Best Things To Do in Crete

There is nowhere in Europe quite like Greece, and there is nowhere in Greece quite like Crete. If you’re wondering what to do on this sprawling island paradise, we’ve got you covered. With its stunning beaches, rich culture, and mouthwatering cuisine, Crete is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you’re craving adventure, relaxation, or a taste of history, there’s something here for everyone. So, let’s dive into our list of the best things to do in Crete and make the most of your Greek island getaway!

Admire the views at Chania Port

Step back in time as you wander through the old Venetian port in Chania. With its stone walls and painted buildings, this picturesque spot is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a romantic evening. Head there at sunset for breathtaking views and choose from the selection of charming bars overlooking the water. Don’t miss the iconic lighthouse at the port’s end, a true gem of the harbour.

Hike through the Samaria Gorge

Embark on an epic adventure through the Samaria Gorge, a vast national park offering a dramatic 16 km hiking route. Traverse narrow pathways and discover abandoned villages as you immerse yourself in the island’s rugged beauty. Best tackled in spring or autumn, this hike promises unforgettable views and a chance to connect with Crete’s wild side. Be warned, the hike takes around 6 to 8 hours, and although it is mostly downhill, it is steep and requires some level of physical fitness. However, it is worth it! Plus, you may even see some Kri-kri, the rare Cretan mountain goat, during the hike.

Samaria Gorge Crete Greece

Relax on a pink beach

Indulge in a day of relaxation on the pink sands of Elafonisi, a tiny islet accessible from the Cretan mainland. Swim in the turquoise waters, relax on the famously pink-tainted sand, and explore the island’s hidden caves and rock formations. 

Discover more of the best beaches in Crete in our blog.

Elafonisi Beach Crete Greece

Soak in history at Knossos Palace

If you’re a fan of history, this is one of the most important places to visit in Crete. Step into the ancient world with a visit to Knossos Palace, a site steeped in myth and history. Explore the legendary labyrinth where King Minos is said to have kept the minotaur and marvel at the palace’s well-preserved ruins. Beat the crowds by arriving early or late in the day and immerse yourself in Crete’s rich archaeological heritage.

Knossos Palace Crete Greece

Admire Moni Preveli

Discover the spiritual allure of Moni Preveli, one of Crete’s most revered monasteries. Nestled in the foothills of southern Crete, this 500-year-old site boasts a tranquil setting and a rich history of resistance. Combine your visit with a trip to Preveli Beach below, a hidden gem known for its pristine sands and crystal-clear waters.

Moni Preveli Crete Greece

Stroll through Heraklion

Explore the vibrant streets of Heraklion, Crete’s bustling capital, on a guided walking tour of the old town. Delve into centuries of history as you wander past ancient buildings and landmarks, each one telling a story of the city’s past. Some things that are a must-see on your walking tour include the Venetian fortresses and Ottoman mosques, the Venetian Loggia (which is currently the town hall, and is the perfect example of architecture in the 17th century), the Koules fortress (which is a monument in the port of Heraklion that protected the city against pirates, and later served as a prison), and the central market for fresh and local produce.

Heraklion Crete Greece

Try Cretan delicacies

Cretan cuisine is renowned for its simplicity and freshness, emphasising local ingredients to create flavorful dishes. Some must-try delicacies include a variety of cheeses like Myzithra and Graviera Kirtis, along with unique appetisers such as fried snails and Dakos, a Greek version of bruschetta. Don’t miss out on tasting Raki or Cretan Tsikoudia, a strong clear spirit made from grapes and enjoyed as a symbol of hospitality and friendship in Crete.

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