Crete, Greece’s largest island, is an intriguing mix, from the traditional white houses, pretty villages and beautiful beaches to its variety of cultural influences, including Venetian fortresses and Byzantine monasteries. Inland, the rugged mountains and lush green valleys guarantee jaw-dropping landscapes and perfect seclusion, while the beaches, coves and harbours are an ideal natural playground for children.
After a flight to Heraklion, you’ll pick up your car and enjoy a scenic drive along the coast to the Blue Palace
, one of our favourite family-friendly hotels in Greece, which has plenty of space for all the family - including your very own private heated pool. The hotel’s private beach is also perfect for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling, and there’s a kids club with activities from painting to Greek dancing which will ensure your children won’t be bored.
Having a car at your disposal is ideal for exploring the island, or there are plenty of other options too: why not hire a bike and head into Elounda for lunch? Feast on local mouth-watering produce including breads, cheeses and olives (Cretan cuisine is said to increase your lifespan - whether that’s true or not, it’s certainly delicious!). Meanwhile, if your children are inspired by the historic architecture on show in Athens, visit the Minoan ruins of Knossos, where you can see complex buildings with mosaics and wall paintings. Or hop on a boat to visit the fascinating archaeological sites on the island of Spinalonga, visible across the shore, and return to the Blue Palace in time for a swim and dinner on the terrace.