Greece’s largest island has something for everyone: ramblers and epicureans, history buffs and beach bums. From jaw-dropping gorges to ravishing beaches, Crete is so much more than world-famous Knossos.
Recommended place to stay:
Minos Beach Art Hotel
Crete, Greek Islands, Greece|www.minosbeach.com|
Official star rating:
This recently refreshed Design Hotel has been around the 1960s — a modernist, minimalist landmark on Mirabello Bay. It’s owned by the art collecting Mamidakis family, who have created a stunning site-specific sculpture garden, with monumental installations by predominantly Greek artists.
Low-rise bungalows and villas with private pools hug the shoreline, so most have sea views. The coast is rocky, but you can dive (or climb) into the Aegean from little jetties studded with sunbeds jutting out to sea.
A few kilometres from the busy resort town of Agios Nikolaos, and about half an hour from Knossos, Minos Beach offers a slice of seaside serenity.
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Sparkling seas, sugar-cube villages, cliff-hanging hamlets, ancient temples, delicious Mediterranean food and mesmerising sunsets – the Greek Islands offer so much. Just ask Shirley Valentine.