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Things to do in Heraklion and beyond

As the largest of the Greek islands, you’ll find plenty of things to do. Crete’s broad appeal makes it ideal for any holiday type – whether you’re seeking family fun, incredible outdoor pursuits or a flavour of authentic Greece.

There’s no doubt that it’s the Mediterranean climate, glorious coastline and idyllic blue waters that attract people – making Crete ideal for beach holidays. But beyond the bustling resorts you’ll discover charming pockets of Greece that have remained untouched by tourism, alongside fascinating history and incredible scenery that changes from north to south. Immerse yourself in the traditions and lifestyle of the locals and discover hidden gems, secluded beaches and delightful tavernas that epitomise Greece.

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Shopping in Crete

You’ll find plenty of opportunity to shop in Crete. Pick up gold and silver jewellery adorned with the Greek Key design or locally made leather flip flops and bags. Take home delicious golden honey and Olive Oil - which is packaged in a metal container for easy transportation. Traditional Komboloi, or worry beads, make a great keepsake or souvenir.

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Sightseeing and Adventures

Take a boat from Agios Nikolaos or Elounda to Spinalonga island and tour the ruined buildings or visit Knossos, a Minoan Palace – one of the most important sites in Crete. Children will love the Cretaquarium with its colourful sea creatures. While the more energetic visitor will enjoy a trip to spectacular Samria Gorge – the longest gorge in Europe and the most-walked footpath in Greece.

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Authentic Greek Dining

You’ll discover charming Greek tavernas around every corner. Experience an authentic Greek dining experience with mezze, Greek salad and divine slow-cooked lamb – washed down with Greek favourite, Ouzo. Overlook the bay at Elounda from Ferryman Taverna, dine with the locals at Tamam in traditional Chania or enjoy dinner and cocktails at Med Café and Restaurant before heading into lively Hersonissos.

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Exciting Nights Out

Renowned for its vibrant party scene, Malia should be your first stop for bars and clubbing – head to Zig Zag, one of the largest nightclubs in the area. Hersonissoss harbour provides a refined nocturnal experience, while beachfront New York Beach Club is a day-into-night favourite. And Palm Beach Club combines the pool and party scene – lounge on the open-air terrace and take in the beautiful view.

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Beautiful Beaches

Combine a visit to the ancient city of Itanos with a dip in the cool waters that make up the bays of Erimoupolis – you can even snorkel above the ruins. The beautiful beach at Agia Fotio boasts pebbly sand and crystal waters, while the golden sands of Rethymnon are impossible to resist. The sand hills and majestic landscape of Akoumiani Gyalia provide a welcome retreat where you can take shade in the rocky caves.

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