Have you considered Greece for your winter holiday? What about Crete? The largest and most diverse of the Greek islands, Crete lends itself to the perfect destination for winter holidays and relaxing city breaks. At times the summer is far too hot to encourage movement too far from the beaches and swimming pools but it's mild winter climate, often with clear blue skies and sunshine make this the ideal time to explore Crete's many wonders. Vast archeological sites such as Knossos and Phaestos, it gorges and ravines, such as Imbros, and it's charming Venetian cities - Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion. Walk in the hills and countryside and see the Cretans busy at their olive picking. Offer to give them a hand and you'll be welcomed with open arms and the unique hospitality Crete is famous for. Winter is also the time for orange picking as the winter months are the time that the orange comes into season along with the mandarin, tangerine and clementine. The White Mountains are spectacular in the winter months with their snowy tops. Spend Christmas in Crete, Greece and avoid the commercialism of many of the larger European Cities.

Many of the Villas in the Crete A La Carte portfolio are ideal for winter holidays as many have fireplaces and/or central heating.

In Akrotiri for exploring the monasteries of Agia Triada. - Alma's Villas

Almirida close to Aptera and Chania. - Dorsey Villa

Kokkino Chorio ideal for walking and handy for the Turkish Fort and Roman ruins of Aptera. - Villa Chryselli, Freedom Villa, Villa Tassos, Villa Rainia

Vouves handy to visit the largest olive tree an Greece, the quaint fishing village of Kolimbari and the caves and churches of Spilia - Villa Theodoros

Although charter flights do not fly directly to Crete in the winter months, but come via Athens, it is fairly cheap and easy to get to Crete for your winter holiday with a little planing ahead. Try Easyjet, Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines.