In Greece it is said that Crete could be its own country. Probably because Greece’s largest island has it all, splendid nature, ancient treasures, vibrant cities and picturesque villages, where local tradition is cherished by Cretans and visitors alike. Crete offers the chance to luxuriate on pink-sand beaches, then zip inland to mountain-rimmed gorges and quiet villages. Crete’s natural beauty is equalled only by the richness of its history. The island is the birthplace of the first advanced society on European soil, the Minoan society, which flourished some 4000 years ago, and you’ll find evocative vestiges all over, including the famous Palace of Knossos. If you’re a foodie, you will find your heaven in Crete, where ‘local cuisine’ is not a trend but a way of life. Rural tavernas often produce their own meat, cheese, olive oil, raki and wine, and catch their own seafood. Keep in mind that the season for southerly Crete stretches into late October, and everywhere September is still high season. Also when looking for accommodation, do not forget that in most parts of Crete there are great rent-a-villa options offering high end amenities.