Crete Travel Guide

Greece  #2 in Best Greek Islands
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Best Things To Do in Crete

You'll find plenty to keep you busy in Crete. History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, while those seeking the sun can soak up the rays along the island's sandy coasts. Outdoorsy types can hike their hearts out at Samaria Gorge in Chania and shopaholics will love the boutique-lined boulevards of Agios Nikolaos. 

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Things to do in Crete
    View all Photos
    #1 in Crete
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're in Rethymnon, then you shouldn't miss the opportunity to wander the narrow alleys of Old Town, a seaside neighborhood that dates back to the 11th century. Here you'll find prime examples of Venetian Renaissance architecture along with splashes of Turkish influence spread throughout the city.

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Vai Beach (Palm Beach)
    View all Photos
    #2 in Crete
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Also known as Palm Beach, Vai Beach is mainly known for its stunning landscape. The beach is home to the largest palm grove in Europe with 4,500 palm trees that have been there for more than 2,000 years. So if you're looking to avoid renting a beach umbrella, you've come

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Elafonissi
    View all Photos
    #3 in Crete
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located in the southwest corner of Crete, Elafonissi beach sparkles with pink-tinted sand and crystal-clear Mediterranean waters. If you're feeling adventurous, you can wade across Elafonissi's shallow lagoon to a small, uninhabited island, home only to a historic lighthouse, a chapel and more than 100 native plant species. Recent travelers

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    The Palace of Knossos
    View all Photos
    #4 in Crete
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    A labyrinth of massive columns and beautiful frescoes, the Palace of Knossos is a testament to the sophistication of the Minoan civilization that disappeared sometime in the 14th century. According to legend, it was also home to the mythical Minotaur of King Minos. The site was restored extensively by the

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Samaria Gorge National Park
    View all Photos
    #5 in Crete
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Stretching for about 10 miles through southern Chania Prefecture's White Mountains, Samaria Gorge is thought to be one of the longest canyons in Europe. The gorge trail begins on the Omalos plateau at Xyloskalo, perched high among the mountains. It then winds its way 10 miles between some 1,600-foot vertical walls

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Historical Museum of Crete
    View all Photos
    #6 in Crete
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Historical Museum of Crete, located in the capital city of Heraklion, chronicles Cretan life from early Byzantine times to the Modern period. If you're interested in the older stuff, check out the nearbyHeraklion Archaeological Museum. 

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Venetian Fortezza
    View all Photos
    #7 in Crete
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE

    Built atop a hill inRethymnon Old Town, the Fortezza (for-TED-za) stands as a symbol of Crete's tempestuous past. The Venetian ruling class, who oversaw the construction of the imposing Fortezza in the late 16th century, hoped it would protect Crete against an Ottoman invasion. But all that labor was for

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Heraklion Archaeological Museum
    View all Photos
    #8 in Crete
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a must-see in Crete — and all of Greece, even — for its extensive collection of Minoan art. Highlights include a mini-statue of a Snake Goddess and the Phaistos Disk, a clay tablet with symbols that have not been deciphered to this day. All artifacts (spanning some 5,000 years

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Cretaquarium
    View all Photos
    #9 in Crete
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located approximately 9 miles east of Heraklion, the Cretaquarium is home to 2,000 sea animals and 200 different Mediterranean species. If you're an animal lover, traveling with kids or just looking to kill some time, the Cretaquarium should be on your list.

    ...Read More »
  • #10 in Crete
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Historical and Folk Art Museum resides in an old Venetian mansion in the city of Rethymnon, about 50 miles west of Heraklion. Founded in 1973, the museum focuses on rural life in Crete with exhibits that cover everything from ceramics to farm equipment.

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Crete

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