I'm going on a trip to CRETE in 2023
The Island of Crete, also known until the beginning of the 20th century as “Candia” Island, from the Latin “Candidus” (white), is the largest island in all of Greece.
With 83.000 km2 Of extension, this Island is also the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. One of the reasons why it is such a tourist destination, in addition to its Mediterranean climate, is the coastline, which has a total of 1.040km in length.
This huge one whose capital is Heraklion reef has a population of 620.000 inhabitants, almost the same as the one we have adding the inhabitants of the rest of the Greek islands.
If you like paradisiac places de clear water, White sand beaches full of color and Wilder nature, Crete will be your dream destination.
To those of us who love the beach, the sun and the good weather, we like nothing more than to wake up and lift the blind the blue skyoutside. This is a routine on this island where, sure, the stay will be short for everything you have to see...
It's not just the coves and costas which have more than 1.000 kilometers of travel, because you will also fall in love with their small towns in the middle of nature, the lights of houses that shine at night, and Sunsets worthy of being framed.
What are you going to find in this article?
Do not forget, by the way, that from the 2018 you have to pay tourist tax for sleeping in Greece. The fee varies between 0,5 € and 4 € per day depending on the category of the hotel or accommodation you have chosen to sleep.
Chania, also popularly known as Chania, is probably the prettiest city on the island. From here You can enjoy the island of Gramvousa, the Balos lagoon, the Elafonisi beach and the Samaria gorge.
It is true that in Crete you will find accommodations near these attractions, but it is best that you sleep in Chania since There is much more variety and better prices.
If you stay a few days in the city, you can walk through the port and the promenade, full of bars and restaurants. Also go shopping in the old part of the city, full of small shops, taverns and its famous market.
You can visit all kinds of historical buildings like the Venetian arsenals, which are still intact, and the Mosque of the Jenízaros, being able to decipher in each corner a little more of the history of this charming city.
If what you like most is the sand of a paradise beach and sunbathing, Rethymno is the perfect place to stay, it is said to have the best beaches in all of Crete.
The different hotels in the city offer all kinds of activities that allow you to combine as much as you want with the rhythm of relaxed life in the city.
Rethymno is also a Perfect place for family tourism, away from large crowds and full of activities for children like water parks where you can have fun and family restaurants.
In addition, we advise you to walk among the ruins of the Rethymno Fortress or visit the port and its lighthouse.
La Mirabello Bay is a major treasures of the island of Crete, There you will find some of the best beaches on the island such as the beautiful Voulisma.
If you are fans of public transport, you are in luck, the Most buses to explore the area leave from this city. Make sure you go to Elounda beach, and the island of Spinalonga.
A half way between Agios Nikolaos and Elounda There is a small mountain from which you can see the entire Mirabello Bay on a clear day.
Many hotels found in Agios Nikolaos are child friendly, perfect for families with children who want to spend a pleasant stay in a quiet city, where you can stroll through its main streets full of souvenir shops and taverns.
In the Mediterranean Sea, in a typical landscape of the Greek islands is Heraklion, the most important city on the island of Crete. Fourth most populous city in the country, throughout history it was changing its name until it reached its current denomination.
Heraklion is the place where you will be able to visit the most famous archeological sites of Crete: Knossos, Festos, Gortyna and Agia Triada.
El Palace of Knossos It is, without any doubt, a must for all those history lovers with the aim of learning more about the Minoan civilization.
Thanks to its warm Mediterranean climate, Heraklion is a place ideal to visit at any time of the year through the numerous travel offers you will find. The beaches like kill her, located in the southern part of the island, are very famous throughout all seasons.
The first thing we need to know if we want to travel by plane to the island, is that The Island has 3 airports: the airport Chania, the airport Heraklion and the airport of Sitia. The first two host international flights, and the third, smaller and with less capacity, receives only domestic flights.
Our recommendation is that use a good flight comparator to locate the flight that best suits your needs, here we leave one to facilitate the work of looking for.
[search_flights city = ”heraklion”]
Heraklion airport is the busiest in Crete, and is located just 5 kilometers from the center of Heraklion. If you want to travel to the city, we recommend the company KTEL (https://www.e-ktel.com/en), which, in times like summer, usually offers buses with great frequency (each 5 or 10 minutes).
The distance from the second airport to the center is about 15 kilometers and the same company offers transportation to the center of the city, although less frequently. From this point you can reach tourist places such as Pazinos, Pithari, Korakies and Kaunoupidiana.
The option that most of us who visit the island use is rent a vehicle, be it a car, quad or motorbike. On the island there is a lot of rent to rent a quad because they are super-manageable and are parked anywhere. We leave below a car rental comparator for you to see the best offer on the island.
[search_cars city = ”creta”]
When talking about displacement within the island, we can focus our attention on 3 great options: the taxi, the rental car or public transport.
We may find the first option the most comfortable, since it is not necessary to be aware of the frequency or stops that the bus crosses, nor will problems such as parking or gasoline arise; In any case, the taxi option is also the most expensive, by far, in the long term.
Secondly, we would find the possibility of renting a car, which may prove to be the most comfortable way to get around known areas, but it becomes somewhat more chaotic if we have to be aware of GPS, the road, etc. Therefore, if we do not have certain knowledge about the places to visit, the search for destinations can be a significant waste of time.
We recommend that you stop worrying and focus on the public transportation offered by the state bus company (KTEL). The company's buses run through most areas of the island with high frequency of service.
In addition, you can go with all the information collected from your Web page or inform you right there by approaching the stations located in San Koundouritio (Heraklion) and Hania Porta.
The Island of Crete is a paradise for those beach lovers, since we can find them for all tastes: white or even pink sand, colorful stones, those located in central areas, quieter and wild... Then we will talk about some of the most popular so you can opt for your favorite.
Elafonisi beach in Greece @el lobo / Shutterstock
Elafonisi Beach is located in Chania, in the southwest of the Island. If you are looking for a paradise of pink sand and crystal clear waters, this beach is your best option.
It is a pnational arche, a protected area full of dunes and pink sand due to coral, bright starfish, and where Caretta Caretta turtles live among others. In Elafonisi it is totally forbidden to uproot any plants, disturb animals or catch sand from the beach.
The truth is that its wonderful views make this beach a Busy place in the most tourist months, but if you are considering a getaway on not-so-busy dates and looking to lie on the seashore in silence, this beach is usually very quiet.
You can get to both bus from Chania, as in car, bus or even boat if you do it from Pelaochora.
This beach is located almost 60 kilometers from Chania, is located in the west of the Cape of Gramvousa. Is tropical beach, fine white sand and crystal clear water that sometimes you can acquire turquoise tones, it is a show that you cannot miss.
Falassarna Bay is one of Crete's most famous beaches, and on some occasions it has been awarded the title of the best beach in Crete, and one of the best 10 in all of Europe. And it is that the long beaches of fine sand of this bay are unforgettable, a white sand that makes its waters acquire a crystalline, tropical color.
Usually one of the most visited, so it is also accommodated for this with bars and small beach bars. If you are looking to party, Falasarna beach is home to the best party in Crete the first Saturday of August, where thousands of visitors come. If the first Saturday of August coincides with the 1 day of the month, the party moves on August 8.
It can go from Chania to Falassarna by bus, there are daily buses that cover this route from Chaniá and Kastelli.
If your ideal plan is not to lie down and relax in the sun and look To practice water sports or activities of the style, the beaches of Heraklion, in general, will be your ideal destination. Ammoudara, located at 5 km west of the town, it has hot waters where you can practice windsurfing, among other hobbies.
It is a very organized beach where you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds, and where you can pillar something to eat and drink. In addition, Ammoudara beach has fine sand and shallow water, so it is also suitable for families with young children.
Of course there are showers, changing rooms and life preservers all over. In some areas you can have peace and relaxation, in others the atmosphere is relaxed by good music. Depending on your orientation you will find younger or families with children on the beach.
Very there are rarely rocks or rocks in the water and in general the entrance is very flat. Only during periods of maximum activity the sandy soil is very agitated by the numerous bathers and, therefore, the water is somewhat cloudy.
The beach and lagoon of Balos are the perfect combination for a dream photo shoot. If you have searched Google beaches of Crete, you will surely have found the most spectacular images of these shores.
This is the most wild, exotic and natural area of the island, combined with the turquoise sea and warm temperatures.
In front of the beach, there is a rocky island called Gramvousa and on top of this island, there is a venetian castle with beautiful views of the sea.
To get to Balos you have to follow a dirt road from Kaliviani, a town near Kissamos. It is about 10 kilometers, so it is better to go with a vehicle.
If you don't have a vehicle, there are boats that leave from Kissamos to Balos.
Matala is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and is located on the west coast of Heraklion prefecture This beautiful beach is surrounded by cliffs that make it a private place.
On the rocky cliff on one side of the beach, there are some caves which were carved and excavated in the rock during prehistoric times, 67km southwest of the capital.
The beach stretches for more than 300 meters, and have one gold sand as well as bamboo umbrellas and deck chairs for rent.
This beautiful beach is surrounded by cliffs that make it a private place. On the rocky cliff on one side of the beach, there are some caves which were carved and carved out of the rock during prehistory.
There is a small fishing village just behind the beach offering all the necessary facilities and amenities, as well as a camping.
Preveli beach is located 38 kilometers south of Rethymno and is the most famous of all the beaches in Rethymno prefecture.
Seeing Preveli for the first time, may remind you of an exotic lagoon. It is an oasis of palm trees, with crystal clear green waters and soft fine sand.
The Kourtaliotis River ends at this wonderful beach, with the creation of a delta. In addition to the magnificent palm trees, the vegetation surrounds the beach and the river, creating a dreamlike landscape.
Due to its extreme beauty, Preveli beach unfortunately is usually very crowded in high season.
To this wonderful place It can be reached on foot from the parking lot near the Preveli Monastery or by fishing boat that depart frequently from Plakias and Agia Galini.
The magnificent Vai beach, known as the palm forest, is located at 25 kilometers to the east of Sitia and 92 kilometers east of Agios Nikolaos, on the eastern coast of Crete.
Is the only date palm area in Greece, which extends over an area of 250 square kilometers and consists of 5.000 palm trees that make it the largest known palm forest in all of Europe.
La existence of this forest is attributed to the Phoenician merchants who threw the seeds from the dates they were eating. In front of this incredible forest, kilometers of fine sand stretch surrounded by a blue sea.
El magical and tropical aspect of the place attracts thousands of visitors which makes it very busy in high season. The main entrance to the beach is open from sunrise to sunset to prevent fires and is No Camping.
The beach has several bars on the beach.
We could make an infinite list of beaches and we would never end; in short, if you are looking for a movie landscape worthy of photography, we recommend you visit the beaches of Chania.
If what you like is the party and dancing under the sun, your favorite beaches will be those of Heraklion. If, on the other hand, you prefer a more intimate atmosphere and relaxing in which reigns the silence and tranquility, do not hesitate to approach the Rethymnon beaches.
Finally, if you are a lover of nature and the exotic, you will be fascinated with the beaches of Lassithi.
The Samaria Gorge, located on the southern side of Chania prefecture, is the second most popular tourist spot in Crete and a wonderful place for hiking lovers. In 1962, the throat of Samaria was declared a national park to ensure the survival of the Kri Kri species that was in danger of extinction. This species is a rare wild goat that only lives in Samaria.
Samaria is the longest canyon in Europe with 16 km of travel. The route begins below the northern part of the Omalos plateau and ends at the edge of the Libyan Sea, in the village of Agia Roumeli.
La Actual distance of this route is 13 km, but from the exit point of the park you have to walk 3 km more to reach the village of Agia Roumeli, from where you can take the transport with which we have arrived. In when to amplitude of the area that is traveled, depending on the section goes from 150 m to 3,5 m. The time needed to completing the trip varies between 4 and 7 hours, depending on the capacity from each person.
The throat is open from the beginning of May until the end of October and the park is open from 7: 00 to 15: 00. After the 15: 00 until sunset, you can only walk 2 km away, either from Xyloskalo or from Agia Roumeli. Keep in mind that there are to be in good physical condition to do this trekking, since it can be very exhausting, especially in summer when the sun hits very hard.
La best time to do this trekking is in springWhen the weather is cool, nature is at its best and tourists are much less than in summer. If you realize within the first hour of the journey that the trip is too difficultStop and talk to the forest guards to take you back to where you started your journey. There are guards all along the way in case one gets injured or dizzy as well as a small place of medical attention in the abandoned village what's inside the throat.
Since the gorge is declared a national park, bathing in rivers, camping, lighting fire, hunting or spending the night is not allowed. Hiking in the park is not allowed after 15: 00 in the afternoon because the authorities want to make sure that nobody is going to spend the night outdoors.
If you're a cultural trip We recommend you visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, the Eleutherna Museum of Antiquities, the Historical Museum of Crete or the Museum of History, Folklore and Art of Rethymnon.
For almost a third of the previous price you can enjoy a full day trip to Ancient Palace of Knossos and get to know the city of Heraklion during a tour of about 9 hours. Accompanied by a professional guide, you will know all the secrets about the temple, the streets of the city and the local museum.
If you like full day getaways We recommend that you hit a good early morning and visit places like the Island of Spinalonga, where, for around 65 €, you can explore the area in ship and enjoy a barbecue seaside.
On the other hand, there is also a wide range of day cruises which vary in price, from about € 20 per person to almost € 70 you can choose the area of the coast you want to visit or the small exotic islands where you can enjoy a snack, food or barbecue depending on the offer.
If you like adventure, You can not leave without visiting the Watercity, or Star Beach Water Park, Labyrinth Theme Park with several attractions inspired by the customs and legends of the Island, or the Acqua Plus Water Park.
Finally, we must not forget that there are on the Island caves and caverns spectacular as the Cave of Sfentoni, the Cave of Milatos, the Cave of Skotino or the Cave of Zeus.