25 BEST Issues To Do In Crete, Greece


Are you on the lookout for issues to do in Crete, Greece? Years in the past, we have been in a position to go to the biggest island in Greece. Touring to Crete then was a Minoan dream we needed to fulfill earlier than we left the Mediterranean. Three years later, we discovered ourselves visiting the 260 km lengthy island once more, trying to find the very best issues to do in Crete, Greece.

We traveled from Stefanou Seaside to the well-known Pink Sand Seaside and have been by no means upset. The Wikitravel web page for Crete states, “If there have been a magnificence contest for Greek islands, Crete would absolutely be among the many favorites.” After visiting Crete, with its secluded bays, empty villages, deep valleys, and pink sand seashores, we are able to attest that Wikitravel is correct.

The island is huge, gorgeous, rugged, and stuffed with pleasant Cretans that will even be extra hospitable than their mainland counterparts. It’s no marvel that the island is a high vacation spot for European beach holiday goers. Listed below are a few of our favourite issues to do in Crete, divided by the 4 totally different areas of Crete.

On this Crete Journey Information we’ll cowl

  • The place Is Crete?
  • The Greatest Issues To Do In Crete
  • Greatest Eating places On Crete
  • How To Get To Crete
  • The Greatest Time To Go to Crete
  • The place To Keep In Crete
  • How Lengthy Ought to You Spend On Crete
  • The Greatest Seashores Round Crete

  • When to Go to: The most effective time to go to Crete is between Could and September. I completely love touring to Greece in September when the climate just isn’t so scorching scorching and crowds are a bit of decrease.
  • The place to Keep: Probably the most luxurious place to remain on the island is Nana Princess Suites Villas & Spa in Hersonissos.
  • Find out how to Get Round Crete: Crete is a big island, and one of the best ways to get round is along with your own rental car.
  • High 3 Crete Highlights: Balos Seaside, Stefanou Seaside, and Elafonissi Seaside
  • Good to Know: Crete is split into 4 prefectures Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, and Lasithi Prefecture
  • Journey to Different Islands: Crete is nicely linked to different Greek islands. All the time test Ferry Hopper to plan your route.

The place is Crete?

Balos Beach Crete
Balos Seaside / Issues to do in Crete

Earlier than we dig into the finest issues to do in Crete, let’s discuss the place Crete is positioned. Crete is the biggest island in all of Greece, and when you’re on the island and driving round, you’ll undoubtedly really feel the size. It’s one of the vital well-known Greek islands and can be one of the most visited, particularly in the summertime months. Being the fifth largest island in all the Mediterranean Sea, there may be loads of area to wander round right here. Nonetheless it may possibly take hours to get from one space to the following, which isn’t frequent on most different Greek islands.

Crete is positioned within the southern Aegean Sea between mainland Greece and Libya. Crete has drastic white mountains rising out of the ocean and gorgeous white-sand seashores. The Greeks listed below are referred to as Cretan. Crete has a inhabitants of just about 635,000 individuals!

Cool Things to do in Crete, Greece.

Once you’re questioning what to do in Crete, Greece, take into account that there are 4 important areas of this big island. The areas are damaged down as follows: Lasithi, Chania, Heraklion, and Rethymno. We’ll break down all the highest locations in Crete by area.

Lasithi Area

Lasithi Crete Windmills

Lasithi is the least visited out of all of the prefectures of Crete. Nonetheless, Lasithi has quite a bit to supply guests with its clear seashores, crisp mountain air, and undiscovered Greek villages.

Chill out in Elounda

Elounda / Greatest Issues to do in Crete

Elounda is well-known for being the resort hub of Crete. When you have cash, are a celeb, honeymooner, or simply plain fancy, you might be staying someplace in Elounda. Sadly, we aren’t any of this stuff, however we determined to enterprise round Elounda.

After driving previous all of the resorts, we discovered a quiet pebble seaside with calm and clear waters to hang around in for the day with an ideal view of the tiny island of Spinalonga.

Examine Out the Lasithi Windmills

Cool Things to do in Crete, Greece.

In case you’re questioning what to do in Crete and wish one thing totally different head to the Lasithi windmills. I discovered pictures of the windmills on Pinterest and instantly made positive we drove to the Lasithi Plateau whereas we have been in Lasithi. The plateau has a few small, conventional Greek villages round, however the true draw listed below are the windmills.

There will need to have been hundreds of white-sailed windmills on this lovely plateau again within the day. Nonetheless, most are deserted now in favor of contemporary applied sciences, however there are nonetheless a number of which have the white sails on them they usually make for excellent pictures and good viewing. I actually thought visiting the windmills resembled the very best of Crete.

Book a Tour and Follow in the Footsteps of Greek Mythology

Discover Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos / Issues to do in Crete

Once you go to Crete be certain that to discover Agios Nikolaos. Within the far east of Crete is the capital of Lasithi, Agios Nikolaos. It’s an ideal little city to discover and is unquestionably one of many least visited on the island. We loved having a espresso alongside Mirabello Bay whereas gazing on the Sitia mountains.

Take pleasure in Vai Seaside

Vai Beach crete

Vai Seaside is without doubt one of the should do issues in Crete because it’s one of the vital beautiful Crete beaches. Vai Seaside options the biggest pure palm forest in all of Europe. Right here you’ll discover Cretan date palm which might be arduous to search out nearly anyplace else on this planet.

Again within the day, Vai was a full-on backpackers vacation spot, however now it’s a protected space with the forest being fully recovered from the dumping floor.

Chania Area

Chania Crete

We discovered all of the prettiest and vastly totally different seashores in Chania (pronounced HAN-YA). In my view, in case you have the time to go to just one area to go to in Crete, it ought to be Chania. It’s finest to rent a car in Crete and hit up as a lot as you’ll be able to. 

Swim on Balos Seaside (Top-of-the-line issues to do in Crete, Greece)

Things to Do in Crete: Balos Beach
Balos Seaside / Greatest Issues to do in Crete

When contemplating what to do in Crete, take into account Balos Seaside! This seaside could also be touristy, however it’s the most lovely touristy seaside I’ve ever seen. To many, this is without doubt one of the high issues to do in Crete and undoubtedly one of many best beaches in Crete. Positioned on the very western tip of Crete previous Kissamos is Balos Seaside.

When you pay the €1 entrance payment per individual to drive on the unending grime highway to the parking space, it’s essential to then stroll all the way down to Balos seaside.

Your entire manner down, you’ll have probably the most gorgeous view of Balos seaside and all of the totally different colours of blue that embody it. Spending the day right here is enjoyable, cool, and idealistic. Avoid wasting ingesting water, although, for the one manner out is to stroll up all the steps you simply got here down. It’s doable to rent a donkey, however we wouldn’t suggest it as these donkeys aren’t stored within the biggest situation.

Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

Discover Seitan Limania (Stefanou Seaside)

Things to do in Crete, Greece - Seitan Limania

Warning – the drive to Seitan Limania (in any other case referred to as Stefanou Seaside) is heart-stopping, and when you resolve to take the trail all the way down to this seaside, there may be completely no turning again. The highway down is slim, zig-zagged, and straight down. I actually thought we have been going to die on our manner all the way down to Stefanou Seaside. Nonetheless, as soon as we received to the parking space and noticed this seaside, I forgot all in regards to the drive as a result of it was completely unbelievable.

The enjoyable doesn’t finish when you get out of the automotive both; you continue to should stroll down 15 extra minutes via tough terrain to get to the sand, so carry some tennis sneakers. Make sure that to carry some snacks and drinks whilst you’re at it too, belief me, you don’t need to have the make the trek again up for goodies.

Both nobody has heard of this seaside, or individuals don’t need to make the arduous trek to it as a result of it was fairly remoted when it comes to vacationers after we visited. After we have been right here, not a single individual sunbathing was over 30 years outdated. Perhaps it’s simply the youngins who’re prepared to danger their lives to have a secluded seaside. It’s considered one of my favourite issues to do in Crete and possibly all of Greece, for that matter. I’d even do the drive once more to spend one other day right here!

Discover Pink Sand on Elafonissi seaside

Elafonisi Beach
Elafonissi Seaside / Greatest Issues to do in Crete

Do the seashores of Crete sound attractive but? Properly, I’m lastly attending to that pink sand beach in Greece.  Make sure that to spend at the very least someday at Elafonissi seaside (that’s what the pink sand seaside known as).

This seaside just isn’t too crowded, is located subsequent to a nationwide park, and the sand is PINK. Okay, it’s not vivid pink like another locations on this planet, however within the daylight, the sand positive does shimmer totally different hues of pastel pink.

The pink sand is brought on by the coral being damaged down into tiny fragments. **Between Balos, Stefanou Seaside, and Elafonissi seaside, the pink sand seaside is the best to get to by automotive (via paved mountain roads). In case you’ve performed all the things else and nonetheless what to do on Crete Island that is it.

Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Small Group Tour

Chill at Lake Kournas

Lake Kournas

The one freshwater lake in Crete lies in a valley amongst inexperienced, rolling hills. The lake isn’t large, however it’s value a number of hours to cease to see the clear, blue, freshwater. The factor to do right here is hire a paddleboat for €5 and benefit from the calm lake water.

Hike Samaria Gorge

Cool Things to do in Crete, Greece.

This can be a Nationwide Park of Greece and a important vacation spot for vacationers in Crete. It’s arguably among the finest locations to see in Crete and is many guests’ favourite factor to do in Crete. Guests can hike via the gorge from the Omalos plateau to Agia Roumeli.

This Greek hike takes 5 to seven hours, relying on bodily capacity and the way a lot you cease. Summers in Greece are extremely popular and really humid so be certain that to begin early and produce a lot of water to keep away from a horrible day.

Book a Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

Snap Images of Loutro

Loutro crete

Loutro, on the coast of Crete, could also be one of many high issues to do in Crete, Greece. For the well-known whitewashed homes which are so identifiable as “Greek” head to Loutro. Loutro is a small seaside village within the southernmost a part of Chania.

There aren’t many vacationers right here as a result of Loutro can solely be accessed by foot or boat. No automobiles, no massive inns, no overcrowded streets, simply pure Greece. Top-of-the-line issues to do in Loutro is take pleasure in a Greek meal at Anopoli Tavern.

Stand-Up Paddleboard

stand-Up Paddleboard  in crete

There are countless alternatives to face up paddleboard across the Greek islands, however Chania has received to be among the finest places. The water right here is crystal clear, calm, and you might even spot a sea turtle. In case you guide a tour, you’ll possible have the ability to discover some superior cliff leaping spots as nicely!

Book a Stand Up Paddleboard Tour

Wine and Olive Oil Tour

cretan food

Crete is house to many household wineries and olive oil factories, so why not mix a visit to see each! Spend the day meandering round aromatic olive bushes (a number of the oldest on this planet at 3000 years outdated), and after take pleasure in some chilly Greek wine.

Lots of the wines on this space are award-winning native wines proper from the Kissamos area!

Book a Tour to the Family Farm!

Heraklion Area

Heraklion City Waterfront

Most journeys to Crete will begin or finish within the capital. Heraklion is house to the principle port in Crete and likewise the biggest airport on the island. Heraklion is the capital metropolis and has all of the capital metropolis issues for an island nation.

A Starbucks, an Archaeological Museum, and plenty and many site visitors. The town is an efficient place to go to for a day or so earlier than leaping off to the remainder of the prefecture.

Be taught About Historical past at Knossos


Knossos is the biggest archeological web site on the island and is taken into account the oldest metropolis in Europe. Visiting right here is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Crete for households. Knossos is located very near the capital and might simply be visited in a few hours. It’s undoubtedly one of the vital fascinating issues to see in Crete. The Palace of Knossos is undoubtedly the spotlight of the archeological web site and is the place most Minoan political and ceremonial exercise came about.

If you’re unaware of who the Minoans are, like I used to be, then simply know that they have been an Aegean Bronze Age civilization from Crete earlier than Historic Greece was even a factor. These Minoans are OLD, like 3600 B.C. outdated.

Book a Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Guided Tour

Social gathering in Malia

Malia Town Crete

Hailed because the occasion city of Crete, we made positive to attempt to keep away from Malia. Nonetheless, if partying is your factor, then Malia is the place to drink, eat, and occasion the evening away with like-minded younger British vacation goers.

We by chance drove via this city and couldn’t wait to get out. Crowds have been sky excessive and I fully forgot I used to be in Greece and began to recollect my early school days in Panama Metropolis Seaside…and never in a great way.

Catch the Sundown at Chersonissos


Not removed from the city of Heraklion lies Chersonissos. We didn’t discover something extremely notable in Chersonissos however spent a few week right here as a result of it had a number of the most reasonably priced lodging on Crete.

Chersonissos has loads of little Greek villages to walk round earlier than heading to the seaside and makes for an ideal base to discover the remainder of Heraklion.

Be like Zeus in Matala


It’s mentioned that Matala Seaside is the place Zeus swam ashore within the guise of a bull with Europa earlier than having intercourse along with her. Romantic. Matala Seaside is a superb base for exploring southern Crete.

The seashores listed below are clear, the water pure blue, and there are spectacular rock cliffs and caves to discover. Matala Seaside is often known as a “hippie haven,” notably from the ’60s when European hitchhikers and free spirits settled right here.

Pattern Native Wines on a Vineyard Tour

Things to Do and See in Crete, Greece

Lots of Crete’s finest wineries are located within the Heraklion prefecture. We went to Lyrarakis Winery in Monofatsi village and had a wonderful wine tasting with cheese for €10.

Nonetheless, in your personal automotive, you’ll be able to simply spend the entire day visiting all of the totally different wineries within the area. Make sure that to have a chosen driver to get you safely house on the Cretan roads! Here is a good wine tour that will take care of all that for you!

Sail to Dia Island

Dia Island

Dia, additionally pronounced domestically Ntia, is a small uninhabited island off northern Crete. You possibly can simply take a crusing journey there from Heraklion and discover the numerous coves.

Small group sails of 8 individuals or much less go away incessantly and can guarantee you’ve a implausible time out on the water, whether or not that’s swimming, fishing, snorkeling, or having fun with some mountain climbing on the paths on Dia.

Book a Sailing Trip

Rethymno Area

Rethymno Crete Alley Way

Positioned proper within the middle of the island, Rethymno (or Rethymnon) shouldn’t be missed. Rethymno’s outdated city is vibrant and lively. The encompassing villages showcase true Cretan hospitality. 

Wander Round Rethymno City

Great Things to do in Crete, Greece.

When questioning what to see in Crete, don’t skip Rethymno. Rethymno is a colourful coastal city with the very best nightlife in Crete and undoubtedly value exploring for a day or two.  You possibly can spend an entire day right here simply wandering via the alleyways and cobbled streets, snapping pictures at each colourful constructing.

If historical past is your factor, then Rethymno is stuffed with historical ruins. Or promenade alongside the harbor, and decide from the plethora of eating places to eat.

Bask within the Solar at Plakias Seaside

Plakias Beach on Crete

Right here on the southern facet of Rethymno prefecture, you can see a 1300-meter-long sandy seaside. Plakias is a small village nestled deep within the mountains, and beneath the city is Plakias Seaside, considered one of Cretes’ most well-known nudist seashores.

After all, not the entire seaside is for baring all of it. In actual fact, a majority of the seaside is the place you will discover households and your common sunbather. The southeastern finish of the seaside, close to the Kakomouri headland, is the one half utilized by nudists.

Climb All the way down to Prevali Seaside

Things to Do and See in Crete, Greece

Top-of-the-line issues to do in Crete is go to Prevali Seaside. In case you go farther previous Plakias, you can see Prevali seaside. Prevali seaside is a steep climb down and leads into an attractive secluded little bay. Behind the seaside are intensive rows upon rows of palm bushes, of which Prevali seaside is most identified for.

Try the Clear Waters of Bali Seaside

Fantastic Things to do in Crete, Greece.

Bali seaside felt like it could have been a vacationer’s dream within the ’80s; now it’s stuffed with inns and vacationers. Nonetheless, it does boast extremely clear waters and gorgeous cove seashores.

Eat all of the Cretan Specialties

things to eat in Crete

Top-of-the-line issues to do in Crete is eat! The Cretans used to have one of many healthiest diets globally (till consuming quick meals turned extra handy and funky). The core conventional Cretan eating regimen focuses totally on meals from pure sources from seasonal merchandise. There are such a lot of scrumptious meals to strive that aren’t simply the standard Greek fare.

Listed below are a few of our absolute Cretan favorites:

  • Fried snails
  • Cretan Raki
  • Fried Feta with Honey
  • Yogurt with Honey and Seasonal Fruit
  • Dakos
  • Olives and Olive Oil

Greatest Eating places on Crete Island

best restaurants on crete
  • Tavern Stelios in Heraklion: Wonderful employees, tremendous clear, fairly priced and well-reviewed Greek restaurant in Heraklion.
  • Peskesi in Heraklion: Conventional Cretan delicacies in an superior setting.
  • Ya Seafood Restaurant in Hersonissos: Worth delicacies that tastes completely phenomenal. You gained’t go away upset.

Find out how to Get to Crete

By Aircraft

Most Greek Islands both don’t have any airport, or a really small one. Nonetheless on Crete, there are three airports, two of them being worldwide. Heraklion Worldwide Airport is the principle worldwide airport and is the place you’ll discover many flights that may join you on to mainland Europe.

Chania Airport is way smaller and much much less busy than Heraklion airport and likewise has direct connections to the UK, Italy, Cyprus, and loads of different international locations. Then there may be Sitia, which primarily connects to Athens. You possibly can typically discover nice offers to Crete by air, which makes it a significantly better choice than taking an extended ferry.

By Ferry

Crete is extraordinarily nicely linked by ferry. One of many important routes is to Athens, nevertheless that ferry takes over 8 hours, so it’s typically value it to fly as a substitute. It’s also possible to simply get to many islands within the Cyclades from Crete like Paros and Santorini. We suggest checking occasions and costs on Ferryhopper.

Find out how to Get Round Crete

Cretan Roads

The very first thing I want to notice is that we have been in a position to get to all these fantastic locations in Crete as a result of we had a rental car. Touring across the island could be a severe hindrance if we have been solely relegated to public transport. Lots of the secluded seashores and bays talked about are solely accessible by automotive. It’s good to notice that the terrain on the island varies a lot that even when your GPS says one thing is 10km away, it may possibly nonetheless take one hour to get to! A phrase of warning…

Driving in Crete just isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. The roads are rugged, windy, and typically very slim. It additionally appears that each Cretan has someplace to be and that your presence hinders them from attending to their subsequent vacation spot. Take warning, and don’t say that I didn’t warn you. (Individuals right here experience on the shoulder so their quicker counterparts can whizz previous.)

Renting a Car in Crete
our rental automotive in Crete

It doesn’t matter the place you go in Crete. There’s something to see in every nook and cranny of the island and there are such a lot of high issues to do in Crete. As talked about, your finest guess is to rent a car and ensure it’s a dependable automotive. A few these roads are among the many worst we’ve got ever been on earlier than, and after driving via all these windy and bumpy roads for awhile, it simply will get exhausting.

It’s additionally vital to do not forget that all the things in Crete could be very unfold out. We didn’t actually take into account that when planning and rapidly needed to drop websites and sure seashores out of our day as a result of it merely took too lengthy to get to, even with a automotive.

Map Of Issues To Do in Crete, Greece

When is the Greatest Time to Go to Crete?

Things to do in Crete, Greece.
Having fun with Balos Seaside / Issues to do in Crete

Excessive season (June-September)

Like most locations in Europe, Greece’s excessive season runs from June to mid-September. That is when you can see the very best sunny climate as famous above, but additionally crowds, particularly on the favored islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete. Days are longer; the climate is HOT, so that you’ll need to be near a pool or ocean. Resort and automotive rental costs are at their highest, however total it’s one of many best times to visit Greece.

Shoulder Season (April -Could and October-November)

The climate in Greece is cooler throughout these months; some would take into account it way more snug than prime summertime climate. It’s not as busy as {the summertime}, however you’ll nonetheless see a lot of vacationers lingering about. Costs on lodging and automotive leases will drop throughout this time. The shoulder season is usually a implausible time to go to Greece.

Low Season (Late November- early April)

The temperatures are cooler through the off-season in Greece. You’ll nonetheless see loads of sunny days but additionally overcast days and little to no sunbathing. It’s too chilly to take a dip within the water, however you’ll be able to nonetheless benefit from the seashores with some garments on to maintain heat within the breeze. The upside is you’ll discover low costs and low numbers of vacationers.

The place to Keep in Crete?

Best Crete Beaches

There are such a lot of choices for lodging round Crete it might make your head spin when reserving. We have been on the island for 2 weeks staying at a plethora of lodging choices. Listed below are a few of our favorites.

How Lengthy Ought to You Spend on Crete?

Crete is the biggest island in Greece, and also you’ll understand that as quickly as you get there. When you have been to some other Greek islands and assume they appear bigger than anticipated, you’ll be shocked if you get to Crete. It might probably take over 5 hours to get from one finish of the island to the opposite!

You possibly can simply spend three days right here and really feel fulfilled. Nonetheless, you can too spend a full month in Crete and by no means get bored. There may be lots to do and see! If you’re heading to Crete, I like to recommend staying at the very least one week on the island.

We personally spent two weeks in Crete and by no means even scratched the floor of issues to do. We all know we might be again sometime to discover extra!

The Greatest Seashores Round Crete

Sissi Beach

I’ve talked about a number of of our favourite seashores round Crete on this submit, however there are such a lot of extra to discover! In case you’re a seaside lover like me, take into account including a number of of the next to your Crete itinerary.

  • Agiofarago Seaside: Positioned 80km southwest of the city of Heraklion, it’s way more secluded than your common seaside, because it’s simply off the sting of (and sheltered by) a big gorge.
  • Sissi Seaside: Sissi, a captivating seaside hamlet famend as considered one of Crete’s high seaside locations, exudes a tranquil ambiance regardless of its widespread recognition. Positioned 40 kilometers to the east of Heraklion and 26 kilometers to the northwest of Agios Nikolaos city, it stays a peaceable oasis.
  • Kommos Seaside: An open seaside, that’s nice for windsurfers because it will get very windy. As this seaside is extra open, it’s an ideal place to look at the sundown, perhaps with a drink in hand from one of many seaside taverns.
  • Rodakino Seaside: Giant and sandy seaside of Rodakino excellent for households and kids
20 BEST Crete Beaches To Visit


I hope you loved this information on what to do on Crete! Hopefully, you discovered it helpful. Listed below are a number of related articles for extra travel around Greece!

Greek Journey Planning Sources

  • ‘Whats up’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Yasou” and “Efharisto”
  • Foreign money: Euro – (EUR) – €
  • Visa: Schengen visa. Which is 90 days within the European Union out of 180. Many nationalities are granted this on arrival without spending a dime. Examine along with your embassy to see if that’s you.
  • Climate: The climate in Greece is a Mediterranean local weather. This implies winters are gentle and wet, whereas summers are heat and dry with loads of sunshine all year long.
  • What to Pack: Heat climate garments and a swimsuit, don’t neglect a superb pair of garments to go and a jacket for cool nights. Read about what to wear in Greece.
  • Finances: In case you’re within the preliminary phases of planning take a look at our superior submit that breaks down how much a trip to Greece costs.
  • Lease a Automobile: We advise most guests take into account renting a automotive for the very best journey doable. Attempt Uncover Automobile Rent to check quotes from totally different rental businesses. Check Price Here!
  • Shield Your Journey: Don’t neglect to purchase travel insurance! We at all times carry journey insurance coverage to guard from harm, theft, or a canceled journey.
  • Excursions in Greece: Try our checklist of the best tours you can enjoy in Greece!
  • Journey Adapter: Ensure you discover a good adapter to maintain your private electronics charged. In any other case, you might be paying for an inexpensive one when you land. Purchase one here.

Greatest Issues to do in Crete

  • Vai Seaside
  • Balos Seaside 
  • Seitan Limania
  • Elafonisi Seaside
  • Lake Kournas
  • Samaria Gorge
  • Loutro
  • Stand-Up Paddleboard
  • Wine And Olive Oil Tour
  • Knossos
  • Malia
  • Chersonissos
  • Matala
  • Vineyard Tour
  •  Dia Island
  • Rethymno City
  • Plakias Seaside
  • Prevali Seaside
  • Bali Seaside
  • Cretan Meals

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