Famous for its diverse landscape, Crete is a destination that has something new and exciting to offer all year round.
With hundreds of exotic beaches as well as imposing mainland, Crete is a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Though it’s hard to choose among the numerous places you shouldn’t miss while visiting Crete, these are the top things to do before you leave the island:
BY THE BEACH
From North to South and from East to West, the Cretan beaches are countless and they truly are a sight for the sore eyes. Cleansing to the mind and thrilling to the soul, a dip in the crystal clear waters will leave you speechless. Just pick your favorite sandy spot and get ready to enjoy the Greek sun and sea at their best.
- Ammoudara & Matala in Heraklion: Just a stone’s throw away from Heraklion city, Ammoudara is one of the best organized beaches in Crete, ideal for families with kids. Alternatively, you could visit the beach of Matala – known for its imposing cliffs and secret caves, it used to be the shelter of hippies back in the 1960s!
- Balos Lagoon & Elafonisi Isle in Chania: Both declared as protected areas under the European Network of Natura 2000, these exotic beaches are full of surprises.
Elafonisi peninsula is full of sand lilies, dunes and junipers while the endangered species of the turtle Caretta Caretta nest on the isle.
Moving northern, the lagoon of Balos is known for its turquoise waters and thousands of broken seashells that lay in its golden sand. With an impressive backdrop that forms the Cape Tigani, this is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece.
- Preveli & Bali in Rethymno: Maintaining the easy going character of Rethymno, the beaches of Preveli and Bali highlight the diversity of the region. The unspoiled beach of Preveli will bring you closer to nature, while Bali offers a more organized - but still peaceful - beach scenery.
- Vai & Istro in Lassithi: Just a few kilometers away from the city of Agios Nikolaos, you will find Istro, one of the best beaches of the region with white sand and emerald waters. If you are up for some more driving, then head to Vai Beach (90+ kilometers from Agios Nikolaos), known for the surrounding palm tree forest that will add a touch of tropical essence to your holidays.
Proud of its gorgeous and wild nature, Crete is the homeland of some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. Gorges, caves, forests and valleys form the unique terrain of Crete – take a deep breath and keep your eyes open while you explore this beautiful land.
- Hiking in Crete Gorges: Devote a couple of hours to explore The Gorge of Samaria, the longest gorge of Europe, declared as a National Park thanks to for its exceptional natural beauty. Its length reaches 18km that makes it a perfect passage for hiking – no wonder why every year thousands of hikers visit the gorge from across the world!
- Exploring the Secret Caves: The Natural Park of Psiloritis is the highest mountain of Crete, also a member of UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. Wear your comfortable shoes and discover the secret Cave of Ideon Andron, the plateau of Nida and the astonishing gorges that spread between its peeks.
- On two wheels: For riders from all over the world, Crete has a selection of bicycle routes that combine adventure with amazing landscapes and beautiful nature. Pick a starting point and follow the recommended routes or dare to discover your own paths!