Crete, Ammoudi beach. Photo by Olaf Tausch.
Arkadia monastery in Venetian baroque style, also known as Moni Arkadiou. Photo by Gerard Janot.
Sitia Port in Lasithi province. Photo by Sekundenschlaf.
Most travellers, however, are primarily in Crete for the beaches – with a touch of culture, perhaps to keep their intellects functioning while they bake in the sun and pickle their brains in Ouzo.
Elounda and Matala are typical of many of these superb beaches – soft sand, clear water and rather too many neighbours.
Crete’s best beaches are generally thought to be on the island’s west coast, Falasarna and Elafonisi.
Elounda beach. Photo by Deror avi.
The Balos lagoon on the Gramvoussa peninsula. Photo by Olaf Tausch.
The famous Cretan palms and beach of Vai, east Crete. Photo by Marc Ryckaert.
When to go to Crete
The very best months in Crete are mid-May and June for less crowds, better ambience, lower accommodation prices and nice weather without extreme heat.
Summertime brings masses of visitors and considerable heat with occasionally blasts from the meltemi wind which cools things off but blows beach-goers and their kit all over the place. However, anytime from May to the end of October is possible as the southern location extends the tourist season.