Feedback from Greece: Crete edition! Hello everyone, this is your captain Hugo, welcome to this Horizons Airlines flight bound for Heraklion – Rethymnon and Chania, for a week’s trip to share with you my impressions of Greece and more particularly of this little island below: Crete. Well, small isn’t really the real word: it’s still the largest of the Greek islands.


First day, I took off from Nantes at 3pm and here I am in 3 hours of flight in Crete. The first thing that impressed me was when I landed: You understand that you’re on an island, the runway is on the edge of the beach, you can see the sea a few meters away, a real postcard. 

Heraklion is a fairly urbanised town, the main shopping street is pedestrianised and it’s pleasant to wander around at all hours (the shops are open until quite late). In my opinion, the port is THE PLACE TO BE if you want to make your friends dream. Squeeze into the first café on the old Venetian port and let loose your best insta story (no, I didn’t, did I?). By the way? did you remember to subscribe to HI’s insta account? You’ll find a few stories there so you can see what it’s like:

I took advantage of my two days in Heraklion to also go for a trip to Knossos, an open-air archaeological site that you absolutely must see! Small bonus, if you are an EU resident, you only pay half price. 

Chania: Chania for Intimates

So, to pronounce it correctly, say “Rania” (the locals will understand you better, insider’s word). Chania is super-easy to get to from Heraklion, thanks to the KTEL bus services that run every hour. No headaches, then.

Chania was one of the highlights of my trip to Crete. The town is absolutely sublime! The locals have managed to preserve the imposing old quarters where I loved getting lost, picking up little culinary treasures and savouring the local atmosphere. And I’m not even talking about the old port of Chania, which is just breathtaking. It was incredible.

In this town, every nook and cranny conceals a charming, steep, warmly-coloured alleyway that makes you want to explore further and further, so magnificent is it. The minarets that dominate the town bear witness to Crete’s fascinating history. In fact, if you want to find out more, don’t hesitate to visit the museum in Chania – it’s well worth the diversions.

Chania is a must-visit town on your trip to Crete. With its picturesque old quarters, mouth-watering cuisine and captivating historical heritage, I can’t recommend this town highly enough.


Between Chania and Heraklion lies Réthymnon. Imagine a mini Chania, with its cobbled streets, colourful facades, balconies full of flowers and all that. It’s charming, really. You’ll eat just as well here, and unlike Chania, you’ll get more fresh air. Because in Crete it’s hot, like really hot. But I’ll come back to that later. The big thing to do in Réthymnon is to visit the Fortress! This fortress overlooks the whole town and the sea! Not to mention the historical interest of the place. It was built by the Venetians when they were masters of the island to prevent Ottoman invasions. The view from up there is super cool!

The rest of the island: 

I mainly stayed on the northern part of the island (the most urbanised), while the south is wilder. You’ll be able to indulge yourself in outdoor activities (mountain biking, hiking, etc.) …. It’s quite mountainous. I’ll leave you to imagine the playground. With the sea and mountains nearby, it’s a nature-lover’s dream.

Beaches and activities in Crete: Farniente and thrills :

As well as the island’s cultural and historical wealth, Crete is also a haven for beach and water lovers. Its fine sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters are simply magnificent. Among the most beautiful beaches in Crete, I recommend Balos, Elafonissi and Vai, each offering a heavenly setting in which to relax and enjoy the Cretan sun.

If you prefer thrills and spills, Crete is also the ideal destination for water-based activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding and kitesurfing. The seabed is teeming with life, offering a unique experience for lovers of aquatic fauna and flora – hello divers! Have you ever thought of taking a course at a diving school? And don’t miss the magnificent Samaria Gorge, where you can enjoy an exceptional hike through breathtaking scenery, past picturesque villages and Byzantine chapels.

Crete: The island of heat 

Well, I have to admit that I’m not a champion when it comes to heat, so I was a bit scared when I chose Crete. But in the end it worked out pretty well! The shops, hotels and public transport are all air-conditioned, so it’s actually manageable. And you know how it is in the Mediterranean: it’s so hot that between 2pm and 5pm, there’s not a soul left outside. Everyone keeps cool, whether in a tavern or at home.

Here’s a funny anecdote: as soon as you sit down somewhere, whether in a restaurant or a bar, they bring you a glass of iced water with a carafe, without you even having to ask for anything. It’s really nice! And for the record, at HI, we consume coffee on the assembly line, so as a good member of the team, I discovered that, in Crete, our precious fuel is mostly consumed in the form of a frappé (i.e. cold). Yep, we’re adapting to local customs!

The Cretan people: 

Very nice, the people are helpful and very friendly whether they are shopkeepers, locals… As soon as I arrived I felt the country safe, moreover at no time I felt unsafe. The young women can dress as they want, no one has an insistent look on their faces. There is no trafficking of any kind (at least visibly). 

Food in Greece: 

Having a rather sensitive stomach – hi Seb’- I dread every trip abroad. Well, Greece lives up to its reputation! Everything is excellent and fresh! So if you’re a fan of fish or seafood, Crete is a taste paradise. I still remember this little seaside restaurant, where I tasted an incredibly tender grilled octopus, accompanied by a glass of Raki, the local spirit. Pure bliss! The worry was to accept the local hospitality: the waiter gave me several rounds of Raki and offered me two desserts. I wasn’t ready.

But whether you’re a vegetarian, a carnivore or just a gourmet, there’s always a dish that will make your mouth water. Mezze – small plates to share – are a great way to discover all the flavours of Cretan cuisine. It’s simple, between the grilled vegetables, cheeses, meats and sauces with unusual flavours (at least for me), I didn’t know where to turn! And the best thing is that on every street corner, you’ll come across a tavern or a little stall that’ll make you want to try everything. Temptation is everywhere, I tell you!

It reminds me that one evening, on my way back from the beach, I succumbed to the temptation of a chicken gyros. I was already full, but this pita with its tzatziki sauce made me forget all reason. I slammed down my best gyros without batting an eyelid. I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult it was to walk afterwards, I’d had so much. Greece is no diet. In short, you’ve got it, food in Greece is a real treat for the taste buds and the eyes. If you haven’t tried this cuisine yet, I urge you to dive in straight away, your stomach will thank you! ?

As you’ll have gathered, I really enjoyed my time in Crete 🙂 If you’d like to do an internship there, don’t hesitate to contact us, I promise, I’ll give you some great tips. Greece is waiting for you! Doing an internship on an island is a blast, isn’t it?

For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.