48 hours in Gouves, Crete  

The Scotsman — Robin Gauldie spends a weekend in Crete:

Friday, 10pm Check in to the opulent Grecotel Amirantes (0030 28970 41103, www.amirandes.com). This breathtaking resort has its own sandy beaches, indoor and outdoor pools, spa, nine restaurants and bars and 58 villas with private pools. It’s a 10­ minute cab ride from Heraklion’s airport, and double rooms start at around £160.

Saturday, 9am Have a glass of bubbly with your buffet breakfast of smoked salmon, fresh yoghurt and Cretan olives.

10am Take a cab (around €12) to the 4,000­-year-­old ruins of Knossos, with frescoes of dolphins and dancers, courtyards and pillared porticoes.

11am Admire Minoan relics like the bull’s head drinking vessel or rhyton at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum (Xanthoudidou 2; tel: 28102 226092, www.odysseus.culture.gr; combined Knossos and museum ticket €16).

1pm Lunch with a harbour view at Herb’s Garden, on the roof of the downtown Lato Boutique Hotel.

3pm Back at Amirandes, surrender to an open-air massage from one of the hotel’s Elixir Spa therapists.

7pm Watch the sun go down from the deck of the hotel’s new Sunset Lounge.

8pm Sample the cuisine that makes locals among the longest-­lived people in the world at organic restaurant, Xasteria. Sunday, 9am Tee off at Crete Golf Club. (Hersonissos 70014; tel: 28970 2600, www.cretegolfclub.com; nine holes €50, clubs €20, cart €20).

11am On the way back to Amirandes, explore Agia Paraskevi cave, a complex of stalactite-­studded grottoes.

8pm For a grand finale, dine on the floating deck of Minotaur restaurant. The menu is modern Italian with a Greek twist.