When I talk to people about family holiday experiences I’m often surprised at how many people say they’d never consider going abroad for a family holiday. Their reasons are usually down to the travel and the unfamiliar food. Foreign travel is a chance to broaden your children’s horizons, don’t be afraid of it, embrace it and if you give them a taste for travel along the way then you’ve given them a gift for life. Holidays should be about memorable experiences and if you take the family to Crete I guarantee, you will all come back with heads full of them. Crete has so much to offer: scenery, food, culture, markets, wildlife, beaches and above all warm and friendly people.
When to go
Crete has a long holiday season which stretches into October so you might consider a week at spring or autumn half term. If you want a longer holiday then it’s going to have to be during the summer holidays and be warned it can get very hot. That shouldn’t put you off though, you just need to be sensible. Hats and sun cream obviously, but also try and do things early morning or early evening, when it’s cooler. 3pm to 5.30pm is actually a legally mandated quiet time, what a brilliant idea.
Where to stay
There are plenty of accommodation options for families – from all-inclusive resorts with kids’ clubs, to self-catering villas with private pools, so you’re guaranteed to find somewhere with features you all love.
What to do
Obviously, one of the things that you want to be able to on a foreign holiday is to go to the beach without turning blue and shivering behind a wind break. Crete has a wealth of beautiful beaches, some are a little too remote for a family outing but there are plenty where you can build sand castles and splash about to your heart’s content. Key things to look for when choosing a good beach for the family are: easy access, warm shallow water, soft sand and handy amenities. You’ll find a guide to the best family friendly beaches here.
Getting out of the sun entirely in the middle of the day is generally a good idea so you might try a visit to the Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Rescue Centre. This is a great experience for kids because you get to hold all kinds of rescue animals, like iguanas and snakes and the staff are very friendly and endlessly patient. Another cool option is to visit some of the spectacular cave systems, again, it’s something kids really love.
Finally, don’t forget to introduce your kids to the island’s food. Get an assortment of Mezedes and sit out together in the cool shade for an experience you’ll never forget.