When you think of holidays in Crete, you often think of sandy white beaches, beautiful little whitewashed houses and lots of yummy food and drink.

Crete has another side though; its cities. A trip to the city is an ideal way to mix relaxation with a bit of shopping and culture.

Here’s our guide to Crete’s top cities:


Heraklion is the capital of Crete and is great for sightseeing. Visit Koule’s fortress which sits on the mouth of the port, welcoming you in. It was built in the 16th century by the Republic of Venice.

If you like shopping, head to Daedalou Street, for all the designer stores. Alternatively, you could take a waterfront stroll to one of the many cafes in the area, and watch the world go by.

If history is your thing, as well as the fortress the city is home to a huge archaeological museum full of ancient treasures from around Crete.


Chania is a beautiful little city, with a spectacular Venetian port which it’s well known for. The area near the harbour is the best place for sightseeing and soaking up the atmosphere; expect little cobbled streets, classic architecture and lovely waterfront places to eat.

Take a visit the Mosque of the Janissaries, which is the oldest Ottoman building in Crete, or if you like naval history the Maritime Museum is worth a visit.

If you want to pick up some local produce, the market is open daily except Sundays and is a melting pot of colours, smells and tastes.


A mix of Turkish and Venetian architecture, this old city is a gem to stroll around. The Paleontological Museum, housed in a 9 domed mosque, is well worth a visit – even if just for the mosque alone.

There are two sides to the city; the beach strip, where you can eat, drink and be merry, and the old town which has a more civilised and low key air to it. Either are great to experience for a day trip.

If you’re around in July to August, watch out for the turtles who lay their eggs on the beaches.

To book a stay in Crete, please contact us through email on info@purecrete.com!