17 °c6 h
May24 °c19 °c8 h
Jun24 °c22 °c11 h
Jul26 °c24 °c13 h
Aug26 °c25 °c12 h
Sep24 °c24 °c10 h
Oct20 °c23 °c6 h
Nov17 °c20 °c3 h
Dec14 °c17 °c3 h

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Important Information about travelling to Crete

How long does it take to fly to Crete?

It takes about four hours to fly to Crete from the UK.

What’s the time difference between the UK and Crete?

Crete is two hours ahead of the time in the UK.

What currency do they use in Crete?

The official currency of Crete is the Euro.

What language do they speak in Crete?

The official language spoken in Crete is Greek.

Do I need any vaccinations to visit Crete?

Please check with your healthcare provider for all up to date vaccination advice before booking your holiday.

Do I need to pay tax on my holiday to Crete?

Yes, the Greek goverment charges a sustainable tourism tax on all overnight stays which is payable on arrival at your hotel:

  • 5-star hotels: €4 per room, per night
  • 4-star hotels: €3 per room, per night
  • 3-star hotels: €1.50 per room, per night
  • 1-star & 2-star hotels: €0.50 per room, per night
  • 1-4 key apartments: €0.50 per room, per night

Customer reviews

’Greece’ is the word, and here at On the Beach we take pride in the amount of satisfied customers we send to Crete every year. Here’s what they have to say:

Charlotte Ireland:

From the start to the end it was just easy and straight forward. No problems and ... just stress free!

Emilie Silvester:

Everything went smoothly and we had the best holiday ever!

Daniela Florina Jurcan:

Everything was just perfect!

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Top Crete Hotels

Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort & Spa

Kokkini Hani, Crete East, Crete

Chrispy World

Kolymvari, Crete West, Crete

Eri Beach

Hersonissos, Crete East, Crete

Lyttos Beach

Analipsis, Crete East, Crete

Fodele Beach

Fodele, Crete, Greece

Pilot Beach Resort

Georgioupolis, Crete West, Crete

Creta Princess Aqua Park & Spa

Maleme, Crete West, Crete

Dore Hotel

Agia Marina, Crete West, Crete

Star Beach Village

Hersonissos, Crete East, Crete

Marigianna Hotel Apartments & Studios

Sissi, Crete East, Crete

Mitsis Laguna Resort & Spa

Anissaras, Crete East, Crete

Carme Villas

Adelianos Campos, Crete, Greece

Fereniki Holiday Resort

Georgioupolis, Crete West, Crete

Arminda Hotel

Hersonissos, Crete East, Crete

Stella Palace Hotel

Analipsis, Crete East, Crete

Eri Sun Village

Hersonissos, Crete East, Crete

Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection

Plaka, Crete East, Crete

Petradi Beach Hotel

Rethymnon, Crete, Greece

Vardis Olive Garden Hotel

Kavros, Crete, Greece

Elounda Water Park Residence Hotel

Elounda, Crete East, Crete

Creteotels Sunrise Village

Platanias, Crete West, Crete

Anemos Luxury Grand Resort

Georgioupolis, Crete West, Crete

Zeus Hotels The Village Resort & Waterpark

Hersonissos, Crete East, Crete

Mistral Mare Hotel

Istron, Crete East, Crete

Kalypso Cretan Village

Plakias, Crete, Greece

Club Lyda Hotel

Gouves, Crete East, Crete

Arina Beach Resort

Kokkini Hani, Crete East, Crete

Kiani Beach Resort

Kalyves, Crete, Greece

Euphoria Resort

Kolymvari, Crete West, Crete

Akasha Beach Hotel and Spa

Hersonissos, Crete East, Crete

Crete Resorts

Agia Pelagia

Agia Pelagia

Holidays in Agia Pelagia for all tastes, ages and budgets. We have a range of apartments and cheap hotels in Agia Pelagia ranging from 3 to 5 star sui…

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Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos- 'Agios' to Cretan islanders, or 'Ag Nik' to the many English-speaking visitors- is a beautiful harbour town in eastern Crete, overlook…

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Amoudara is resort on a long, sandy, idyllic beach, just outside Crete's capital, Heraklion, on the island's north coast. This is where golden sands m…

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Chania is one of Crete's most attractive and appealing cities, set between breathtaking mountains and the deep turquoise of the Cretan Sea. The city i…

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Elounda is a beautiful resort situated in Crete's northeast, on the coast of Mirabello Bay. Approaching the village by road from Agios Nikolaos you ar…

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Fodele is a charming village and lovely beach resort located between the towns of Heraklion and Rethymnon, on Crete's north coast. Apart from the obvi…

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Georgioupolis is a beautiful village on Crete's north coast, between Rethymnon and Chania, set in stunning surroundings of mountains, eucalyptus trees…

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The Crete holidays destination of Gouves is a town and municipality in northern Crete, just east of the capital, Heraklion. Here you will find everyth…

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Heraklion is the capital of Crete, the island's largest city and the fifth largest in Greece. On first impressions Heraklion can appear a little too b…

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On Crete's north coast, set between mountains and sea, is the cosmopolitan resort of Hersonissos. In antiquity Hersonissos was a prosperous merchant h…

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The party capital of Crete, Malia has everything you need for the best holiday. Tons of sun, lively beaches, banging clubs and pocket-friendly prices.…

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Rethymnon is a vibrant resort town on Crete's north coast, the capital of Rethymnon province. The town enjoys its reputation as the cultural and intel…

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If you're one for peace and quiet and want to get away from commercial holidays, then Sissi is the place for you. Surrounded by picturesque beaches an…

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