Crete is the most southerly of the Greek islands and at approximately 250 kms long and 56 kms wide it is also the largest. Crete’s rugged scenery is in contrast with the more northerly islands; gorges and mountains dominate the landscape but you'll also find vast plains with wild vegetation, small traditional villages, lively modern tourist resorts and an incredible array of ancient palaces, particularly from the Minoan Civilisation (Knossos, Festos, Malia, Zakros).
Crete's major resorts and towns are located along the north coast; however we offer accommodation in a number of contrasting resorts across the whole island as well as villas off the beaten track in the Cretan countryside. We have split our programme to Crete into four geographical regions - Chania in the west, Rethymnon in the centre, Heraklion in the centre but heading east and then Lassithi for the east of the island.
Explore famous sights and lesser known villages, escape from busy resorts and experience the freedom of the road on one of our fly drive holidays. Uncover the hidden wonders of Crete - the largest island in Greece is more like a mini country; packed with history, ancient civilisations and fantastic scenery our self drive itineraries will whet your appetite for a longer holiday in the future.
There are two options....
We can also tailor make a fly drive itinerary for you, if you wish to have a more leisurely exploration of Greece, or you wish to include different places on your itinerary.
Where to visit
The city of Heraklion, historically Candia, takes its name from the ancient Roman port of Heracleum, which likely occupied the same site.
The mediaeval town of Rethymnon, with its Venetian palaces and Turkish minarets has a distinct atmosphere. It also has the longest beach on Crete!
Mountains and gorges meet beautiful beaches. Chania, with its Venetian and Turkish influence, is also worth a visit.
Heraklion is on the north coast close to the ancient site of Knossos. Fine beaches on the north coast close by & quieter resorts in the south.
On the east of Crete. Here you'll find villages, ports, a palm-fringed beach, the stunning Lassithi plateau and the reputed birthplace of Zeus.
Agios Nikolaos is situated right in the heart of the Bay of Mirabello with its breathtaking vistas, azure blue seas and pleasant climate.
From Almyrida you can explore picturesque inland villages, dramatic mountain gorges and some of Crete's best beaches and bays.
Originally a small fishing hamlet which has grown into a bustling tourist village, with pretty white houses and lots of flowers.
Elounda and Plaka are picturesque fishing villages along the coastal road to the north of Agios Nikolaos.
Falassarna beach has won awards over the years and is part of the Natura 2000 network, both due to its variety of flora and fauna and as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Georgioupolis lies between sea and mountain and is situated between the towns of Rethymnon and Chania.
Ierapetra is the most southerly town in Europe and is known for its particularly mild climate.
For those seeking the sea, the kilometre long sandy beach of Kalamaki with its cliff sides and wooded areas is an ideal choice.
Kato Zakros is an impressive little traditional fishing village, tucked away in the south-east corner of Crete.
The little seaside resort of Makrigialos, east of Ierapetra on the Libyan Sea, is an ideal spot for a relaxing beach holiday.
An island in the Bay of Mirabello. The fishing village opposite (also called Mochlos) is famous for the specialities served in its tavernas.
The village of Palekastro is a former farming village that has grown in recent years yet still retains its delightful character.
This former fishing village on the south west coast sits on a small peninsula and is surrounded by a lush green landscape.
This authentic village with its narrow streets is perfect for those who want to enjoy peace and tranquility.
Things to do
Take time to explore Crete, the largest Greek Island. A journey full of Crete's major sights. START / FINISH - Heraklion.
A wonderful exploration of Crete's ancient past together with some superb beaches and scenery without exhaustive driving. START / FINISH - Heraklion
"We had a fantastic two weeks in Georgioupolis, the Zorbas apartments are one of the best we have ever been in, the 'Boss Lady' Apostolaki Sfigenia has been there for 30 years with her sister and family and over the last three years they have refurbished them; towels were changed every other day, sheets at least four times during the two weeks, they had a taverna next door and the food there was excellent, there were also many good tavernas around, the star attraction was the pelican at the harbour. We would recommend them to anyone, there was a lovely swimming pool, a patio area at the back with sun loungers. Many thanks for all your help."
N Wilsea, June 2011
"Our holiday was excellent and we are happy with the value for money... are very grateful to Dawn for putting it together."
M Pearson, September 2013
"We had an excellent holiday in Panormo, everything went extremely well, the taxi was waiting when we arrived, an excellent driver on the dark mountain roads, the apartments were ready and they are lovely, extremely clean and well cared for.... Thanks for looking after us we all enjoyed it and look forward - hopefully - to another year."
"Just wanted to say that we are (reluctantly) home from sunny Crete and that we had a fabulous time - almost too hot which is hard to believe looking out of the window this morning! Almyrida is charming despite a growing number of bars along the main front strip - the Niriides Apartments are great - our apartment at the back on the first floor was lovely and quiet and their pool and facilities are fantastic - the apartment was cleaned daily and the family that run it live on site and are friendly and helpful - we had several late afternoon 'melon and sun-downer' moments with them :-) Definitely one for your list! Several fabulous restaurants and the bus service into Chania is not bad - we loved Chania - beautiful. Thanks as always for organising the trip for us - we really are big fans of your service and it is always so nice to have a taxi waiting at the airport. Take care and best wishes Until the next time.."
L Kew, July 2012
"Perfect. Right from initial contact Dawn understood exactly what we wanted, and delivered. All admin and communication exactly on the nail, and everything ran very smoothly in practice. Car hire efficient and professional, no problems experienced, ideal for the high mileage and visiting archaeological sites all over the island, some well off beaten track. A special mention for Adrakos - Costas and his staff could not have been more welcoming or more cheerful, despite the problems of running a business in Greece at the moment. We were really impressed - and the food was awesome, beautiful simple well prepared Greek cuisine. Overall we could not have asked for this to go better!! Many thanks to all concerned."
D Raynor, July, 2015
"All hotels were good. The Marin Dream had a lovely rooftop restaurant with a great view. There were no shelves or drawers in our room. The Palazzo Greco had a lovely bed, but there was no where in the bathroom to put your things and the basin was flat bottomed so splashed a lot. The beds in most places were rather on the firm side, OK for my husband but I put a blanket over the mattress to soften it a little. It seemed that in Ag Nik they were about to put mattress toppers on every bed which would be a good thing. The hotel in Sitia had no drawers in the room and no table on the balcony, just chairs. The shower had a plastic curtain which stuck to you when you showered! That hotel has a lot of potential but needs some money spending on it to achieve it; but we enjoyed our stay there as we had a good view of everything going on. The hotel at Ag Nik was nice too. We also stayed at the Hotel Astron in Ierapetra and Lato Hotel in Agios Nikolaos. All in all we were very happy with all the accommodation and I don't think we would have found such good ones ourselves."
M Snowdon, May, 2015
"The whole thing was great. More or less as we expected based on our past experience with you. Also, George from Alpine Travel was most professional and totally organised."
J Veilands, October 2016
"I just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our fly drive / 9 nights in 5 different hotels all very well located even if yours truly map reading skills were severely tested. I have completed the questionnaire but haven't commented on the individual hotels which were all very good and to finish in the Palazzo Vecchio in Rethymnon was very special. We did KM 1,446 so covered quite a bit of the island both on the coast and the country roads through the hills. The people all so very friendly and kind. We enjoyed the Greek food and the local wine even more so!"
C Kett, May, 2017
"This form can't convey how good we felt the service you provided was - each hotel seemed better than the last with the Palazzo Greco being absolute standout! The only complaint we had was the noise the night we stayed in Chania which went on until 5.00 am. If we did it again we wouldn't stay in the centre of Chania. The visit to Spinalonga was everything we anticipated and more."
J Hanson, June, 2017
"Now that we have had a few days in which to recover, less from the holiday than from the return journey, it is time to thank you and your colleagues for organizing our trip to Crete so well. We had a wonderful time, and we are especially grateful to you for arranging for the wild flowers to be on display in such profusion. Our cameras hardly stopped clicking. We would love to go back, and maybe we will, but there’s so much more world to see. Meanwhile, you can be sure that Rediscover the World will be the main contender when we look for help in organizing our next trip, which I hope will be very soon."
R Sayer, April, 2017