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Crete:

Most of the main tourist hot spots on Crete are lined up along the northern coast, clustered around beaches of varying quality, while the southern coast has been less exploited.

Each of the thriving resorts is well served by good roads and although some offer stunning views of the mountain ranges, they may not suit the faint-hearted.

It is the largest and southernmost of the Greek islands and so, naturally in the peak summer months becomes baked by the subtropical sun.

Maybe not as green and lush as Corfu, but nonetheless, there is some magnificent scenery.

Flight time: Approx 4 - 4� hours

Time difference: Summer: + 2.

Currency: Euro see Holiday Help Desk

Excursions: To really enjoy the sites of Crete get a good guide book In Association with Amazon.co.uk

Crete is awash with ancient and natural history in addition to it's many myths and legends; birthplace of Zeus and home to the Minotaur, a mythical half-man, half-bull creature.

The Royal Palace of Knoss�s was excavated one hundred years ago and provides a fascinating insight into life on the island from about 2000BC. Thanks to the skills of Sir Arthur Evans who partially reconstructed the site, visitors can wander through a labyrinth of chambers; care should be taken with small children. Treasures from the palace and other archeological finds are now housed in a special museum at Herakelion.

The Samari� Gorge is Europe's longest ravine stretching 18 km (11m) through the island's most spectacular scenery. Walking through this national park is probably best done in the cooler months and is well worth the effort.

More modern creations include a water park near Hersonissos and a 9-hole golf course.

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