Paddle around Crete on a family vacation, find the best beaches

The family that paddles together skedaddles together … or something like that. The Northwest Passage offers a trip embracing that sentiment with its Family Crete Kayaking & Hiking tour. This is an eight-day/seven-night trip that skirts Greece's largest island by water and is suitable for novice to experienced paddlers, and kids can be as young as 7. While there's the opportunity for plenty of kayaking each day, other activities include hiking, swimming, snorkeling and even a little cliff jumping. Van support is available for those times when you've had enough kayaking. The kayaks — they have singles and doubles — are good for getting into lots of charming little villages, including Loutro, accessible only by water or on foot. Lodging is in inns and hotels, and evenings offer the chance to sample lots of Greek delicacies in the local tavernas. For 2018, this trip is offered with June 12 or 20 departures, and if those don't work out it's possible to book a custom trip. The Northwest Passage also has variations of this trip that aren't strictly for families, including a yoga, kayaking and hiking retreat. Cost of the family trip is $2,995 per person, double occupancy, with kids under 18 paying $2,295. Info: 847-256-4409,



Time to plan a beach vacation? got input from more than 600 travel journalists, editors, bloggers and agencies to compile its list of The World's 50 Best Beaches. Heading the list is Grace Bay Beach in the Turks and Caicos. Completing the top 10 are Whitehaven Beach, Australia; Anse Lazio, the Seychelles; Pink Sands Beach, the Bahamas; Navagio Beach, Greece; Baia Dos Porcos, Brazil; Playa Paraiso, Mexico; Hyams Beach, Australia; Hidden Beach, Mexico; and Trunk Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands. In the U.S., the highest ranking beach was Honokalani Beach on Maui, Hawaii.



Cruising and racing go together in three Mediterranean cruises from Star Clippers. The trips offer port calls in Monaco to coincide with Formula 1 Grand Prix racing. On May 12, the Royal Clipper will depart from Cannes, France, for a seven-night cruise that includes a stop in Monaco during the Historic Grand Prix, featuring cars from the 1930s up to cars from the late '70s. On May 19, the Star Flyer leaves Barcelona, Spain, for a seven-night itinerary that takes in the Monaco Grand Prix Trials. The Star Flyer also sails from Cannes on May 26 and will be in Monaco for the Grand Prix Finals. Details are at, and cruise pricing is at


(Phil Marty is a freelance reporter.)