The Authentic Traveller’s Guide to Crete, Greece
Blessed with miles of pristine beaches, a turbulent history and magnificent mountains there are many reasons why so many dreams of Crete island have come true in Greece. Tourists come to hear the mythical stories of the Greek gods and test their palettes on the local cuisine.
One of the major reasons to visit Crete is the breathtaking variety of beaches that you can visit, as the island offers several shallow sandy beaches along the rocky coast. Don’t forget the azure Mediterranean, reflected in mesmerizing Greek lights.
Balos Beach, Vai Beach, Elafonisi Beach and Scenic Crete Beach. Around the island of Crete there are dozens of seaside resorts, from the bustling tourist city of Chania to the party town of Malia and the relaxing village of Kato Zakros. One of the many things that make a visit to Crete so special are the different cities and types of people.
The list below combines the jewels of Crete with other remote places and attractions. Although Crete fits into the broader itinerary of Greece, some travellers devote their entire trip to the island, spending weeks exploring its beaches and mountain towns. Consider this 8-day tour to immerse yourself in Cretan culture : From the northwestern port city of Chania to Vamos you will take a guided village-to-village walk, learn how to prepare meals using Island produce, stroll through the waterfront botanical gardens, enjoy views of ancient archaeological sites such as the famous Knossos and Aptera archaeological sites, and for travellers with less time check out the 5-day version of this tour in Chania. Here is the beach that we recommend for every type of traveller in our travel guide island of Crete.
There are over 30 wineries in Crete, of which you can explore as many as on the island on a day trip from Chania to Heraklion. Immerse yourself in Cretan history at Knossos Palace and Phaistos Palace in Spinalonga, the main attractions of Crete. In just nine days, you will discover many of the highlights of Crete on this excellent tour in the northwestern city of Chania. You will drive through the Samaria Gorge, the famous archaeological site of Knossossos, the beautiful beach of Balos Gramvousa and the agricultural Vamos and will delight you with wine and olive oil.
In low season, Crete is one of the rare Greek islands with a large tourist population all year round with hotels and attractions open in places such as Santorini and Mykonos. You can get some great, year-round deals on specific trip elements though, like a Heraklion taxi to pretty much anywhere you want to go next.
Although it fits into the broader Greece itinerary, some travellers devote their entire trip to Crete, spending a week or more exploring the beaches and mountain towns of the islands. Although time is short, the remote Lasithi region manages to focus on the best of what Crete has to offer: clear views, local traditions, great secluded beaches and unique mountain roads.
The fertile Amari Valley with its picturesque villages lies between the central plain and the south coast in particular the Playa Beach which is probably the best Crete has to offer.