Approximately 3.5 hours flight from the UK is the lovely Greek island of Crete. Brits flock every year for a holiday in the sun and in this post we pick our five favourite things to see and do whilst there. With stunning beaches and picturesque mountains, fascinating history and delicious food, Crete offers everything you could want in a fun and relaxing family holiday.

Balos Beach and Lagoon, Kissamos

First on our list and our favourite is Balos beach and lagoon. This place is not recommended with children however as it’s a real trek to reach and the road is very bumpy and rough but passable in an ordinary car so long as you take it slowly. The walk across from car park is quite steep down at the end so be prepared for that and there are no facilities – just the beach, the sea and the sun.

Balos is a wonderful picturesque place to visit nature at its finest with warm turquoise waters set amongst mountains. The trek is well worth it when you come across sights like this:

Aquaworld Aquarium, Hersonissos

Aquaworld Aquarium is located in Hersonissos and opened its door to tourists in 1995 and one is the number one things to see whilst in Crete. The costs are exceptional value with adults costing only 6 Euros and children are 4 Euros. The value is extended when you find out you receive a membership card allowing you to visit the aquarium as many times in the season as you (or the children) like.

So what can you see at Aquaworld Aquarium? Well, there’s stunning local sea life on display and reptiles (snakes, lizards and tortoises) which the children will love. A favourite with most visitors is Naga, a 7 year old 4m long Burmese python weighing about 60 kilos.

Photography is allowed in most areas except the Octopus which doesn’t allow flash photography so turn off your flash for that snap. Both adults and children can pose with the variety of snakes, lizards and tortoises on show which makes for a memorable experience and great photo opportunity.

Lychnostatis Open Air Museum, Hersonissos

Lychnostatis is an interesting open air museum and shows how the cretan people lived and worked over 100 years ago. You can go in all the fascinating buildings with interesting information supplied and if you are a keen photographer there’s plenty of opportunity to take some lovely photos.

Favourite things to see and do is the wine making and the traditional cretan house so don’t miss those. The little cafe on site has a great selections of things to eat or drink.

Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi

Elafonissi Beach is a natural beauty with pink sands and turquoise waters and a place not to miss whilst in Crete. For families, this is the beach to go to as it’s very safe for children and has facilities unlike Balos Beach and Lagoon. It’s great for small children with lots to explore in shallow waters with non or little currents.

The sand got its peculiar colour from thousands of years of corals crumbling naturally into sand-like grains. Known as the “Greek Caribbean”, Elafonissi Beach is one of few places where you can snorkel in shallow waters and see plenty of fish. The journey there isn’t a simple one however with challenging terrain but it’s worth it when you get there. Facilities include sun-chairs and toilets which both require payment to be used.

Arion Stables, Hersonissos

For something a little different to beaches and museums, Arion Stables gets our vote. If you are a novice or expert at horse riding, these stables are well worth a visit when in Crete.

The stables offer lovely relaxing horse treks through nearby picturesque mountains. Not only this but the food on offer here is one of the best you will sample in Crete. Sunday lunch includes delicious pork with roast potatoes, feta, salad, tzatziki, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, bread, the list goes on.

Crete has a vast array of interesting day and nights out, whether by hire car or on one of the organised excursions. Experience the hospitality and tradition of the locals, who’ll always give you tips on the best beaches and picturesque villages to head to.

Enjoy your trip to Crete, you will not be disappointed!!!