The scorching summers of southern Europe and the Mediterranean are now behind us, which might be a matter of some relief for many Britons taking their cheap holidays in the cooler autumn climes, but the temperatures in places such as Greece and its islands are still pleasantly warm, with plenty of opportunities still for lazing on the beach.
Nevertheless, there will be days when the wind is just a little bit too blowy, or the general temperature just a little too chilly for sunbathing or swimming, and the holidaymaker will be “inspired” to seek out diversions elsewhere. Here then is the first in an occasional series of guides to alternative activities in some of the most popular sunshine destinations throughout Europe and beyond. This week: the island of Crete.
Crete’s landscape and scenery is very beautiful, so when the weather is not quite up to beach time, why not take a hiking trip into the hinterland and discover some of its stunning vistas and picturesque sleepy settlements? The early autumn is an especially good time to take the ten-mile trail that comprises the Samaria Gorge. This route begins at the northern entrance of the Samaria Gorge National Park and ends in the pretty village of Agia Roumel.
Another excellent fun day out in Crete is a tour of one of the island’s many cave complexes, such as the Sfendoni Cave, which is found just outside the village of Zoniana. Cave tours can be thrilling, spectacular and educational. Although guides will have powerful torches and safety accreditation, they are not recommended for the claustrophobic or people with an extreme fear of the dark, however.
If you’ve hired a car for your cheap holidays in Crete, then take it up into the mountains and experience the splendour of Arkadi Monastery. This Eastern Orthodox monastery is seen as a national shrine by the locals and has stood on the site for more than five hundred years.