Last minute Crete
Crete is one of Greece's most iconic and breathtaking islands. Home to resplendent beaches and ancient archaeological treasures, it's hard not to be taken aback by its romantic beauty. You can escape to this wonderland of rugged canyons and pretty villages on a last minute holiday. Choose from a variety of excellent handpicked hotels here at Voyage Privé to experience the bewitching beauty of Crete and its famously delectable cuisine.
The top 5 things to do last minute in Crete
1. Palace of Knossos
By far the island's most famous attraction, Knossos is a marvel. This atmospheric and evocative ruins of the Bronze Age Minoan civilisation is one of Europe's oldest known settlements. With a fascinating place in Greek mythology as the seat of King Minos, it's a breathtaking example of ancient human accomplishment.
2. Elafonisi Beach
Crete has no shortage of serene beaches, but Elafonisi is one of the most special. Its scenery of pink and white sand lapped with clear-turquoise waves is truly magical. It can get a little overcrowded in summer, but you'll find secluded spots further down the coast with plenty of other beach options on the island too.
3. Samaria Gorge
Escape inland for one of Crete's most spectacular hikes. Samaria offers breathtaking beauty throughout its 16km+ trail. Aside from the captivating beauty of the surrounding cliffs and rocks which tower around you, you'll pass an abandoned village which adds to the raw and timeless mood. Look out for golden eagles and the shy kri-kri (feral goats) as they climb effortless up the cliffs.
4. Mirabello Bay
This enthralling region is one of the Mediterranean's biggest bays and home to the attractive town of Agios Nikolaos. The town itself is a great introduction to the area, with sumptuous views over the bay from the harbour. Take your time to soak in these scenes with a drink at a lakeside café.
5. Spinalonga Island
This tiny little island has had quite a ride in history. The island was a leper colony as recently as 1957, and it makes a sobering journey when you reach it by boat from Elounda. Aside from the pretty views, the island features beguiling Venetian fortifications and winding ruinous walkways.
Our best last minute hotels in Crete
Nestled in a quiet coastal area between Anissaras and Limenas Chersonisou, Creta Maris is an idyllic seafront resort with direct beach access. With clean white Aegon stylings and four-poster beds, the rooms in this hotel are fresh and inviting. You can choose between spectacular sea or garden view rooms. The common areas here are a true delight of cooling stone and marble, with sensational sea views on the dining terraces.
This luxury resort in eastern Crete is just moments from charming Agios Nikolaos. Rooms are decorated in an attractive open-plan style, with plenty of open space and wide-open balconies looking out over the bay. The swimming facilities are truly top-notch, and you'll have access to indulgent spa treatments during your stay.
This super chic and modern hotel is located in vibrant Heraklion, the largest city in Crete. You're just moments from the famed Archaeological Museum and a short drive from scenic Knossos. The hotel itself offers extraordinary views over the city's historic harbour area from its luxurious rooftop solarium and terraces.
This luxurious resort in northern Crete is as restful as it gets. Private sea views, three swimming pools and plenty of pampering facilities await in this opulent complex. As for the rooms, they're decorated in an immensely charming whitewashed style with pretty wooden furnishings and bright, airy patios. The sunsets here from the seafront bar are extraordinary.
Escape to the bewitching beauty of the Psiloritis Natural Park with a stay at the Bali Diamond Hotel. With awe-inspiring views over a sun-kissed azure bay, you can enjoy seaside vistas from the comfort of your hotel balcony. Relax by the beach, pool and seafront terrace or head to Psiloritis for exhilarating mountain hikes.
When is the best time to go on a last minute holiday to Crete
Crete's busy summer period between July and early-August sees the highest temperatures and the longest queues. Instead, consider a last minute escape during the shoulder seasons from April to June and September to October. These periods offer moderate temperatures for walking and hiking, picturesque wildflowers and lower rates. Winter is also a fine time to visit but expect colder temperatures and potential rain.
Going on holiday in Crete
Crete has two international airports with direct flights from Athens and throughout Europe. These are Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in Heraklion and Daskalogiannis Airport in Chania. Another popular route to Crete is by sea, with various ports across the island connecting to the Greek mainland and other islands. Once you're in Crete, cars are the most useful way to travel at your own convenience and can be collected directly from the airport or some resorts.
Enjoy your last minute family holiday in Crete
Crete is a wonderful last minute family escape with rugged natural trails and plenty of ancient treasures to stimulate the mind. If you're travelling with children, consider the Iraklio region, home to family-friendly beaches, water parks and mythological legends (like the Minotaur). As with the rest of Greece, children are welcome wherever you go.
The Voyage Privé travel expert's opinion on Crete
Crete's spectacular natural beauty makes it an ideal last minute getaway. Many flock to the sumptuous seashore for its splendid beaches, but don't miss out on the mainland. Here, you'll find atmospheric towns and villages, rugged snow-tipped mountains and views fit for the Greek Gods. Wherever you choose to visit, you're never far from both history and mythology. Our handpicked hotels offer excellent last minute getaways and include everything from active natural escapes to languid beachside resorts.