The old harbour of Heraklion, at night

Crete…one island, lots of experiences. The biggest island in Greece lies between the Aegean Sea to its north and the Libyan sea to its south.

Here seasons are mixed…Spring, summer and autumn, the weather predisposes you to come and live new experiences during your holidays. An island for everyone…families, young couples, carefree groups of friends as well as intrepid, inquisitive travelers for whom the sea and sun is just the beginning. Whatever type of traveler you are, Crete will reward you. Gastronomy, luxury, hospitality, culture and civilization, action, adventure and, of course, gorgeous exotic beaches. We will take a short trip to one of the numerous experiences you can have…let’s take a tour around the district of Heraklion

Your Aegean jetliner approaches the international airport of Heraklion banking round over the port of Hersonisos and then hugging the north coastline in a westbound direction. Nearing Heraklion, the Venetian walls can be seen from above creating the impression that time itself is reversing… but once on the ground you realize the city wants for none of the modernity and vitality that characterizes many of its counterparts… excellent food, no end of cafes and bars, festivals, wine exhibitions, and for culture buffs, important sights such as “Koules”, the Roman fortress-prison at the entrance of the port; Agios Titos square with the wonderful church which used to be a mosque until 1920; Loggia, the noblemen’s club during the Venetian occupation, as well as the museum of history and archaeology. In addition, just 5 kilometres outside Heraklion, stands  the most imposing and impressive legacy of the Minoan civilization; the labyrinthine palace of Minos, the king of Crete, covering an expanse  of  20,000 square metres.

The wider district of Heraklion provides the visitor seeking a wider variety of experiences with practically inexhaustible opportunities for exploration. The lake and gorge of Zaros, Gergeri, the cave of Ilithia and the Valsamonerou monastery are all irresistible prospects. For those with an unquenchable thirst for the wild, the Rouva forest is an essential treat, dubbed “the orchard of Crete” by the locals.

There is also plenty of choice for the beach lover and sun seeker. In the northern part of the island, Ammoudara, Agia Pelagia and Lygaria beaches offer themselves consummate family fun. If you like beach parties, Kokkini Hani is an ideal option with innumerable beach bars! In the south the scenery changes dramatically… In Kommos, near its renowned archaeological site  and framed by stunning  rock formations, you may very well find yourself swimming   alongside caretta-caretta turtles since the sandy beach is their refuge. Finally, every visitor should pay a visit to Matala, with its vestiges of the peace-loving period of the late 60s and early 70s.

Regardless of your preferred style of travel, surely at the end of the day you are bound to want to partake in one of the  Cretan revelries you are bound to stumble across since they are thrown in towns and villages under any and all pretexts. Dance the “pentozali” with the locals, listen to their amazing “mantinades” – a type of limerick, often made up on the spot – and get a little light-headed on the wonderful “tsikoudia”, a local tipple always in liberal supply. A sweet ending to the full and thoroughly enjoyable days of your Cretan holiday!

Your dream holidays can easily become a reality since Aegean, the airline that knows Greece so well, offers you the experience of Greek hospitality on board and takes you to Crete on direct flights from 31 airports in 11 countries and in 50 minutes from Athens on daily flights to Heraklion and Chania.