The island of Crete is the largest in Greece, covering 3,100 square miles (8,000 sq km), and it’s rich in beaches, pretty towns, scenic natural wonders, and classical culture. It’s a destination that deserves much more than just one day but here’s how to make the best of your time there if it’s limited.
Greece welcomes almost 2.5 million cruise passengers each year on a variety of up to 940 ships large and small. The majority of these all have a port of call in Athens, gateway to the ancient world and owner of mind-boggling classical ruins and quality museums – in short a sightseer’s paradise. Depending on time in port, there are also plenty of day trips that can be taken, both on the Greek mainland and out into the islands, using Athens as a base
Think of Greece and most people conjure up images of classical ruins and museums, but while Athens may not be first choice for vacationing with young kids, there’s plenty to offer children of all ages throughout the country.
The 3,000 plus Greek Islands fan out into the Aegean Sea from the mainland; those closest to Athens include the Saronic Islands, where Hydra, Poros, and Aegina are popular destinations. To the east highlights of the Cyclades encompass Delos, Mykonos, Kea, Paros, and Tinos.
The traditional cuisine in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean, plus a certain Middle Eastern flair; plenty of health vegetables, lots of garlic, and lashings of olive oil. Olives have been grown in Greece since classical times and their extra-virgin oils crop up in many colorful salads full of strong goats- and sheep-milk feta cheese and big, plump tomatoes.