Anissaras holidays pitch up on a beach-bridled corner of Crete's coastline.

Hotel haven

This town’s pulled out all the stops to cater for sun-seekers. It’s a hotspot for family-focused hotels, which have set up shop to make the most of the north coast’s lesser-trodden beaches and coves. That means some of best-equipped digs in Crete, which line up XL pools, sea-view restaurants and activities by the bucketload. Sprigs of the town’s traditional side peek through beside the shore – you’ll find a cutesy chapel on a tree-tufted headland.

Blue Flag belt

Fling a towel down on the premier sand-and-pebble sweep, and you’ll be in Blue Flag territory. The beach boffins have stamped this sleepy scoop with the official seal of approval. Smaller, rocky bays are bolted onto the waterfront a little further along, and there are pedalo-peddlers and watersports centres in good number. Scuba diving’s a local fave – boats make a beeline for St George’s Cave, where the underwater scenery’s worth packing an underwater camera for.

Capital gains

Peel yourself away from the sand-and-sea combo, and up-tempo Heraklion ramps up the pace. Before you reach Crete’s capital, you’ll pass aquariums, dino parks and long-in-the-tooth Greek ruins. A 30-minute jaunt in the car gets you to the city centre, where shopping streets and bars are ten-a-penny. The harbourside fortress ticks the history box, too.

At a Glance

  • Pop across to lively Heraklion
  • Flake out on Blue Flag sands
  • Get your watersports thrill fix