The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is world-famous for its alluring white-sand beaches, charming seaside villages, centuries-old historical sites and gourmet foodie trails. Within the rugged mountain ranges and lush forested valleys, you’ll discover a soulful culture of live music, folk storytelling, snorkelling and archaeology.
Things to do in Crete
Considered one of Europe’s oldest settlements, Crete is blessed with fascinating history, especially within the Bronze Age archaeological site called Knossos. Settled as early as the Neolithic period, Knossos presents palace ruins, ancient pottery and other priceless archaeological discoveries. Discover more about the local history at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which houses tombs, decorative figurines and Minoan art.
Embrace Crete’s beach lifestyle with windsurfing and swimming around the nearby island of Elafonisi, which has calm, crystal-clear water. One of Crete’s most popular beaches, Vai is known for its palm forest, rocky coastline and alluring water. If you prefer to go sailing or want to play a round of golf by the ocean, head to Mirabello Bay.
Are you visiting with your children? Take them to see over 200 species of marine animals at the Cretaquarium, including sand tiger sharks, red scorpionfish, clownfish and rainbow wrasse. You can also enjoy hours of water-based fun at Watercity, which has over 30 water games and slides, including tube slides, a lazy river, kids’ playground and wave pool.
Food and wine lovers will find their own hidden paradise in Chania, a region known for its Cretan delicacies and wine. If you love dining by the water, head to the Venetian Harbour, which features fine-dining restaurants, seafood tavernas and cafes with views of the local fishing boats.
Getting around Crete
Crete has multiple ferry connections from the mainland and airports in Heraklion, Chania and Sitia. The best way to get around is by hiring a vehicle or catching buses between the major towns. You can also hail taxis or ride bicycles to cover shorter distances.