It's been said by visitors and Greeks alike, that Crete is a country unto itself. The country's largest island also has the longest season, stretching from mid May to late October when beaches are less crowded, and hiking trails less busy but tavernas and bars no less welcoming. Crete's landscape is varied and invigorating with secluded coves, rolling hills, sandy beaches, and Europe's longest gorge to name but a few destinations. You can even visit the cave where Zeus was born. For those interested in history, Crete doesn't disappoint. This is the birthplace of the Minoans after all, with ancient ruins dating as far back as 4000 years ago, making a visit to the Palace of Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum a must. There are also medieval towns dotted about the countryside, and Ottoman and Byzantine relics to be pored over in the sun.