The uninhabited island of Elafonisi may be tiny but it’s bursting with personality. This journey to this islet off southwestern Crete is steeped in myths and legends and boasts historic buildings and amazing natural scenery – making it an ideal excursion for all the family.
Still in Crete, just south of Voulgaro – where there’ll be a coffee stop – is the start of the Topolia Gorge. The road bends and twists past lovely, whitewashed villages, skirting the edge of the gorge. Located above the main road, you’ll find the colossal cave of Agia Sophia, which is famed for its stalactites.
If you’ve a pure heart, then you’re sure to find the golden step in the staircase at the 1,000-year-old Chrissoskalitissa Monastery. It’s in a stunning spot, standing high above the bay of Elafonisi. The island is ringed by pink sands and light blue seas. Spend the afternoon swimming in the shallows or if you prefer you can take an optional boat trip to the port of Peleochora.
Cruising Crete’s sun-kissed coast is nothing short of holiday heaven – and this trip adds to the luxury. Board a yacht and you’ll sail towards Gergioupolis Bay for plenty of time to swim, sunbathe or sip a drink or two. Top that with a delicious buffet lunch and this one guarantees a day of relaxing in style.
Enjoy lavish surroundings and top-of-the line service as you sail the shores of the Cretan coastline on board an extravagant yacht . Top up your tan, admire the views or grab a drink as your skipper pilots you to Gergioupolis Bay.
Drop anchor and you’ll have around four hours to cool off with a few swims and then dry off in the warm sea breeze back on board. And after all that swimming and sunbathing, you’ll have worked up quite the appetite – making it the perfect time to be served up a tasty lunch washed down with good Greek wine. Afterwards, you can snooze it all off in the shade, as you bob gently back to port.
The warm waters surrounding Crete are home to a fascinating array of marinelife – making it nothing short of snorkelling heaven. Sailing from Kolymbari, you’ll admire the beauty of the Chania coast before diving into the Mediterranean to see shoals of exotic fish, colourful coral and more.
If you’ve never tried snorkelling before, then this the ideal chance. Head to the dive centre and you’ll be greeted by friendly guides who’ll give you a quick intro to all the essentials. After that, it’s into a boat to cruise by the secluded beaches of Menies and Spilies on route to one of Crete’s premier dive spots.
Plunge into the warm waters of the Med and you’ll soon be exploring the underwater kingdom. And with crystal clear water, you won’t miss out on a thing. Dry off and there’s a complimentary drink to enjoy as you catch some rays on the way back to shore. And for complete flexibility, you can choose between a morning or an afternoon trip.
Who said children and museums don’t mix? They’ll love Crete’s Natural History Museum. Featuring dinosaurs, endemic animals and an earthquake simulator, this is a museum that’s designed for kids. And it’s not just the little one’s who’ll have fun – you’ll lap it up, too.
With seven fascinating sections to explore, this is a great family experience. There are dinosaur skeletons as well as lifesize moving dinosaurs – great for selfies. Another cool exhibit to explore is the Megadiorama, which takes an in-depth look at life in the Mediterranean’s ecosystems. While the area devoted to local fauna is packed with lizards and snakes.
And you’ll be able to learn about Crete’s biogeographic diversity, too. Extremely popular is Enceladus, the earthquake simulator – Crete has historically been prone to them. While over at the Erevnotopos Discovery Centre, the children can dig for fossils.
The picture-perfect coastline and secluded coves of Crete are best explored by sea. Hop on your paddleboard from the powdery sands of Loutraki and fully-qualified instructors will have you gliding through crystalline waters in no time. With all transfers and equipment included, this half-day experience is not to be missed.
After pick up from your hotel we head straight to the beach where the fun begins. Fully qualified SUP instructors will teach you all the moves you need for a great time on the water. Pretty soon you’ll be out exploring the network of hidden caves that dot the coast here. There’ll even be time for some snorkeling before heading back to shore.
The beach isn’t the only place for watery fun in Crete. Limnoupolis Water Park is jam-packed with slides, chutes, rivers and pools that’ll have you whizzing from one to the other. From the scary Giant Slide to the chilled Lazy River, there’s something for everyone and every mood.
Laid out over landscaped gardens, Limnoupolis is bursting at the seams with slides, rides and sunbathing terraces – all centred round a large swimming pool. You’ll love having a go on the tubes of the Triple Twist, the imposing Giant Slide and the foamy waters of the Crazy River.
There’s also a kids’ pool, Tarzan-like assault courses and mini-motorbikes and football for the little ones. Add a playground, cafés, bars and loads of space to lounge in the sunshine and you’ve got all the ingredients for a fantastic day. We do everything for you, too – dropping you off in the morning and taking you back to your resort late afternoon.
Once you’ve been lucky enough to swim in the crystal-clear waters that wash the uninhabited island of Dia, you’ll find it hard to leave. On this exclusive to TUI boat trip from Crete, you’ll cruise from bay to bay, stop for swims, have free time on the island and enjoy lunch on board. What’s more, you’ll travel in small groups, so there’s plenty of space to stretch out.
After casting off from Gouves, you’ll only need to cruise a few nautical miles until you reach Dia. As you’ll be in small groups, you’ll be able to find your optimum spot to sunbathe on board and tuck into a tasty lunch of local specialities, such as pork risotto and traditional desserts, with the island in the background.
You’ll glide from one picture-postcard bay to the next with the chance to stop for a swim, and even step ashore to hike up to the dinky church of Agios Georgios for photos. In the mid-afternoon, you’ll make your way back to Crete.
This cruise has everything – great scenery, beach time and a helping of medieval history. Everything starts at Kastelli on Crete’s northwest coast, where a boat awaits to carry you across Kissamos bay to the Gramvousa peninsula and isles. And to round off the trip, you’ll spend a few hours at the beautiful Balos lagoon.
You’ll sail past steep cliffs and caves before docking at Imeri Gramvousa isle – ‘Imeri’ means ‘Tame’. Once a pirate hideout, this massive chunk of rock is crowned by a half-ruined Venetian fort. Here, you can stay sunbathing on deck, take a swim or trek up to the castle to drink in the views.
Next, your boat will make its way back to Tigani on the peninsula. Lapped by the fluorescent turquoise waters of the Balos lagoon, it’s a beach that looks like something from the Caribbean. Laze on the white sands, take snaps of the views or splash about in the warm water – it’s really shallow and stays knee-deep for a long way out.
Pick your way along the relaxed 8km route of Imbros Gorge, surrounded by wonderful fauna and the steep vertical walls of the ravine. There’ll also be refreshment stops at Rethymnon and Komitades, and the opportunity for a castle visit and cooling swim at Frangokastello.
As you stroll along, take in the views over the White Mountains as you head up to the starting point – the mountain village of Imbros. Here, you’ll set off on your 2-3 hour hike, following pathways through wildflower meadows. The going never get too rough underfoot and the gradient is a gentle descent – so it’s also a great trail for active kids.
Enjoy a well-earned break at the end of the trail, with plenty of free time to explore the castle at Frangokastello and to take a refreshing swim in the waters off its tranquil beach.
This full day 4×4 tour is for designed especially for adventures. You’ll journey along dirt roads, mountain passes and through Crete’s charming villages as you explore the island’s hidden gems and vast panoramic scenery.
Those walking boots will get a good workout during this hike through the Samaria Gorge. This 16km-long ravine is the longest in Europe. So it’s a serious – but spectacular – five to six-hour trek that’s not for the unfit or faint-hearted.
You’ll start by driving through the White Mountains to your starting point – the Xyloskalo staircase, which zigzags some 200 metres down into the gorge. You’ll pass tiny chapels, walk between the high ravine walls and maybe spot some of Crete’s wild ‘kri-kri’ goats. The highlight though, is the ‘Iron Gates’ – the narrowest section of the gorge where the 300-metre-high walls stand just 3 metres apart.
At the end, you’ll reach the seaside village of Agia Roumeli, where if you’ve made good time, you can take a swim or relax in a taverna. Then, when everyone’s ready, you’ll catch a boat along the coast to where your coach awaits. Great for outdoor types.