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 contrasts 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.
Why not explore Crete on foot with our fantastic self guided walking holiday. Stunning scenery and a more off the beaten track experience!
Where to visit
Venetian and Turkish influences combine to make this one of the most delightful cities in Greece.
The capital of Crete, Heraklion, 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 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.
Towards the east of Crete you'll find villages, ports, a palm-fringed beach, the stunning Lassithi plateau and the reputed birthplace of Zeus.
Agios Nikolaos is 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 not far from Agios Nikolaos.
Falassarna beach has won awards over the years and is part of the Natura 2000 network, due to its variety of flora and fauna.
Kato Zakros is an impressive 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 in the midst of 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
Explore the natural beauty of Crete at your own pace; one week's self guided hiking tour of the island's best locations. START / FINISH - Heraklion or ...
"Our holiday was excellent and we are happy with the value for money... are very grateful to Dawn for putting it together."
M Pearson, UK, September 2013
"Another great holiday brilliantly organised with some fantastic hotels."
J Hanson, UK, Sept 2018
"Just want to say thanks very much for arranging our self drive holiday to Crete and Santorini. We thoroughly enjoyed everything and the arrangements - hotels/car hire/transfers/ferry were perfect."
A Robinson, UK, June 2018
"All the accommodation was good. However, in Heraklion the room at Hotel Marin Dream was very cramped for two people with a double bed. The hotel was well placed and the staff were very helpful. Adrakos apartments at Elounda were rather basic. One day our room was not cleaned or made up as the only cleaner was not available. However, a member of staff was persuaded to make our bed and empty the bin in the bathroom."
R Vaughan Payne, UK, July, 2015
"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, UK, 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, UK, May, 2015
"Just a note to say a big thank you for arranging the holiday in Greece. We had a great time and we loved the selection of hotels and their locations. You did great job in putting this together and all went ahead smoothly as planned. Thank you again for the lovely holiday!"
G Maheswaran, UK, Sept 2016
"Plakias is a gem of a place! Wish we had more time here. The journey from the Port to Plakias was long but it was definitely worth the journey. I am sure we’ll be visiting Plakias again. Thank you!"
G Maheswaran, UK, Sept 2016
"Hi Guys, returned from our trip to Crete yesterday, and just thought I would drop you a line to say that we were happy with the whole experience, the hotels were both nice, especially the Palazzo Greco for the money and all went smoothly with car hire etc. Will look to book again."
S Morris, UK, July 2018
"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, Australia, October 2016