This blog post was originally published on todayisfree.com
Tourism as we know it arrived in the 1960s with the development of the package holiday. The combination of cheap travel and people with more disposable income was the spark. Crete tourism began in earnest during this period, and for over half a century has been a favourite destination. Maintaining its position as one of the top Greek Islands to visit didn’t happen by chance. There are many reasons to take a first trip or revisit this unique and historic island; here are just a few of the Holiday Taxis teams’ favourites.
Crete is the biggest and best known of the Greek Islands and offers visitors an enormous range of features. There are miles of sandy beaches with crystal clear water, beautiful hidden coves, picturesque villages and mountains that are high enough to have snow that doesn’t melt. Nothing has changed here in the 50 years of tourism, and this island’s natural beauty remains largely untouched by the millions of visitors that have enjoyed its distinctive ambience.
Things to do
For lovers of sand and sea, there are many of the best beaches that you can find in Europe, but there is more to Crete than just this type of holiday. Even though the Island is part of Greece, it has its own history and culture. For the tourist that likes to visit sites of historical interest, there are many possibilities. This was the centre of the mysterious Minoan civilisation, and everyone can get a feel for this ancient culture by travelling to the Samaria Gorge in Knossos. If you just want to unwind, then there are lots of little villages and towns dotted around that are ideal for relaxing and experiencing the atmosphere.
Crete caters for the whole family when it comes to activities, and if nightlife is something you want, then the island is famous for its diversity. All through the year, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There are great restaurants, cheap and tasteful bars, nightclubs and discotheques. From down to earth British style pubs to sophisticated wine bars and traditional Cretan eateries the choice is up to the visitor. You can sample local cuisine and music in a fantastic setting, at a price that will bring a smile to your face. A famous destination for nightlife is Malia.
One of the reasons why tourists flock to Crete is the weather. The island has a Mediterranean climate, which means dry, hot summers and mild, rainy winters. Compared to all of the other Greek Islands, and the mainland; Crete has the most temperate climate. The island is big enough to have a slight variation of climate. Northern Crete is not as hot as Southern Crete. The South has more than 2,800 hours of sunshine a year. It is this combination of temperatures that enables the island to welcome visitors all year around.
With so much experience at welcoming tourists from all over the world, it is hardly surprising that many visitors return to this little jewel of an island, time and time again.