One of the most popular Greek islands to visit on holiday, Crete has earned its reputation as a beach paradise with gorgeous shores, mountain landscapes and wild nightlife. If that's not enough, the food is phenomenal and there's temple-loads of history here too - after all, this is the fabled birthplace of Zeus.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands at 160 miles wide. It's also the most southerly, found on the cusp of the North African and Mediterranean climate zones, which means that here, summer is almost always in full swing.
Carved with mountain ranges and lined with miles of beaches, Crete is an incredibly versatile island. Many of the resorts are gathered along the coast but you'll also find noteworthy spots tucked inland amid groves of olive trees.
Party-goers head to the neon-lit dancefloors of Malia while adventurers scale gorges in the White Mountains. History buffs marvel at the sites from ancient mythology and sunbathers are quite content lounging along the coast to the faint tune of wine glasses clinking from nearby tavernas.
Crete is well-equipped for holidays of any speed and price range – there are All Inclusive hotels, private villas and family-run apartments in virtually every resort. Each town highlights a different facet of the peaceful Cretan lifestyle, so it's easy to find one that appeals to your holiday vibes.
This historic town has been built on the remains of ancient buildings and fascinating ruins. There's an unending amount of history to discover here, including a historic church built in the 10th century and an archaeological museum. Aghios Nikolaos is also home to three seafronts with exceptional diving schools.
The modern resort of Amoudara is close to the capital Heraklion and airport. Almost five kilometres of sand gave Amoudara its name, which translates as 'Big Sand' and it's backed by a busy promenade offering lots to do. Or close by are Knossos Palace, the Almyros Gorge and Water City waterpark..
Holidays in Chania bring you afternoons along the busy harbour, strolling through the market stalls and lounging on the beach beneath a thatched umbrella. While nights are cocktail-filled and dance-heavy. It's the second biggest town in Crete, and has the swoon-worthy amenities to show for it.
With luxury accommodation and a Blue Flag award-winning beach, it's no wonder Elounda is the chosen holiday venue among the rich and famous. It's also a history buff's paradise, with the sunken ruins of an ancient city and easy access to the uninhabited island of Spinalonga, with a mysterious past.
Gouves is a coastal resort that offers the best of both worlds. Here, you'll get a vibrant waterfront laced with watersports, tavernas and hotels, and an inland village tucked into a hillside that takes life down a notch. So you can switch between banana boats and lazy coffees.
As Malia's neighbour and partner in crime, Hersonissos adds another nightlife hotspot to Crete's north coast. Home to three sand beaches, some of the best high-end shopping on the island, two waterparks and a theme park, it offers bags of fun in the sun.
Stalis is wedged so closely between Malia and Hersonissos, the three towns almost meld into one. It's home to its own taverna-lined beach, extending for more than six kilometres. Stalis is the shy little sister to its nightlife-savvy neighbours, so staying here means you're never far from the action.