With its great climate and short travel time from the UK, Crete has long been a family favorite. If you’re looking for more than just a sandy beach, this is the perfect holiday for you. There are plenty of other activities and attractions to keep all the family entertained.
Making a Splash Landing
All children enjoy water parks and Crete has two fantastic water attractions. Limnoupolis Water Park has a great range of rides, slides and wave pools to cater for all adventurers. However, if you prefer something a bit more relaxing, you can chill out in the Lazy River or jacuzzi. The Lido Water Park has some thrilling slides, including the Gigantic wave pool, Kamikaze and the Black Hole.
An Island of Natural Beauty
However you arrive on Crete, whether by plane or cheap cruises, it offers families plenty of opportunities to appreciate its stunning natural beauty. The Samaria Gorge is well worth a trip. The dramatic gorge is part of a national park and is 10 miles in length. On a walk through the area you can take in the many varieties of wild flowers or make friends with the local mountain goats.
The Lassithi Plateau is a fertile plain in the Diktian Mountains in the east of the island. The plain covers around 25,000 square kilometres and at 800m high, it is the highest inhabited plateau in Greece. You’ll be amazed by the hundreds of white windmills that stretch across the plain. In the past they were used to irrigate the land, but they are now just reminders of the past.
Just above the Lassithi Plateau is the village of Psychro. Here you’ll find the Diktian Cave, which is reputed to be the birthplace of Zeus. The cave stands at 1,025m high, so there is a steep path to the entrance. However, once you’re inside, you’ll be amazed by the underground pool and the many stalactites and stalagmites that fill the chambers.
Explore the Island
If you want to introduce your children to events of the past, they’ll really enjoy the island of Spinalonga. The island off the east coast of Crete is easily reached by boat from either Elounda or Agios Nikolaos. It was used as a leper colony until the mid-1950s and has remained uninhabited since they left. You can now wander through the deserted streets and imagine what it would have been like to be sent there.
The town of Agios Nikolaos is well worth a visit whilst you’re in the area. The beautiful town is set around a lake and you can sit and enjoy a drink or meal at the many lakeside tavernas and cafes, whilst you watch the fishermen bring in their colourful boats. With more than 200 boats and yachts in the marina at any one time, the children will enjoy having a stroll round and there’s also a sandy beach to explore.
If you’re looking for a European island holiday with plenty of places to visit and explore, then Crete is for you. You can spend a day relaxing on a sandy beach and then jump in your car to take in something new. With so many things to see, your family won’t want to come home.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance writer and blogger, on behalf of Cruise.co.uk.