31ºC / 88ºF
Once the centre of Minoan culture, the island of Crete is today a haven for those with an interest in archaeology and classical history, as the landscape is bursting with remnants from past eras. After the Minoans came the Greeks, then the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, with a brief cameo from the Venetians as well. The result of this is a rich texture that is woven into the Cretan cultural fabric. Whilst on Crete you can visit the Minoan palaces of Phaistos and Knossos, the ancient Roman city of Gortys, the Venetian castle at Rethymno and lots of other fantastic ruins that each contain their own links to a mythological past. Explore the even older caves of Diktaion and Psychro, as well as the famous Gorge of Samaria, which is home to the endangered kri-kri goats, and then travel back to the present day, by returning to the main cities of Heraklion and Chania. Hang out in a restaurant or café along the beachfront, recline by the clear waters of Agioi Apostoloi Beach in Chania or go for a taste of local art at the Museum of Visual Arts in Heraklion – here you might even catch a performance of the local poetic and musical gem that is known as the mantinada. After a day of exploring, you can take a dip in the water or test your skills at various water sports that are available at most beaches and resorts that populate the coastline. And then, take in everything that Crete has to offer food-wise. Slightly similarly to Greek food, the island has developed its own distinct delicacies. Start off with a delicious portion of dakos – a rich salad which include local cheese and tomatoes, before moving on to hearty dishes like smoked pork and lamb with stamnagathi. A typical Cretan dinner is not complete without a bottle of local wine, which the island has been producing since the Minoan empire. Enjoy the classical grapes while the sun disappears behind the snow-capped White Mountains and relax in the way that only Crete knowns how to.
Regardless of where you stay in this charming nation, you’ll never be far from something spectacular, and with 14 different UNESCO Heritage Sites, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to visit and immerse yourself in unique places. We’ve selected our five favourite UNESCO Sites in Portugal.
This weekend sees the start of the European phase of the Formula 1 season with The Santander 2017 Spanish Grand Prix kicking off in the beautiful city of Barcelona, and we’ll be there to enjoy the octane-infused entertainment with over 1,000 Fleetway holidaymakers.
Chasing the Northern Lights, however, is an unpredictable art form which sometimes can leave you with time on your hands, where you’re just waiting for the phenomenon to appear. Bringing a book with you will help you while away the wait during the dark winter nights, and what better way to enjoy...