Land of myths and legends, cradle of some important ancient civilizations, island with beaches and natural landscapes unique in the world, Crete is the ideal destination for an unforgettable vacation. The island is the repository of a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage unique in the world, combined with breathtaking natural beauty. From the Gorges of Samaria to the famous lagoon of Balos, passing through the famous archaeological sites of Knossos, Phaestos and Malia, the island of Crete is the ideal destination for a vacation of relaxation, nature and history.
The western part of the island is the most touristic and also the best equipped while in the southern and eastern part you can still relax in quiet beaches and admire glimpses of daily life in small villages. Many cities, such as Chania and Heraklion, appear as dynamic and multicultural where you can admire the historical and architectural heritage left by the Venetians next to that left by the Turkish domination.
Do not miss a visit to some of the most important monasteries of the island, such as the Monastery of Arkadi and the Monastery of Toplou, places that have written important pages of the history of Crete because they were a refuge for part of the population that rebelled against Turkish rule.
With beaches where famous DJs play live music and cities with a very active nightlife, the island of Crete is also the ideal destination for all those who want to spend a vacation full of fun. Places like Malia and Hersonissos are ideal if you love beach parties and clubs that are open until late at night.
Characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with warm and sunny summers and mild winters, the island of Crete is an ideal vacation destination from April until November. Keep in mind that in October and November the days are still sunny and warm and, along the southern coast of the island, it is still possible to bathe.
The central summer months of July and August enjoy an excellent warm and sunny climate that makes Crete as a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. For this reason, if you want to plan your trip in the summer, we recommend that you do so in advance. The spring season (in the months of May – June) and the autumn are good periods to visit Crete as the climate is still good but there is less tourist influx and the prices of flights and facilities are lower.Crete weather
The island of Crete is a destination that has a lot to give, not only for its beautiful beaches but also for its many attractions, such as museums, monasteries and archaeological sites. A stay in Crete is a perfect trip that can combine different interests: from relaxing on the beach to trekking in the gorges, from visiting archaeological sites to walking in small towns.
The Palace of Knossos, together with the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, are two stops not to be missed during a trip to Crete. Knossos is located just a few kilometers from the old town of Heraklion and visiting it will be like stepping back in time. It is incredible to think how thousands of years ago they could have built such an impressive and fascinating complex.
The Balos Lagoon is a protected area located in the easternmost part of the island of Crete and is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. It can be reached either by boat or by car through the natural reserve of Gramvousa and then having to walk the last stretch.
Balos has a golden sand mixed with the pink of the shells and corals that over the millennia have been brought to shore by the waters and have given the sand this color. The sea has crystal clear waters with shallow waters, but to enjoy in tranquility of this beach is best to go early in the morning before the arrival of tourists.
Together with Balos one of the most beautiful beaches of Crete, Elafonissi nicknamed the Caribbean of the Mediterranean, is characterized by fine sand and clear warm waters. Just in front of the main beach is the small island of Elafonissi, where you can find free beaches and small bays where you can sunbathe in peace.
If you are lovers of trekking and nature you can not miss this beautiful route to the Gorges of Samaria that are located within the National Park. About 16 km long, the route starts from the town of Omalos and arrives until the beach of Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea. The route first crosses a lush forest and then continues inside the gorge itself, where you will also cross points “wide” just 3 meters.
The history of Arkadi Monastery is intertwined with one of the most tragic events that took place on the island of Crete and for this reason it conquers all its visitors. The museum of the monastery tells and preserves testimonies of the siege that the Ottoman army made to this place that had become a refuge for many revolutionaries who opposed the Turkish rule.
Lambita to north from the Mediterranean Sea to south from the Libyan Sea the island of Crete presents beautiful sandy coasts paradisiacal bays and tourist towns alternating with small villages that still live following the traditions of the past. The most famous bathing areas are the so-called pink beaches, Elafonissi and Balos, two corners of paradise located in the westernmost part of the island and characterized by golden sand with pink hues and a sea with warm and clear waters.
Not only beaches of fine sand, the island also has areas with stones such as Glyka Nera a beach in the southern coast of the island characterized by the presence of fresh and drinkable water that comes from an underground spring and that comes out between the pebbles of the beach.
Other beaches not to be missed in Crete are:
Crete can offer a wide selection of accommodations, from luxury hotels to studios (small studios with bathroom and kitchenette), from apartments with private pool to small bed breakfasts. The advice is to book your accommodation in advance in order to guarantee a convenient rate. The island knows how to please everyone: from lovers of beach parties to those seeking relaxation, from couples on a romantic getaway to families with children.
The city of Malia proves to be one of the favorite destinations for those who want a vacation full of beach parties and DJs playing live music until late at night, while Elounda is the favorite resort for those seeking a stay of luxury and relaxation.
The area of Hersonissos, on the other hand, is close to the Star Beach, a large water park, the Aquarium and other attractions suitable for families and children. Chania and Kissamos are two cities that for their location are often used as a “base” to visit the most famous beaches of the island, such as Elafonissi and Balos.
The island of Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is full of heavenly beaches, archaeological sites, monasteries and many other natural beauties that should not be missed during a trip. Therefore, the best way to get around the island of Crete is definitely to rent a car upon arrival at the airport.
Keep in mind that not only the island is very large, but to reach certain towns you will need to follow winding routes with curves and mountain roads. Especially in the southern part of the island, it is not certain that two places that seem close enough on the map are well connected to each other.
Moving within the island, therefore, can take a long time and for this reason having a rental car will allow you to plan it according to your needs. If you arrive in Crete by plane, in Heraklion or Chania, you can pick up the rental car directly at the airport, but we recommend that you book it in advance.
Located about 95 km from mainland Greece, the island of Crete lies between the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.