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The largest and best known of the Greek Islands, Crete most definitely packs a punch. This is a destination of halves: the first with vast stretches of glorious sandy beaches and a cultural heritage that is simply breath-taking. On the other, it boasts resorts that cater to every taste, from 24 hour party people to those seeking an authentically Cretan experience.

Crete’s location means that it is blessed with one of the longest summer seasons in the whole Mediterranean. Temperatures start to rise in early April, and continue to do so until in mind August the mercury can reach as high as 35 degrees centigrade. Luckily, a gentle breeze stops the heat well short of unbearable, and you will be unlucky indeed to spot even a drop of rain during the high season - precipitation is generally limited to the months of November to March.

To the northeast of the Crete you will discover the Lassithi region. The main resort here is Aghios Nikolaos, a town picturesquely set round a lake, with plenty of facilities for holidaymakers and some gorgeous award winning beaches.

The capital, Heraklion makes a great base to explore the north east coast. Nearby Malia, Stalis and Hersonissos are a lively trio of resorts that attract young party seeking holidaymakers; or for a more sedate pace head over to Gouves or Piskopiano. Heraklion is a wonderful place to explore, and an eclectic melting pot of the traditional and the super modern. Ancient historical sites sit happily in harmony with the many achingly hip clubs bars and restaurants for which the town is famed.

Rethymnon is around eighty kilometres to the east of Heraklion. Here you will discover on of the best beaches on the whole island, a pretty harbour and plenty of good bars and restaurants. Just a stone’s throw away is the authentic fishing village of Panormo, which offers an ‘off the beaten track’ beach experience, plus a number of restaurants serving fish caught fresh that day.

To the west of Heraklion is the Chania district that offers some charming spots - including Maleme and Gerani. Chania itself is a delightful spot, and its medieval harbour is a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

As far as activities go, the world really is your oyster on Crete. Kids will be delighted by the islands impressive number of water parks including Watercity, (home to no less than twenty five separate rides!) or if you prefer your rides less ‘white-knuckle’, try Aquaplus, a tamer but no less fun destination. The beaches are second to none and there are cultural treasures to visit and admire around every corner. Add in the friendly locals and delicious Cretan cuisine, this really is a holiday island that ticks all the boxes.

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