Sands and sights in Crete

Greece is all about blue-domed churches, bougainvillea-splashed villages and endless rounds of mezes. And nowhere does it better than the biggest of the Greek Islands, Crete. As well as miles of great beaches in places like the Chania area, this island is home to the kind of ancient sites you’ll want to write home about. We’re talking the ruins of the Minoan Palace of Knossos near Heraklion, and the Venetian fortresses in Rethymnon.

Ionian Islands

Trace your finger north-west on the map and you hit Corfu, a member of the Ionian Islands. If you want family-run tavernas and empty beaches, Acharavi is for you. And for the best parties on the island, there’s Kavos. South of Corfu you’ll find the island of Zante. Here, pick between lively Laganas or the quiet towns of Alykanas and Kalamaki. Kefalonia, meanwhile, is all about laid-back towns and Instagram-worthy beaches.

South Aegean Islands

Over in the South Aegean Islands, meanwhile, you’ve got the wide, sandy sweeps of Kardemena and Psalidi in Kos, or the timewarp old town of Rhodes’ capital.

Mainland Greece

Over on the mainland, the big names are Halkidiki and the Olympia Coast. Both regions serve up second-to-none sandy beaches and cypress-studded scenery, plus they open up daytrips to cities like Athens and Thessaloniki.

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Ionian Islands

Scattered west of mainland Greece, the Ionian Islands are major players on the holiday scene. Along with sandy beaches and pebbled coves, they tick off everything from crowd-pleasing scenery to Ibiza-esque nightlife.

South Aegean Islands

Scattered across the Aegean Sea, these islands have been luring holidaymakers for decades. And it’s easy to see why. They hold all the cards – beaches, nightlife, sights and shopping.


The biggest of the Greek Islands, Crete certainly makes the most of its size. On the one hand, it lines up miles of beaches and a guidebook’s worth of sights. On the other, it has every type of holiday base going, from sleepy hillside villages to up-all-night party towns.

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Top 5 resorts in Greece

Top 5 hotels in Greece

Terms and Conditions Limited availability at these price so book now to avoid disappointment. Guaranteed savings - Refers to an online discount of 10% on July & August nad 9% September & October holidays and applies to the basic adult cost before supplements. Available on package holidays booked online departing between 1st July 2014 and 31st October 2014 Online discount only applies to package holidays booked on and does not apply to flight only, accommodation only and tailor made flight+hotel bookings. Online discount is not combinable with free child places.

Free child places - Free kids offer applies to new bookings only, on selected summer 2014 holidays, subject to limited availability. Only 1 free kids place is available in each selected hotel room or selected apartment type or villa with 2 full paying adults. Other children must pay the full brochure price. Available on First Choice holidays only. Free child places may not be combinable with other discounts.

 Save up to £400 per couple on July & August  holidays – Saving offer applies to new bookings only on selected First Choice package holidays booked on Offer applies to holidays departing between 01 July – 31 August 2014 and is subject to limited availability. Savings is against brochure price. Excludes flight only, accommodation only and any other bookings. Additional supplements may apply. Saving is based on a minimum of 2 adults travelling. Thomson reserves the right to withdraw or change this offer at any time