To the far east of the island, the sandy beach of Vaď, surrounded by a natural palm grove, is really magical when not overrun by tourists. In the west, a few miles away from Chania, the large sandy beach of Haghia Marina, clean and shady, is ideal for relaxation. However, Rethymno's beach is actually very dangerous when the wind picks up. The waves are impressive, and the current is violent. You should avoid the beach of Heraklion which is neither clean nor peaceful due to the proximity of the airport.
The island's major towns and cities, including Chania, Rethymnon, and Heraklion, pictured here, are located in the north.© Anton Chygarev / 123RF
Other islands, including Santorini, are just a few hours' ferry ride from the ports of Crete.© Openlens / 123RF
The island's main tourist hubs are primarily located in the north.© Lucian Bolca / 123RF
The island's main road lets you cross the entire northern side of the island in record time.© Vitaly Krivosheev / 123RF
There are some truly superb beaches to be found if you go off the beaten track, such as here at Vai, on the eastern tip.© dziewul / 123RF