Discover priceless cultural treasures -and daily pleasures- against a breathtaking Mediterranean backdrop a drive away from Paralos Irini Mare.

A paradise on earth for nature lovers, an endless source of inspiration for history buffs and a must-visit destination for foodies, Crete caters to different kinds of travellers. But they all come to mix and mingle on its sunny, palm tree-lined beaches or raise a glass of Raki in its local tavernas.

Greece's largest island - and the fifth-largest in the Mediterranean - sits at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia. It's where the ancient Minoan civilization once flourished, and now a rich cultural heritage continues to attract travellers from far and wide.

Modern Crete is divided into the prefectures of Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon and Lasithi. They all offer a spectacular combination of history, gastronomy, natural beauty, ancient legends, and modern living, where Crete's warm-hearted "philoxenia" (hospitality) and passion for life are central.

Head to the capital Heraklion to visit the must-see Heraklion Archaeological Museum, renowned for its world-class collection of Minoan Art, priceless treasures from a culture that thrived in the Bronze Age. You'll find a trove of impressive finds from the nearby archaeological site of Knossos - visiting the famous palace is also a must - and beyond.

Discover the old and colourful town of Rethymno with the Venetian buildings and narrow alleys just an hour drive from Paralos Irini Mare. Go on a road trip and visit the historic Monasteries of Preveli and Arkadi, picturesque villages and breathtaking beaches.

About a two-hour drive to the west of the island, Chania boasts a picturesque old town and harbour, home to a bustling selection of Greek tavernas, cafes, bars as well as museums.

Many of Greece's most spectacular beaches are in Crete. Some of the island's most photogenic ones are not far from Paralos Irini Mare, including the palm tree-lined Preveli beach and the dramatic Triopetra in Rethymno.

Don't miss the exotic beaches of Elafonisi, Phalasarna and Balos in the Chania region.

Nature lovers can tick hiking the iconic Samaria Gorge - one of the longest and most spectacular in Europe - off their bucket list. Crete will keep them on their feet with a few dozen gorges and a thrilling network of trails to explore. Agios Antonios Gorge and a charming collection of local villages are only a few of the sights inviting you on fascinating treks on the island's south coast.

Whatever you do, be sure to try traditional staples of the local cuisine in between activities to get a true taste of Crete. Share a plate of local rakomezedes (appetizers) like little filo pastries, pickled treats and dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves) that go well with a glass of heady local Raki. Order a plate of dakos (rusk) with tomato and local myzithra cheese, drizzled with delicious local virgin olive oil. Or tsigariasto, a slow-roasted lamb dish.

From the awe-inspiring landscape to the daily table, Crete and its people invite you to live life to the fullest.

Paralos Irini Mare Team will help you plan your perfect day trip in Crete.