Crete, Greece
With so much to see and do on Crete, Greece, it’s no surprise it’s become such a favourite with tourists from all over the world. But, having lived in nearby Cyprus for two years, I’ll let you into a little secret, autumn is the best time to visit this part of the Med.

The crowds have long since departed, the flowers are in full bloom, the intense summer heat has passed, and the crystal clear waters are at their warmest.

Crete, Greece

Heraklion, Crete, Greece

And that’s why ED has chosen to visit the largest of the Greek islands for our late October escape. We are staying at Creta Paradise, in Gerani, around 10 miles from the city of Chania, in the north-west of the island.

If you are not a fan of big, purpose-built resorts, don’t be put off, as the hotel actually feels quite compact and intimate thanks to its clever design. Split into two sections, most of the rooms surround the main pool, which is just a stone’s throw from a sprawling private beach.

Our smart, stylish room is positioned in the quieter second complex.  We have the choice of using both a communal pool – handily placed right next to our room – where drinks and cold snacks are available all day, or the larger pool back in the hub of the hotel, which is just a short stroll away.

And, if that’s not enough choice, or you simply want more privacy, some of the rooms, including our own, have their very own swim-up pools. Like most large all-inclusive resorts, there are also plenty of activities on offer.

Top of our list is the beach of Balos. Often compared with more tropical locations such as the Caribbean and even the Indian Ocean, this tranquil spot is every bit the exotic paradise.

From testing your general knowledge in Vicky’s daily quiz (be warned its pretty competitive) to testing your fitness in the popular aqua aerobics classes, there is pretty much something for everyone.

Crete, Greece

Not a bad place for a swim …

But, don’t get too comfortable as Crete, Greece, has an array of must-see attractions. Top of our list is the beach of Balos. Often compared with more tropical locations such as the Caribbean and even the Indian Ocean, this tranquil spot is every bit the exotic paradise.

There are two points of access, the first by boat, which leaves from Kissamos, and by our slightly hairy approach along a bumpy dirt track and then by foot for another half a mile. But, once we have caught sight of the spectacular turquoise waters and white sand, we know every bump and step was worth it.

Crete, Greece

Chris at Knossos

After several blissful hours of swimming in the  warm, gentle waters, we arrive back at our hotel just in time for another indulgent meal. And, like us, if you feel the need for an after dinner walk, then nearby Platanias is ideal.

Its many bars, restaurants and cafes can be reached in around 15 minutes by foot (a taxi costs seven euros).

For our last trip, and another must-see, we visit the historic Palace of Knossos, widely regarded as the most significant archaeological site in the Mediterranean, and the capital of Minoan Crete. The entry of six euros is well worth it as we get the chance to see the intricate ruins as well as get a better understanding of how the palace may have once looked thanks to British archeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who began excavating the site in 1900.

So, our holiday draws to a close all too soon, but as the saying goes, timing is everything, and, after a perfect week discovering this special island, we would have to agree.


We travelled with Thomson Holidays. Flights from Manchester to Chania, staying for a week all-inclusive at the Creta Paradise. Prices start at £499 PP during October.