Crete is an island full of history, beautiful beaches and charming little villages. It’s easy to see why holidays in Crete are so popular.
When you arrive you’ll be hard-pressed to choose what to do first so we’ve put together the top five things to see, so you can spend the rest of your time sunbathing, swimming or eating!
1. Elafonissi Beach
On the South West side of Crete, Elafonnisi Beach is a must-see for its sandy pink beaches. It’s a little island accessible by bus, car or boat, and sometimes you can even walk there because the water is really shallow.
There’s nothing on the island but beaches, coves and beautiful turquoise waters, so it’s great for exploring, relaxing and sunbathing.
If you’re into history or archaeology, this is for you. Just 5 km from the city of Iraklion, the historical Palaces of Knossos are a real archaeological find dating back to neolithic times (around 6000 B.C).
Get here early or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. You can explore on your own, which will take at least a couple of hours due to its size. Alternatively, there are also guided tours which last an hour and a half.
3. Venetian Harbour
A lot of Crete is influenced by Venetian and Ottoman rulers, and the Venetian Harbour in Chania is a spectacular example of this. Lined by lots of pretty pastel houses, and bustling with shops, cafes and restaurants, it’s a vibrant place to walk, eat and people watch.
The architecture is beautiful and well preserved too, and you’ll find the Firkas Fort, which was built to protect the city, on the harbour front.
If the weather isn’t great, or you don’t fancy snorkelling to see fish, a trip to the CretAquarium is an alternative. Built on a former military base, this huge aquarium is home to a range of sea creatures including stingrays, octopus and sharks.
5. The Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete
If you prefer a bit more greenery, then the Botanical Park is the place to visit. Full of fruit trees, herbs and flowers across a 20-hectare site, it’s a beautiful place for a relaxing stroll.
The restaurant is great for a leisurely lunch and offers a range of regional and seasonal food and drinks.