This long narrow island - over 250km long, but only around 60km at its widest point - was home to the ancient Minoan civilisation wiped out over 3000 years ago by the cataclysmic Thera volcanic eruption, whose preserved ruins still dot the landscape. The weather is beautiful from Spring to Autumn, with plenty of sunshine, gentle sea breezes, temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s, and hardly any rain. It’s the perfect destination for a relaxing family holiday with its gorgeous beaches, shallow waters, and luxurious resorts.
4 Reasons to have a family holiday in Crete:
- Beaches - Some of the best family friendly beaches in Crete can be found in the North East of the island, particularly in the sheltered Mirambello Bay area where you’ll find small hidden beaches, perfect for exploration. And around the tourist town of Agios Nikolaos there are the ever popular sandy and shallow beaches of Ammoudi, Ammos, Gargadoros, and Almiros. Or head East and enjoy the open sands of Makrigialos, Kouremenos and Chiona or visit the white sands and turquoise flat waters of Vai Palmgrove, the location of the exotic palm tree backdrop of the 1970s Bounty advert.
- Culture and history - Crete has a long history and rich mythology and there are plenty of archaeological sites and museums to learn about the ancient Bronze Age Minoan civilisation and the Greek Gods. Zeus’ birthplace was in the Cretan mountains and the palace at Knossos is said to be the setting of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and also where Icarus’ father crafted his wings of wax and feathers. One of the most popular tourist pastimes is a boat trip, which the kids will love, to the island of Spinalonga. Originally built as a fortress by the Venetians in 1579, it was Europe’s last leper colony when it closed in 1957. Now it’s mostly used as a film and tv location.
- Landscape - Crete is mountainous, particularly inland, and the scenery of mountains, lakes, valleys and gorges is simply stunning. Brilliant landscape for a family hiking expedition.
- Weather - It’s sunshine pretty much every day here from April to October. Rainfall is rare during these months, and limited to one or two days a month. And with so many months of good weather you can take the opportunity while your babies and toddlers are still young to come here during school term time. Temperatures range from mid 20s to mid 30s, and in the summer it’s hot. But all the Tots to Travel villas and suites here have air con, and most have private pools too, so cooling down won’t be a problem.
The tourist hotspot in Crete centres round Agios Nikolaos in the North East of the island, which is why both of our resorts are near there. The airport and capital city of Heraklion are less than an hour’s drive as are most other attractions like waterparks, the aquarium, and Knossos.
The bay of Mirabello also offers shelter from the Mediterranean so the sea is calm, and there are loads of little hidden beaches along that coastline, which the kids will love exploring. Most of the beaches in the North East and further over on the Eastern coast are great for families, with facilities, beautiful sand, and shallow water.