Tue, 11 Mar 2014 04:15:00 GMT | By JD van Zyl, Ed Soluk
Top 10 holiday destinations in Greece

Greece holiday destinations: Crete

Matala beach on the Island of Crete, Greece (© Associated Press)
  • View of Oia village on Santorini, Greece, at sunset (© WestEnd61/Rex Features)
  • A full moon above the ancient Acropolis hill in Athens (© AFP/Getty Images)
  • View over the aquamarine bay of St Spiridon Paleokastritsa Corfu Greek Islands (© Rex Features)
  • Matala beach on the Island of Crete, Greece (© Associated Press)
  • People on a sailing boat during a boat trip around Kos, Greece (© Getty Images)
  • The harbour of Mykonos Town at sunset (© Slow Images/Getty Images)
  • View of Lindos from the beach of Rhodes (© Rex Features)
  • The Greek island of Santorini with its white houses cascading down ancient volcanic cliffs (© Associated Press)
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Far more than just another Greek island, 'Megalónisos' or the Great Island as locals refer to Crete, is more like an independent country than part of Greece. Its natural beauty and wealth of beaches make Crete a favourite Greek holiday destination, but as the original home of Europe’s earliest advanced civilisation, the Minoans, Crete also boasts a wealth of history.

The north of Crete has been extensively developed with resorts catering almost exclusively for package tourism. There is, however, plenty of space left on the island for those desiring solitude and serenity – from the craggy White mountains to the shoreline with its secluded coves, caves and miles of golden beaches.