The beauty and appeal of Crete island for domestic and international visitors cannot be overstated. In 2020, it received a spot on the Top 25 Best Islands in The World by readers of Travel + Leisure with an impressive score of 88.20.
One of the most significant advantages of Crete is the multitude of layers, and attractions on offer, both in terms of nature and beaches, the history, the food and the famous Cretan hospitality.
Crete is home to some of the best-rated and most stunning beaches worldwide. Elafonisi on the southwestern coast of the island offers shallow turquoise waters, pink-hued sand (due to the organisms in the corals) and is a protected and unique ecosystem. Further north, visitors will be enchanted by Balos Lagoon with its exotic, wild beauty and clear waters. On the southern, and most remote part of the island, Paleochora, Sougia, Matala and Xerocampos look over the Libyan Sea. To get there you will need to cross mountainous terrain, stunning gorges and charming villages.
This is the island where the Greek Olympian god Zeus hid in a cave to escape the wrath of his father and where the half-man/half-bull beast of Minotaur protected the labyrinth that King Minos of Knossos designed. The ancient Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros with their elaborate architecture, intricate religious ceremonies and drainage systems, are only one layer of history. From the ancient times to the Roman, Byzantine and Arab influences, the Venetian Occupation and almost half a century under the Ottoman Empire, Crete is an island that many sought to call their own and it carries the marks of each period everywhere you look.
While predominantly a summer destination, Cretan weather is hot and dry during the summer and mild during the winter months. This creates a wide window between April and late October for visitors. Secluded villages and private villas, as well as big tourist resorts, are available.
Accessibility to the island is also fairly easy, with two major airports in Heraklion and Chania connected to all major European cities through direct charter flights or through the airport of Athens.
Crete offers one of the best real estate investment opportunities whether you are looking for commercial property or a place to call home that is blessed with constant sun. The development of the tourism infrastructure on the island has led to a stable economic growth with very high demand for rental properties from foreigners. Non-EU residents can benefit from the “Golden Visa” program, one of the most affordable in Europe and be granted permanent residency in return for real estate investment and be able to travel around the EU zone freely.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the property market to a standstill, Greece is investing heavily in its tourism infrastructure and real estate development projects around the country are pushing forward. There is no doubt that Crete specifically will continue to be one of the top destinations for foreign tourists coming to Crete.
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