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Crete: the gorgeous island where myths meet reality

What you shouldn't miss!

Holidays in Crete mean swimming in some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, delicious food and relaxing in unspoilt landscapes. The island is ideal for holidays all year round. It is famous for both its stunning coastline and its mainland with mountains, forests and gorges, making it a popular destination for those who love nature activities and water sports. Crete is also ideal for families with children. In the island's larger towns you can go shopping and sightseeing, but you can also find the best clubs and bars on the island.

In Crete you can visit important archaeological sites of international renown, such as the Palace of Knossos, as well as wonderful natural attractions such as the Samaria Gorge and Seitan Harbour. The island is known for its excellent cuisine, famous all over the world. During your holiday you will have the opportunity to taste local Cretan recipes that are famous all over the world! As for entertainment, Crete is one of the liveliest holiday destinations in Greece. In the villages and towns of the island you will often find traditional Cretan feasts, parties, festivals and other interesting cultural events.

Old Town of Chania

A real open-air museum area is the old town of Chania, where visitors can see the Egyptian Lighthouse, the Venetian Neoria and the Great Arsenal and the Yali Tzamisi, which is the only one that survives from the Ottoman period of the city. The Archaeological and Maritime Museums, the Cathedral, the Municipal Park and Market, the Fountain and the Splantzia are just some of the sights seen by those who walk its streets. It goes without saying that in between, a vibrant city with cafes, restaurants, bars and all kinds of services serve citizens and visitors alike.

Venetian port of Rethymnon

The Venetian port of Rethymnon is equally beautiful, where the heart of the city beats. The buildings dating back to the Venetian period of Crete remind us that Rethymno was a great place for the Venetian Queen of Venice. The lighthouse and the fortress of the fortress are of course dominant, but in the narrow streets we can also see the Vale Sultana Mosque, the Church of the Lady of the Angels and many, many more sights.

Gorge of Samaria

The Samaria Gorge has rightly become one of the iconic hiking destinations in Europe. At 16 km long, stretching from a plateau in the White Mountains of Crete to the Libyan Sea, it is the longest gorge in Greece. The river Tareos, which dries up in summer but floods in winter, runs the length of the gorge with high cliffs on each side. The rocky trail is quite difficult and not recommended for people with knee problems, but it is a must for sporting visitors to Crete. On the busiest days, up to 3,000 people pass through the gorge. The walk can take four to six hours. 

The palace of Knossos

Knossos, the most important centre of Minoan civilisation, one of the most magnificent in human history, is the largest and most characteristic Minoan archaeological site ever discovered in Crete. According to tradition, it was the seat of King Minos, whose figure was deified (he was considered the son of Europa and Zeus) and, at the same time, the administrative and religious centre of the wider region. The fascinating myths of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur and of Daedalus with Icarus are linked to the site of the palace of Knossos.


During the summer months, by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka, the visitor can admire the small island of Spinalonga. With a varied history mainly connected to the Leprosy Hospital which closed in 1965 with the cure of the disease, this small island is one of the most interesting sights of the whole of Crete.

Beaches in Crete

Crete has so many beautiful beaches that it’s really hard to choose where to swim!


A beach of wild beauty on the south coast of Rethymnon with golden sand and crystal clear waters. It is surrounded by palm trees and has a small river that flows into the sea. It is not organized, but you can get snacks and drinks from the beach canteen. You can get there by boat or by a 20-minute hike.


A beach on the south coast of Chania that is part of a narrow peninsula. It has a Caribbean atmosphere, with pink sand and turquoise waters. It is organized with umbrellas, showers, sunbeds, changing rooms and a lifeguard on the eastern side.


The sandy beach of Matala is located on the south coast of Crete, about 1 hour from Heraklion by car. One of the most popular beaches on the island, famous for its impressive cave formations and deep blue waters. It is organized with umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, bars and sports facilities. You can also find some shade under the tamarisks.


A popular beach on the northwest coast of Chania. It is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters and stunning sunset views. It has umbrellas, a beach volleyball court, water sports facilities and canteens, and is ideal for windsurfing!

Seitan port

Located on the peninsula of Akrotiri, near the city of Chania. It is a dreamy beach surrounded by high cliffs. It has golden sand and deep blue waters. The beach is accessible by a 10-minute downhill hike, so make sure you wear proper shoes.


It is definitely the most photographed beach of Crete, a favourite subject of all the tourist guides of Greece. It is famous for its turquoise waters, wild natural beauty and wonderful exotic landscape. In summer, the beach is overrun daily by hundreds of visitors, most of whom arrive by boat from Kissamos.

Chrysi Island

Chrysi is a beautiful, almost flat island, with an average altitude of only 10 meters and is ideal for walking and enjoyable browsing in the turquoise landscape and the stunning beaches. It was named Golden thanks to the colour of the sun on its shores, which have thousands of shells, the main feature of Belegrina beach.

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