Crete is one of the largest islands in Greece, and also has a distinctive architecture this island should surely be on your list of places to visit while in Greece. There are an abundance of activities to do and attractions which will leave you speechless, you can easily spend a week around here and still not get bored.
You have the option to either choose between Chania or Heraklion to stay and move around the various attractions and beaches around town! Also a piece of advice, I highly recommend hiring a car to get around here otherwise it can get expensive, this island is gigantic and has plenty of places to see which are spread around.
Beach is all I need – If you are here to relax and unwind, and spend your days touring around the multiple beaches of the island then you are in for a treat as Crete offers many beautiful beaches but the most popular ones are Preveli, the crystal clear water here is hauntingly beautiful and it is fenced by some cool palm trees too. Another fantastic beach in Chania is Elafonisi, it has pinkish mesmerising sand but I should warn you it is a bit too crowded especially during the good days. Seitan Limania beach of Chania is also quite a hidden gem and so underrated, it’s like you are in a wonderland. Also If you are staying close by to Heraklion then check out Lygaria, and lastly my favourite one is at Rethymno which is Agios Pavlos Sand Dune beach, you heard it right, and it gives out such a Mediterranean vibe and the backdrop is scenic too. If you do have more time in your hand then you can also check out Matala beach which used to be a fishing village and has some cave formations too. Lastly, you beach fanatics have to see Balos Beach it’s such raw beauty, you be stunned by this exotic beach.
Samaria Gorge – Surprisingly, hiking is a popular activity here on the island and why wouldn’t it be, after all, it has plenty of natural wonders. Add Samaria Gorge to your list, it’s 16km long and would take 6-7hrs of hiking which is worth it. There is also an entrance fee of €5, if you only like to see a bit of it then I recommend you take a ferry to Agia Roumeli which is the end part of this national park.
The Old town of Chania and Heraklion – If you are in Crete you need to make it to the charming old town of Crete, it has wonderful restaurants, shops and plenty of cafes alongside the harbour and a lighthouse. If you are more of a party person then Malia at the North of Crete is your place to be!
If you like to learn a bit about the history of Crete then you can pay a visit to Heraklion Museum, or the Knossos palace which is now an Archeological site. Also, another fascinating place to see near Chania is the Holy Trinity Monastery, it is quite a place.
Caves – I was extremely surprised to find such fascinating caves on the island of Crete, if like me you like to appreciate Mother Nature and be flattered by the beauty of Crete, then visit Melidoni Cave here, it takes around 30min to tour it. Another popular cave to visit is the Cave of Zeus, probably my favourite one too, a bit of walking involved as there are plenty of steps here but surely worth a visit. Lastly, if you are around the fancy town of Agios Nikolas then you can even head to the famed Diktean Cave.
Agios Nikolas – After Chania and Heraklion, this area is gaining quite a bit of attention! It is indeed a touristy place but not too crowded like the other towns. Here you can also see Lake Voulismeni, visit the Kitroplatia Beach or the village of Kritsa. Spending half a day in this town is quite ideal and later on, you can even explore the majestic Mirambello bay which is not too far from Agios Nikolas, did you know it is one of the largest bays in Europe.
While you can spend months touring this gorgeous island, these attractions are some of the most visited places. If you do have more time though, you can check out the village of Sissi, Rethymno or the laidback town of Loutro. Regardless of what you choose to do, Crete is just going to impress you and you want to come back for more.