Rent an apartment on Crete for an idyllic island escape

Crete has been one of the most civilised parts of the world for a few millennia, so the Cretans know more than most about how to relax. A holiday apartment on Crete is ideal for exploring the towns, tavernas, museums and beaches of this extraordinary island. Whether you are here for beach combing or to study classical civilisation, Crete has it all.

Island escapes

Finding a holiday apartment on Crete is rarely difficult, although prices can rise steeply in high season. If you book your apartment well in advance, you can sometimes take advantage of early discounts.

Crete's economy relies on tourism and understandably the resorts on the north coast are geared towards northern European tastes. Hiring a car and touring the island soon reveals a more authentic side to Crete.

The town of Agios Nikolaos has a lively atmosphere. If you dine early, you are likely to be offered the tourist menu. Leave it a little later and you will be mixing with boisterous Greek families and will find that the food is more authentically Cretan. The Voulismeni Lake in the centre of town is a scenic place to sit out on a restaurant terrace and enjoy grilled octopus.

Further south, opposite the fishing village of Plaka, is the island of Spinalonga. Formerly a leper colony, it was the setting for Victoria Hislop's best-selling novel The Island.

In the north, Rethymno beach is the longest on Crete and ideal for relaxing and sunbathing. For swimmers, the beach slopes so gradually that it can be difficult to get out to water deep enough to enjoy a relaxing swim. The beach at Georgioupoli is better for bathing, although it can get busy.

Book direct and save cash

When looking for an apartment on Crete online, pay attention to websites offering the chance to book directly with owners. This can often be cheaper than going through accommodation agencies. Owners may also be more flexible on dates and will have an exact knowledge of the apartment's facilities, whether it is suitable for children and other vital issues.

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