A mix of sumptuous beaches, tranquil villages & ancient masterpieces.
Long and narrow Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is a place of contrasts. You have seas lapping the shores of sandy beaches in the north, while in the south the ocean crashes into towering, vertical cliff faces. It has majestic mountains and rolling hills, bustling tourist inlets and islets, and unspoilt and uninhabited lands.
Whatever has drawn you to this beautiful island, the locals are known for their generous hospitality, and with our selection of luxury hotels to choose from, you can be sure of a warm welcome.
The scenery of Crete offers something for everyone. A selection of beaches – white, golden and pebbly – offer ideal sunbathing spots in the hot summer months, with the Mediterranean blue waters inviting you to paddle, swim, kayak or snorkel. If you like the dramatic, rugged landscapes, why not explore the coves and canyons that abound around the south coast cliffs? Take a boat trip to see the beautiful scenery from another angle then, after a day of sand and sea, watch the sunset with a glass of wine from a local vineyard in hand.
However, Crete is not just for lovers of the beach and sun worshippers. Majestic mountain ranges tower with peaks so high there is often a scattering of snow at the top all year round. Valleys cradled between gentle hills hide tucked away, quaint villages and give way to luscious greenery, woodland, rivers, gorges and lakes that beg to be explored. You could take it all in on a driving tour or get your hiking boots on to head into the various gorges carved between rock faces, including Europe’s longest. You could even visit the cave where, legend has it, the Greek god Zeus was born.
Hunger for history
Crete is a place steeped in history. Situated at a meeting point of continents, it has been a busy place over the years and the events of time have left a trail of fascinating places to visit. From monasteries and chapels, to mosques and Renaissance mansions, you could spend an entire holiday visiting the historical sites of invasions and the palaces of conquerors.
For the foodie, Crete is an utter delight. Truly local and seasonal food is key to Cretan cuisine and you will be in heaven tasting fresh olive oil, hillside greens and herbs, freshly caught seafood and a range of local cheeses and meats. Explore villages and rural tavernas, which often take pride in their own traditional household recipes. The hidden villages tucked away up hills and mountains dearly hold on to their unique customs, so you could take a day or two to soak up the true Cretan atmosphere in these quiet spots.
The perfect holiday
Crete and its people will leave you with a warm glow that you will want to hold on to well past home time. With our luxury hotels and a team ready to help you plan an itinerary full of good food, rest, culture and activity, you will undoubtedly want to return to this island gem time and time again.
where to stay
Caramel Grecotel Boutique ResortFrom...
Situated approximately one hour to the east of Crete’s Chania airport, on the northern coast is the Cretan city of Rethymno. Home to the luxurious Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort, a simply beautiful destination where luxury and leisure combine to bring you the perfect holiday experience.
Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive ResortFrom...
Imagine imposing stone pillars silhouetted against a sharp blue sky, acres of glass and lazy lagoons meandering through a uniquely-designed, 70,000 square metre beachfront site and you begin to get an idea of the visual impact and stylish architecture of Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort, situated on the eastern coast of Crete.
Domes of Elounda, Autograph CollectionFrom...At Domes of Elounda, every attention to detail has been given to help you relax, indulge and enjoy yourself while holidaying in this beautiful location. Families and couples are invited here to experience delicious cuisine, sumptuous accommodation, a tranquil spa and a range of fantastic facilities.
Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph CollectionFrom...A sophisticated and chic resort, Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection. is named after a traditional festival that celebrates the coming of spring after the winter months. This reflects the spirit of the hotel, which ensures its guests leave feeling re-energised and reinvigorated after a luxurious stay.
Elounda Peninsula All Suite HotelFrom...With remarkable service, prime amenities and outstanding cuisine, the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel, Elounda, offers its guests a truly luxurious retreat from which to experience eastern Crete. Situated on its own peninsula, the resort boasts stunning views across Mirabello Bay and offers easy access to a pristine beach.
Elounda Mare Hotel Relais & ChateauxFrom...
Originally a magnificent Cretan mansion, the Elounda Mare Hotel Relais & Chateaux, Elounda, now welcomes guests from around the world to appreciate its exquisite architecture, artwork and antiques. Set in extensive and beautiful grounds in eastern Crete, the hotel overlooks the azure brilliance of Mirabello Bay and is renowned for its delectable cuisine and outstanding service.
Elounda Gulf VillasFrom...
Set in picturesque surroundings, the Elounda Gulf Villas, Elounda resort is located in the popular holiday destination of eastern Crete. With an intimate ambience and exceptional standards of service, you’ll feel instantly at home in this family-run, boutique resort, where nothing is too much trouble.
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We have been using Azure to arrange our holidays for over 12 years. Every year usually twice a year, sometimes more, we rely on the experienced team at Chester to provide expert information on our chosen destinations. Be it a return to our established favorites in Barbados and Dubai or a new and exiting destination chosen from Azures brochure it is always handled in a friendly and competent manner. The small details are not missed such as do we need late check out or early arrival, which can make such a difference after sometimes long hours travelling. For us using Azure takes the uncertainty out of booking holidays.
We have been booking our holidays through Azure for 10 years and we can thoroughly recommend them. The Azure team arrange amazing holidays, well chosen destinations and hotels with a tailored itinerary that runs like clockwork with so many wonderful extras, it really takes the time and stress out of planning. When the weather has disrupted our journeys, their 24 hour service has provided us with 5* rescues! Nothing is too much trouble for Azure staff and the same goes for all the staff we have met on our Azure holidays which really are out of this world. We continue to recommend your company and all your wonderful team and look forward to our next holiday with you.
My first experience with Azure was when they came to my rescue when my family and I were stranded abroad on holiday without accommodation, their professionalism and ability to make things happen at very very short notice was second to none. They were very knowledgeable and were able to utilise their many relationships within the industry to get things resolved for me within an hour. I can't praise them enough for rescuing my family's holiday and making it a truly memorable time. Since then the team always do their best to make my holidays the best they can possibly be based on their own vast travel knowledge and experiences. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and wouldn't use anyone else for luxurious travel.
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