20 Incredible Things to Do in Crete (BestAttractions & Activities)

PleaseNote: we are not motivating individuals to take a trip throughout Covid-19 Use this guide to prepare for future travel toCrete .

Crete, the most significant of the Greek islands, is frequently referred to as a universe by itself. Being house to spectacular beaches and mountains, an intricate history, and scrumptious gastronomy, it can be actually difficult to select where to start checking out.

Balos beach — among the very best things to do in Crete

This guide is loaded with useful information and expert ideas. It will assist you prepare an ideal Crete schedule and choose what are the finest things you can see and do when you go toCrete Let’s start with some standard info about Crete Island.

Frequently Asked Questions for a Crete Vacation

Where is Crete?

Crete is the southernmost island of Greece, it lies in the middle of the Mediterranean.

What’s the weather condition like on Crete?

The island has long, hot, and dry summer seasons, while winter seasons tend to be brief with moderate temperature levels. Some areas have really little rain throughout the year.

How huge is Crete?

Crete is the most significant island in Greece, it can take you from 4 to 6 hours to take a trip from the west coast to the east.

The island is divided into 4 various areas; Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, and Lasithi, all of them worth seeing.

BestThings to Do in Crete

DiscoverCrete’s Past in the Minoan Palace of Knossos

Knossos, Crete
TheMinoan Palace of Knossos

The 2nd most checked out historical site in Greece (after the Acropolis in Athens), the Minoan Palace of Knossos is a must-see location when you go to Crete

Knossos was house to the strange Minoan civilization that resided on the island countless years earlier.

Besides, according to Greek Mythology, the palace was house to the popular maze of the Minotaur.

Due to its appeal, the palace can be jammed in any provided season. For this factor, it’s a great concept to go to early in the early morning or at sundown, by doing this you will not just prevent the crowds however the scorching sun of the island.

You can quickly reach the historical site by bus from the center of Heraklion (bus number 2, ticket EUR1.50).

You can book a directed trip and it’s a terrific concept to integrate the go to with a trip of the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

Check out the Capital, Heraklion

The Venetian Fortress of Heraklion, Crete
TheVenetian Fortress of Heraklion

Since you’re currently in Heraklion, take a look at the landmarks in the area. Start with a walk along the old port to reach the Koules, the stunning Venetian Fortress that stands opposite the sea.

Then, relocation towards the center of town, strolling along 25 of AugustStreet It will take you just a couple of minutes to get to the hectic Liontaria Square.

Here, stop for a cup of Greek coffee and attempt among Crete’s scrumptious pastries, bougatsa Bougatsa can be filled with goat cheese or custard, and it’s scrumptious with a drizzle of regional honey on top.

Also in the location, visit Saint Titus, a previous mosque changed into a church when the Ottoman Empire stopped the guideline on the island.

GoBack in Time in the Hippie Caves of Matala

The caves at the beach of Matala, Crete
The caves at the beach of Matala

The finest method to check out such a huge island is to take a trip by automobile. Driving on Crete is relatively simple if you follow some standard guidelines.

If you drive south from Heraklion, you will have the ability to invest a day at the wonderful beach of Matala which is understood for its caverns where a substantial neighborhood of hippies utilized to live throughout the seventies.

If you remain in the state of mind for a walking, follow the indications up until you reach the RedBeach, about 20 minutes fromMatala This is a concealed naturist beach with reddish sand and beautiful waters. It’s likewise a excellent area for snorkeling.

Explore the Alleys in the Old Town of Chania

The Venetian port of Chania
TheVenetian port of Chania

Arguably among Crete’s most stunning cities, Chania is on the northern coast of Crete, about 2.5 hours fromHeraklion You can take a trip from Heraklion by bus (ticket EUR1510).

Chania boasts a stunning old town with cobblestone pedestrian streets, special Venetian estates, and a spectacular old port with among the earliest lighthouses worldwide.

Among the very best things to do in Chania, do not miss out on a check out to the mosque of the Janissaries, the old Jewish quarter and its 15- century synagogue or the church of Agios Nikolaos.

AgiosNikolaos is a really strange church.Inside its yard it’s possible to see not just a belfry however likewise a turret. In truth, throughout the Ottoman guideline of the island, many spiritual structures in the area were changed into mosques.

Check out this strolling trip and food tasting trip of Chania

Spend a Day on the Pink Sand of Elafonisi Beach

Elafonisi beach, Crete
Elafonisi beach, Crete

Elafonisi is a stunning large coast on the Southwest coast ofCrete To get to Elafonisi beach you can take a trip by bus from Chania (ticket EUR9.00) or drive through the incredible canyon of Topolia.

The coasts of Elafonisi are understood for the special pink sand along with for the shallow lagoon, suitable for households with kids.

The tones of blue of the sea are just spectacular and contrast with the extreme mountainous landscape of the island.

Elafonisi remains in a rather separated location, there are a couple of beach bars where you can get the fundamentals, however it’s constantly a great concept to load sufficient beverages and lunch.

TrekAlong among Europe’s Longest Gorges: Samaria

Samaria gorge, Crete
Samaria canyon– Image by Japo

Outdoor experiences belong of their own onCrete There are excellent range of mountains on the island with peaks reaching more than 2000 meters.

The area of Chania is house to the White Mountains, which counts over 15 excellent gorges

The most popular of them, the canyon of Samaria, links the Omalos plateau, in the north of Crete to the Agia Roumeli, a little town on the southern coast of the island, on the Libyan sea.

The trek along Samaria is among the very best things to do in Crete

The course has to do with 13 kilometers long and it takes about 5 hours to cross. It’s among Crete’s most popular tourist attractions, with countless travelers going to each summertime.

If you’re not a skilled hiker, it’s a great concept to book an arranged trip

7. Hike Down to Balos Beach and Lagoon

Balos beach and lagoon, Crete, Greece
Balos beach and lagoon

Another beach you need to check out throughout your Crete vacations is the unique beach of Balos, on the severe west of the island.

The beach has actually frequently been referred to as Crete’s Caribbean and for great factor. The white sand and special emerald color of the sea provide the lagoon an unique sensation.

However, a journey to Balos is not just about the beach. The journey likewise consists of a drive along a notorious dirt roadway on the edge of a cliff, along with a 20- minute walking which can be really strenuous in summertime.

However, no matter how hard the roadway may be, it is among my preferred things to do on the island. The views of the calm, shallow lagoon are a terrific benefit once you leave the roadway behind.

If you do not seem like driving, it’s likewise possible to go to Balos with a day cruise that leaves a number of times a day from the neighboring city of Kissamos.

8. Take an Insane Road Trip down the Mountains

Roads of Crete
Roads of Crete

There are a number of excellent drives all over the island. If you take pleasure in winding mountain roadways and spectacular cliffs, driving on Crete can be a memorable experience.

Some of the most beautiful drives are the ones that take you from the north of Crete to the south, travelling through a really rugged landscape

The roadway in between the towns of Kapsodasos and Kallikratis, for instance, is thought about to be among the most unsafe roadways worldwide, with 11 kilometers of constant barrette turns with a sheer descend towards the sea.

Avoid it if you experience vertigo!

Indulge in Cretan Gastronomy

Cretan salad
Cretan salad

Crete is a paradise for foodies!The Cretan diet plan mainly includes fresh seasonal items, that produce basic and healthy delicious meals.

The premier additional virgin olive oil produced on Crete is the primary staple of the regional gastronomy. It is utilized on salads, to prepare and bake, and even on newly baked bread as a fast bite, with some fresh oregano on top, and a spray of sea salt.

Despite being an island, nevertheless, stewed or grilled goat and lamb are much more popular than fish.

Other regional specials consist of cheese, both aged and soft, honey, and a range of greens and fruits such as grapes, figs, and oranges.

10 Taste Crete’s Olive Oil in a Monastery

Toplou Monastery, Crete
ToplouMonastery, Crete

Crete is the 2nd most significant manufacturer of olive oil inGreece The island has more than 30 million olive trees, a few of them over 3,00 0 years of ages.

There are 2 primary olive tree ranges growing on the island and they produce really little olives that have the ability to stand the dry, hot summer seasons of Crete.

The taste of the regional olive oil is really focused, fruity, and often even spicy.

Some of the very best olive oil originates from the regional abbeys In the area of Lasithi (east Crete), Toplou abbey produces a few of the very best quality olive oil in Greece.

If you’re remaining in the west coast, rather, you can taste genuine Cretan olive oil in the ancient abbey of Agia Triada.

Snap a Selfie above Seitan Limania Beach

SeitanLimania Beach

The lightning-bolt shape of Seitan Limania put this beach on Instagram not so long earlier and made it a popular location to check out in Crete.

SeitanLimania is a beach with relatively hard gain access to that includes a zigzag roadway and a walking down a high hill.

The beach is not arranged, so it’s much better to take with you whatever you require to invest the day. Remember that the cove goes through strong currents so it’s not constantly safe to inexperienced swimmers.

12 Test Your Dancing Skills with Pentozali

Traditional outfit to dance pentozali

Crete is a land where custom-mades and customs are practically alive, and dancing is among the important things that residents and visitors alike take pleasure in the most on Crete.

Pentozali is the conventional Cretan dance that you can witness throughout celebrations and regional events all over the island.

Despite pentozali actually indicating “five steps”, the dance is a mix of 10 various actions in which various dancers take relies on put their abilities to the test with dives and intricate figures that follow the rhythm of the Cretan Lyra, and ancient musical instrument with Byzantine origins.

LearnAbout the Leper Colony of Spinalonga Island

Spinalonga island, former leper colony of Crete
Spinalonga island, previous leper nest of Crete

There are a great deal of things to do on Crete when you take a trip to the east of the island. Close to the city of AgiosNikolaos, it’s possible to check out the island of Spinalonga

This little, prepared island can be checked out in less than an hour and it’s popular for its unstable past as one of the last leper nests of Greece, which closed its doors in 1957 when a remedy for the illness was found.

Today, you can take a boat from the seaside town of Plaka and find Venetian strongholds of Spinalonga.

As you pass the entryway tunnel, you’ll find the world where the clients lived a separated however flourishing life.

Their stores, their deserted homes with gardens, the churches, and the medical facility of Spinalonga.

GetLost in the Old Town of Rethymnon

A picturesque alley in the old town of Rethymnon
A stunning street in the old town of Rethymnon

Rethymnon is another essential city of Crete, situated in between the areas of Chania and Heraklion.

Probably the best-preserved Venetian city on Crete, the old town of Rethymnon has a captivating old port with a lighthouse and a number of tavernas lining the boardwalk.

In the old town, you can check out a few of the most excellent turrets of Crete, stunning estates with Turkish terraces, and the remains of the star-shaped Venetian fortress or Fortezza, situated on top of a hill neglecting the sea of Crete.

Rethymnon has a number of intriguing museums, such as the Archaeological Museum and the Historical and Folklore Museum where it’s possible to find out about conventional regional crafts, such as pottery and embroidery.

Spend the Night in a Mountain Village

A peaceful street in the mountain town of Kritsa, Crete

Those who wish to experience a genuine Crete location need to not miss out on a journey to any mountain town on the island.

The most conventional towns are understood for various factors, some have actually played a crucial function in the fights for the freedom of the island, while others produce special crafts or staple items.

One thing is specific, however, time appears to have actually stopped still. Life is really basic in the mountains, and there’s absolutely nothing like among these towns for those wishing to unwind throughout their Cretan vacation.

Visit the Historic Arkadi Monastery

The church of Arkadi Monastery
The church of Arkadi Monastery

The most popular abbey of Crete is Moni Arkadi, in the area ofRethymnon It’s a lovely prepared structure, with a baroque church and stunning gardens.

Back in 1866 numerous residents looked for sanctuary from the Turks inside the abbey however after weeks of siege, they chose to dedicate suicide rather of giving up.

This occasion played an essential function in the last freedom from over 200 years of Turkish profession of the island, causing Crete’s marriage with Greece.

Today, traces of that fight are still noticeable in the walls in Arkadi.

Yet, in spite of its terrible past, this is among the most stunning and serene structures you can see on CreteIsland

17 Sail to among Crete’s Smaller Islands

Chrissi island, Crete
Chrissi island, Crete

There are a couple of stunning islands surrounding the coast of Crete If you’re remaining in the area of Lasithi, it’s possible to take a boat and cruise to the unoccupied island of Chrissi

Also referred to as Gaidoruronisi or the island of the donkeys, Chrissi is a really little island off the southern coast of Crete, on the Libyan sea, simply an hour far from the seaside city of Ierapetra.

Chrissi island hosts Europe’s biggest juniper tree forest, an uncommon tree frequently puzzled with cedars. It’s a safeguarded reserve, no greater than 2 km large and 7 km long.

There are a couple of various bays, the closest to the pier is Chrissi Ammos, nevertheless, it’s normally crowded with daytime visitors getting here from Crete.

For a more separated experience, head to the east of Chrissi Ammos Here, the beach of Kataprosopo is an ideal area for snorkeling and it’s normally deserted.

Remember that it’s not possible to invest the night on Chrissi, there are no hotels, stores, or anything!

A couple of canteens offer food and beverages on the beach however they are rather pricey. It’s not a bad concept to load a light lunch for the day.

The boats to Chrissi leave daily from the port of Ierapetra if the weather permit.

If you actually wish to visit this deserted island, it’s smart to schedule more than one night in Ierapetra, simply in case you come across strong winds and the boat to Chrissi is canceled for the day.

Drive around the Lasithi Plateau

The traditional landscape and the windmills of the Lasithi plateau
The conventional landscape and windmills of the Lasithi plateau

The23 km roadway that circles around the Lasithi Plateau is a wonderful drive that you can take pleasure in throughout your Crete trip.

The plateau stands about 805 meters above water level and has excellent views of the mountains and the fertile plain listed below.

When driving around the location, it’s a great concept to find any of the 18 towns of the plateau, among the most popular is Psychro, understood for the stunning Cave of Zeus.

According to the misconception, this is the location where the God Zeus, born upon the island, was raised by a goat while his mom was attempting to conceal him from his daddy, Chronos.

The cavern is made from a number of chambers with stunning columns of stalactites and stalagmites. According to research study, this is among the lots of ancient Minoan locations of praise of Crete.

Here, archaeologists have actually discovered spiritual figures and other items gotten in touch with ancient spiritual routines.

GoWine Tasting in among Crete’s Wineries

Red grapes from Heraklion, Crete
Red grapes from Heraklion, Crete

When you go to Crete, you can not leave the island without very first tasting among the 13 special grape ranges of the regional vineyard.

An older white wine press discovered in the white wine area of Heraklion shows the island’s long history in white wine making, a market continually active because a minimum of as far back as the Bronze Age.

Today, there are over 35 wineries open up to the general public where you can taste the white wines of Crete.

If you like reds, opt for the kotsifali and the liatiko ranges. If you choose the whites, rather, certainly attempt the vidiano range, among the earliest white grapes, referred to as the increasing star of the regional ranges.

Check out this winery and olive oil day trip from Chania

Drink a Shot of Tsikoudia

Not whatever is white wine on Crete! Tsikoudia, likewise referred to as raki, is Crete’s most popular beverage and a clear expression of the regional hospitality.

Even if you’re not a lot into strong beverages, possibilities are that you will experience whatever about raki from the first day on the island.

Raki is a regional extract, with a rather high alcoholic gradation (about 45 degrees), served in any provided dining establishment or taverna as a complimentary reward at the end of every meal.

It’s normally coupled with fresh fruit or a little meal of yogurt and honey, likewise on the home, and it’s the best reason to discover your very first words in Greek (Gia mas!Or Cheers!), make a toast, and take part in friendly discussion.

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