Crete’s unique geography spans mountain ranges, plunging gorges, sandy beaches and grape-heavy vineyards. Known as a cradle of Minoan civilisation during the second millennium BC, today you’ll undoubtedly find our choice of luxury villas in Crete offer the epitome of civilised living. Choose between elegantly designed villas amid thick olive groves and modern architectural marvels promising the most glamorous of getaways. One thing’s for sure: the unending Mediterranean views will capture your eyes and your heart.
Many of our luxury villas in Crete lie close to Chania, which, the locals proudly proclaim the capital in spirit, if not in name, of Crete. We think it’s the island’s most lovely city – if you visit in spring the White Mountains’ peaks will be topped alluringly with snow and offer a dramatic backdrop to the Venetian streets that line its harbour. Hidden within these, the old town’s history leaps out at you with an archaeological layer cake of Ottoman, Byzantine and Minoan ruins.
From the sleepy harbour of Plaka, we recommend a boat excursion to the island of Spinalonga. Here, a vast 17th-century Venetian fortress creeps right up to the water’s edge, providing a fantastic photo opportunity.
Another Cretan attraction is the island’s endless array of sandy beaches and secluded coves. Lounge beneath a sunshade and cool off with a dip in Crete’s temperate waters at the beach near the lively seaside town of Elounda. You could also indulge at one of its famous natural spa facilities – you’re on holiday after all.
GMT +2 hours
Like most European countries, tipping in restaurants is common, with a recommended 10% on a discretionary basis according to service. Check that a service charge has not been added to your bill before deciding whether to tip. Taxi drivers do not usually expect a tip but it is common practice and considered polite to round up taxi fares.
Travellers cheques can easily be converted into Euros; some larger stores will take them as payment. Smaller denominations are preferred. Major credit cards are widely accepted (though American Express less so) and ATM access is widespread.