Michael Zegers/Westend61/Corbis

No. 16 Crete, Greece

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The birthplace of Zeus is an island of myth and history, with ancient Minoan palaces and Venetian fortresses. The landscapes range widely, from snowcapped mountains with hidden caves to deep gorges, olive groves, vineyards, and the translucent shallows and pinkish sands of secret beaches like Elafonisi Beach.

Where to Stay: Blue Palace Resort & Spa in Elounda, a 251-room hillside hideaway overlooking the island of Spinalonga and the Aegean Sea. bluepalace.gr

World's Best Islands 2013

No. 16 Crete, Greece

The birthplace of Zeus is an island of myth and history, with ancient Minoan palaces and Venetian fortresses. The landscapes range widely, from snowcapped mountains with hidden caves to deep gorges, olive groves, vineyards, and the translucent shallows and pinkish sands of secret beaches like Elafonisi Beach.

Where to Stay: Blue Palace Resort & Spa in Elounda, a 251-room hillside hideaway overlooking the island of Spinalonga and the Aegean Sea. bluepalace.gr

Michael Zegers/Westend61/Corbis

World's Best Islands 2013

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