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The humble Greek island with its own unique identity, Crete is a fairytale destination. From the highest peaks of the White Mountains to the aqua shallows of Balos Beach, the island offers an impossible choice of scenery to its guests.
The birthplace of Zeus, Crete is home to exquisite, salmon-hued sands, a rich spectrum of endemic plant species, and Samaria Gorge—the longest in the continent. So whether you intend on sampling healthy, Cretan dishes, visiting secluded, mountain villages, or roaming the Cypress and Chestnut tree-filled bushlands, you will find so much more than a beach holiday on the island that keeps on giving.
Crete is the southernmost island in Europe, and many of its self-sufficient restaurant owners grow their own food. Unsurprisingly, there are eateries aplenty across this radiant island. With secret wooden tavernas hosting cosy, open fireplaces, it's easy to dine at altitude. Caught between the wild violets of the rolling hills and the breathtaking ambience of the midnight stars, be at one with nature's greatest gifts.
Or make the most of the long Cretan summers and dine on a contemporary glass balcony overlooking the Heraklion Harbour and the fortress ruins that occupy it. Either way, you should taste some of Crete's famous exports: nutty cheeses, satisfying, olive oil soaked bread and fiery raki to name but a few. Afterwards, seek out improvisational musicians playing the Cretan lyre.
Although perhaps counterintuitive, driving the hairpin bends into the mysterious mountains is certainly a deserving detour. Haunting views and the freshest air will be your reward. Caves, canyons and cliffs occupy the hills here, as do goat tribes, soaring eagles and native orchids.