Crete ticks all the boxes for perfect summer sun. Warm seas, cloudless skies, miles of sand, souvlaki – travel to Crete from Glasgow Airport and rediscover the Mediterranean as it used to be.
Days of history
The largest Greek island, Crete has history to spare. The evidence of 9,000 years of human habitation is scattered across the Mediterranean landscape. See the ancient capital of the Minoans in situ at Knossos, rumoured setting for the labyrinth of the Minotaur, then head to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to view its greatest treasures. Elsewhere, Venetian castles tell a tale of empire and conquest – see the best at Chania, Rethymno, Frangokastello and Heraklion.
In its heyday in the 1980s, Agios Nikolaos was the disco capital of the Med, attracting thousands of 18-to-30s in search of sea, sand and romance. These days, the all-night party has moved on to Malia and Chersonissos, allowing visitors to Agios Nikolaos to enjoy a more laid-back experience. In season, top DJs head to the island’s clubs and bars to drive the party on till morning. Take your pick from nights of hedonism, or easy-going evenings in traditional tavernas, followed by lazy days in the summer sun.
Little wonder the ancient Greeks invented such extravagant legends with so much dramatic scenery on the doorstep. In the Samariá Gorge, towering rock walls press in on all sides beneath the searing Mediterranean sun, transforming a scenic hike into a feat of Hercules. Start the 16km trek at Xyloskalo and trek downhill to Agia Roumeli, where waiting boats depart for Skora Sfakion.