Crete
About

The largest Greek island and in fact the fifth largest island in whole Mediterranean sea! Even though Crete is one of the 13 administrative units of Greece, it manages to retain its own cultural traits, such as music and poetry. Cretans foster their unique culture and customs, which will only add to your visiting experience.

Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations due to its ability to satisfy all tastes with dreamy beaches, ancient treasures, traditional culture, rugged mountains and gorges, fantastically diverse scenery and dreamy villages. The island houses a number of large luxury hotels with incredible views, swimming pools, sports and recreation areas. Tourists swarm the numerous archaeological sites of the Minoan civilization, old town and port of Chania. A variety of valuable museums, a rich diversity of flora and fauna, delicious food and kind-hearted people – you’ll love it here!

If you happen to be a gourmet, Crete will live up to your expectations. Taverns often produce their own meat, cheese, raki and wine and dishes with locally unique recipes, and Cretan diet is among the healthiest.

The historical side of Crete is immense – it is the birthplace of the first advanced society in Europe, and, being the crossroads between three continents, has had various rule and cultures mixing in over its long history, that has left the island with an abundant heritage of ancient palaces, intimidating fortresses, Renaissance mansions, Turkish bathhouses and magnificent churches.

Facts
  • Crete is the birthplace of the earliest European civilization – the Minoans
  • The highest mountain of Crete is Psiloritis, reaching 2,456 m
  • Crete falls between the Mediterranean and North African climate zone
  • There are more than 3,000 caves in Crete
Flights to Crete
Eat

Kalitsounia

Small cheese pies, made in salty or sweet varieties and usually stuffed with myzithra or local herbs and served throughout Crete.

Dakos

A fantastic Greek meze or appetizer salad made with barley rusks, grated fresh tomato, myzithra, virgin olive oil, salt, oregano and pepper.
Drink

Tsikoudia

Also commonly known as raki and the national drink of Crete. A clear, strong liquor distilled from grape dregs after pressing wine.

Cretan Wine

Traditionally home-made and rarely bottled, Cretan wine is more akin to port or sherry, and will have many taste and sweetness varieties.
See

Fortezza

Built atop a hill in Rethymnon Old Town, the Fortezza stands as a symbol of Crete's tempestuous past. Beautiful sunsets here!

Vai Beach

Also known as Palm Beach and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Crete. It is the largest natural palm forest in Europe.
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Perfect for
Archeology Tours
Caving
Delicasies
Driving
Hiking
History
Mountan Biking
Museums
Park Walks
Sailing
Sightseeing
Places to Visit

Samaria Gorge National Park

16 km through southern White Mountains in Chania Prefecture, Samaria Gorge is one of the longest gorges in Europe and home to hundreds of plant species, as well as the rarely seen and endangered kri-kri, or Cretan goat. The raw beauty of the gorge with its steep, soaring high rocks, rugged terrain and plants will inspire awe and amaze you. Carved by a small river flowing between the mountains of Avlimaniko and Volakias, the rock walls are a mere 3 m apart at the narrowest point, whereas the broadest point spans 150 m, so the hike will surely provide plenty of nature-made contrast.

Knossos

Just 5 km south of Heraklion lie the remains of the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos. The palace was built around 1900 BC, then destroyed by a massive earthquake around 1700 BC, then rebuilt to a more comprehensive design, and finally devastated in a fire some 50 years later. As the capital of the ancient Minoan civilization, the captivating site is extensive and incorporates a palace complex, courtyards, private apartments, baths, storage pits, theatral area, shrines and beautiful frescoes, that will make you wonder, how all this grandeur might have looked at the time of the Minoans. All in all, Knossos will take about 2 hours to walk through. A prior visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum will give you a lot more context here, and a local guide even more so. Though the remains of Knossos are generally well-preserved, some parts have been controversially restored in the early 20th century by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans.

Venetian Harbor

Once you see it, you may think that a little piece of Venice has moved over here – the ensemble of old, pastel-colored buildings and harbor waterfront testify that the Venetians once had a bustling and important hub here, further evident from the remains of some massive and rather well preserved fortifications, crowned by the Firkas Fortress. You can easily spend a few hours here, walking around the harbor or to the Venetian lighthouse, visiting the Naval Museum, enjoying a break at one of the cozy restaurants, or just relaxing and watching the world go by.
Flights from