Visit Crete: Top 27 Things to Do and Must See Attractions


The 27 Best Things to Do in Crete (Bucket List)

You’re planning to visit Crete during your next trip? You want to know more about the best places to visit?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, i have prepared this guide of the 27 best things to do in Crete, with all the must-see attractions of this beautiful island located at the very South of Greece.

In this guide, you will learn everything about the most beautiful towns such as Chania or Heraklion, the best beaches (Balos Beach, Elafonissi “the pink beach”) and activities as well as the natural wonders such as Samaria Gorge.

So, where to go in Crete? What are the best points of interest?

Let’s find out!

Visit Crete: The 27 Best Places to Visit and Must-See Attractions

Voyage Tips - Advice

In order to help you plan your stay in Crete, I have prepared detailed itineraries depending on your trip duration. You should read them after reading this article.

You can find them here, simply click on the orange links to read the articles:

They will allow you to plan your trip very easily!

And if you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section, at the end of the article. I would be glad to help you plan your stay.

1. Chania

You must you start this tour guide of Crete with one of the prettiest towns on the island: Chania .

Located to the North-West, it is an excellent starting point for a trip to Crete: it has one international airport and is a good base for visiting some of the most famous places, such as the lagoon of Balos, the Elafonissi beach or the Samaria Gorge, as day-trips.

Places of interest to see in Chania:

  • The Venetian Old Port, with its entrance marked by its lighthouse. It is bordered by nice cafés and restaurants where you can go for a drink.
  • Fort Firkas offers a beautiful view of the port from the ramparts. Access to the inner courtyard is free.
  • The maritime museum of Crete, which is part of the fort. It exhibits navigational instruments, boat models and other documents related to the history of the Navy.
  • The old town and the alleys around the port for leather shops, jewellery shops and traditional souvenir shops.
  • The covered market also has shops selling souvenirs and local products (cheese, pastries, alcohol).
  • The archaeological museum of Chania for its collection of relics from the Neolithic to the Roman period.
  • The Greek Orthodox cathedral, located in a pretty square in the old town.

Near Chania, you will also find some beaches if you want to a refreshing stop:

  • Nea Chora, the closest to the centre and therefore very busy, but not necessarily the prettiest because it is located on the roadside
  • Hrisi Akti, ideal for surfers
  • Eastern Gulf, a small protected sandy cove bordered by pine forests. For me, it’s the prettiest beach near Chania!
  • Agii Apostoli / Iguana Beach that looks a lot like Eastern Gulf but bigger.

Want more information about all places to visit in Chania? You can find it in my detailed article on the city, which you can read by clicking here: The best things to see and do in Chania?

Voyage Tips - Advice

Chania is not very big, you can easily cover everything on foot (especially as the city centre only allows pedestrians).

Keep 1 morning to visit Chania.

Chania Crete
Visiting Chania – Best Things to do in Crete

2. Balos beach

If there is one place you should not miss when in Crete, it is the famous Balos Beach, also called Balos Lagoon

Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, it is located about 90 minute West of Chania.

The lagoon offers a superb stretch of shallow turquoise waters where it is impossible to resist a dip!

Bordered by a beautiful beach with fine sands of pink hues, with cape Tigani in the background and a view of the island of Gramvoussa, the setting is truly sublime and heavenly.

All the detailed information to get to Balos can be found in my article here: The guide to visit the lagoon of Balos.

Voyage Tips - Advice

You can go to Balos by car or opt for a day trip from Chania or Kissamos. You will then reach Balos Beach directly by boat.

You must particularly take one of these 2 cruises (click on the orange link to get all the info and book):

Lagon de Balos
Balos Beach – A must-see in Crete!

3. Elafonissi beach

Along with the lagoon of Balos, the Elafonissi beach is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Crete.

What makes this island’s most famous beach special, regularly ranking among the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, is its pink sand and shallow translucent water.

Enough to stock-up with photos for your Instagram account!

But if I have one advice for you, you shouldn’t stay on the main part of the beach (where everyone is) but cross over to the other side to enjoy a wilder setting.

Here you will find turquoise waters, pink sands and big rocks, and above all you, a much quieter setting for a swim!

All the practical information about Crete’s best known pink sand beach is in my other post: Elafonissi: the definitive guide.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Elafonissi beach is quite isolated, so if you haven’t rented a car for your tour in Crete, you will have to take a transport-included trip to get there.

These trips are offered from 3 cities (click on the orange link for information):

plage elafonissi Crete
Elafonissi Beach, in Crete

4. The Samaria Gorge

Are you looking to go on a hike in Crete?

Then head to the Samaria Gorge, in West Crete, for a hike of approximately 16 km in one of the longest gorges in Europe.

The trail starts with a steep descent of 4 km through the shady forest before reaching the bottom of the Gorge and the main rest area, 7 km away.

The most spectacular and famous part of Samaria is located at km 11. At the “Iron Gates”, you will pass through the narrowest passage of the Gorge which barely measures 3.50 metres and whose walls reach 300 metres.

The path alternates only between downhill and flat, but you should definitely bring a good pair of shoes because there are stones everywhere and it is slippery.

The Samaria Gorge hike ends at the small seaside village of Agia Roumeli where you will have to take a boat and then a bus to return to the car park or to Chania.

Please note that if you have decided to visit to Crete out of peak season, the Samaria Gorge us closed from October 15th to May 1st.

To learn more about this hike, you must read my dedicated article by clicking on the following link: How to visit the Samaria Gorge?

Voyage Tips - Advice

Good news: if you don’t have a car, you can still visit the Samaria Gorge from Chania by booking a round-trip in a bus in advance.

Click the button below for details:

Gorges de Samaria
Samaria Gorge

5. Heraklion and the Archaeological Museum

Along with Chania, Heraklion is the second main city to visit in Crete.

It also has an international airport and can be used as a starting point for your itinerary in Crete.

The best things to see and do in Heraklion?

  • The archaeological museum of Heraklion and its vast collection of objects ranging from the Neolithic to the Roman period. It is one of the largest museums in Greece. Modern and well developed, I consider it an unmissable spot when visiting Crete!
  • The Koules fortress and its exhibition on the history of the city. You can also enter the ramparts to enjoy the view of the port and the sea.
  • A walk in the old town, along rue 1866, lined with shops and restaurants with shaded terraces
  • The historical museum of Crete to know everything about the history of the island
  • The Agios Minas cathedral and its ceiling covered with frescoes.
Voyage Tips - Advice

The details with all the things to do in Heraklion can be found in my dedicated article. Read here: Visit Heraklion.

Heraklion – Places to visit in Crete

6. The Palace of Knossos

Only a 10-minute drive from the centre of Heraklion, the Palace of Knossos is the most visited tourist site in Crete as of now.

The ruins of the palace were discovered in 1878, but the actual excavations only began 20 years later thanks to the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who devoted 35 years of his life and most of his savings in uncovering the ruins.

The ruins uncovered a new civilisation, which Evans himself chose to name the Minoan civilisation, in reference to King Minos (the legendary king of Crete).

Today, it takes a lot of imagination to imagine the grandeur of the palace and the surrounding buildings, but you can explore:

  • The famous bull fresco at the North entrance
  • The Throne Room
  • The megaron (the bedroom) of the Queen and its fresco with Dolphins
  • The fresco room where copies of the works can be found (the originals are displayed at the archaeological museum of Heraklion)
  • The mural of the Prince of the Lilies.

As you might have guessed, history buffs should not miss this archaeological site in Crete!

All the practical information can be found in my dedicated article: Visit the Palace of Knossos.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To visit the Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, you must buy a combined ticket in advance.

This will save you from queues and you will also have an included audio guide:

Palais de Cnossos
Palace of Knossos – Heraklion

7. Rethymnon

We will continue this guide to Crete with a small town on the road between Chania and Heraklion: Rethymnon 

I particularly enjoyed walking around the old town, which I found super pleasant and really picturesque with its charming cobbled streets lined with shops and taverns.

You can also discover the Venetian fortress of Rethymnon (€4) and go to the Old Port that has small cafés/restaurants with terraces by the water.

From Rethymnon, you can easily visit the main places of interest in Crete (Balos, Elafonissi, Samaria, Chania…) via trips.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To organise your visit to Rethymnon and not miss out on anything, you can read my article: What are the things to do in Rethymnon?

Rethymnon old town

8. Vai beach

If you want to spend a day sunbathing and swimming during your holiday in Crete, I recommend Vai beach.

Located in the north-east of the island, this beautiful sandy beach bordered by palm trees and crystal clear water is one of the best known in Crete. 

You can rent deckchairs/parasols from €10 a day and practice several water sports activities: jet ski, paddle boat, buoy.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To enjoy a beautiful view, go up the stairs to the right of the beach.

Vai beach Crete
Vaï beach – One of the most beautiful beach in Crete

9. Preveli beach / Preveli monastery

To continue with the list of the famous beaches to visit in Crete, you must not miss Preveli beach.

It actually looks a lot like Vai beach because it is also a small sandy beach bordered by a palm grove. But there is a river crossing the beach, that flows into the sea.

You can also swim in fresh water!

The Preveli beach is located at the end of a rather steep path (about 15 minutes for the descent) but you can have a very nice view overlooking it at a 5-minute walk from the car park.

Just a 5-minute drive from the beach, you can also visit the Preveli Monastery (Moni Preveli) which has a pretty church and a museum displaying beautiful icons. 

Voyage Tips - Advice

To reach Preveli beach without a car, you can book this organised trip from Chania or Rethymnon:

plage de Preveli
Preveli beach – Best things to see in Crete

10. The other most beautiful beaches of Crete

By now, it should be clear to you that it is impossible to visit Crete without spending a little time at the beach!

In addition to the 4 unmissable beaches I just mentioned (Balos, Elafonissi, Vai and Preveli), here is my selection of the most beautiful places to swim in Crete:

  • The pink sand beach of Falassarna, 40 minutes away from the lagoon of Balos
  • Seitan Limani beach, 20 km from Chania, in the Akrotiri peninsula
  • Kedrodasos beach, 5 minutes by car from Elafonissi
  • Karavostasi beach, on the road between Rethymnon and Heraklion
  • Kolokitha beach, Elounda. Much less known than the others, for me it deserves its place in the top 5 most beautiful beaches on the island!
  • Voulisma beach, at Agios Nikolaos
  • The beach in the small village of Mohlos
  • The 2 small beaches of Itanos, not far from Vai beach
  • The beaches of Xerokampos: a succession of beautiful beaches and creeks with turquoise waters, very little frequented. My favourite on my road trip in Crete!
  • Red Beach in Matala
  • Triopetra beach is famous for its stratified rocks – It is worth seeing if you go there before going to Preveli but the beach itself is not interesting.

Voyage Tips - Advice

The best way to discover Crete’s most beautiful beaches is to opt for a VIP boat trip, far from other tourists!

For this, you have 2 options:

1) Book a private boat trip in Crete

You can rent a boat with a captain, and he will take you to the most beautiful corners of Crete.

Motor boat, sailing boat, catamaran: you can choose the right boat for a dream day!

You must rent your boat with a captain as early as possible, since as you can imagine, this type of a VIP day at sea is greatly in demand, and it would be a shame to not have a spot!

You will find all boats with a captain in Crete by clicking on the button below:

2) Rent a boat and discover the Cretan coasts by yourself

If you have a boat licence, the 2nd solution for a great day at sea is simply to rent a boat!

Simply click on the button below and book your boat immediately:

Voulisma beach Crete
Voulisma beach – East Crete

11. Hikes in Crete

Hiking is one of the best activities to do in Crete to discover beautiful wild landscapes.

The island is full of paths and you will be spoilt for choice, no matter your level or where you are located.

But you must particularly take the paths where you can explore the impressive Cretan Gorges.

In addition to the Samaria Gorge, here is a brief overview of the most beautiful walks in Crete:

  • The Imbros Gorge – From Imbros to Hora Skafion – South-West Crete
  • The Agia Irini Gorge – South-West
  • The Aradena Gorge where you can go down to the Marmara creek – South-West
  • The Mili Gorge, towards Rethymnon
  • The Zakros Gorge in the Valley of the Dead – East Crete
  • Richtis Gorge to discover the beautiful waterfall of the same name – East Crete
  • The Kritsa Gorge – East Crete
  • The Anydri Gorge, towards Paleohora – South-West
  • The coastal path of Paleohora in Sougia
  • The Rouvas Gorge from Lake Votomos (between Heraklion and Matala).

For experienced hikers, there are the following options:

  • The climb up Mount Gingilos – Departure from Xiloskalo, from Samaria Gorge
  • Trypiti Gorge – Departure from Omalos
  • The climb up Mount Psiloritis, the highest point in Crete
  • The E4 trans-European long-distance hiking trail that crosses Crete from West to East over a length of 320 km. This road, which has a total length of 10,450 km, starts in Portugal and passes through Spain, France, Switzerland, Greece and other countries before ending in Cyprus.

Voyage Tips - Advice

The hiking trails in Crete are very rocky, you really need to wear good shoes.

Bring enough drinking water, sunscreen and always check the weather before leaving.

randonnée Crète
Hiking in Crete

12. The Botanical Garden of Crete

To continue this list of the top things to see in Crete, you must visit the botanical garden of Crete.

Located in the surroundings of Chania, on the mountain-side, the 2.5 km trail, has several varieties of plants and fruit trees from Greece and also from all over the world.

A pleasant walk that takes about 90 minutes.

The garden also has a small lake with a few animals and several peacocks roam freely around the park. If you’re wondering what to do in Crete with kids, it’s a good idea for a trip.

Entrance fee is € 6, and a small water bottle is provided. More information on the official website.

Jardin botanique Crète
Crete botanical garden

13. Akrotiri peninsula

You must continue with touring Crete by exploring the peninsula of Akrotiri.

The airport is located on this peninsula just outside Chania, but I can assure you that this is not the only point of interest.

Not to be missed in Akrotiri:

  • Stavros beach: a beautiful and very quiet sandy beach with a part that is protected from the wind
  • The Agia Triada monastery that I found really beautiful with its well developed garden and flowers
  • The Governto Monastery
  • Seitan Limani beach, a small canyon with turquoise waters that opens into a creek surrounded by cliffs. One of Crete’s best known tourist attractions.
  • Marathi beach, a sandy beach split into 2 small coves, very crowded but which I didn’t find extraordinary
  • Loutraki beach.
Seitan Limani
Seitan Limani beach, on Akrotiri peninsula

14. Kournas Lake

Lake Kournas is one of the other places to go in Crete to swim, but this time in fresh water.

Located 5 km away from Georgiopouli (between Chania and Rethymnon) and surrounded by mountains, it is the only natural lake in Crete. The water here is crystal clear and very clean, so you won’t have to when swimming.

You can also rent a paddle boat (between €7 and €12 an hour) to go around and discover the many water turtles and fish that hide there.

At the entrance to the lake you will find a few souvenir shops and taverns.

Voyage Tips - Advice

The first car park on your right costs at €2 per day, but if you continue a little further down you will have a free car parking spot.

Lac de Kournas
Kournas lake

15. The Lassithi plateau – Zeus cave

For half a day road trip in Crete, you must complete a circuit of Lassithi plateau. 

This rural area in the East of the island is very typical with its small villages and the few windmills left out of the 20,000 used for irrigation.

Following the Lassithi plateau circuit in a car, you will visit:

  • Tzermiado, the largest of the 20 villages in Lassithi
  • Agios Georgios where the Cretan folk art museum is located 
  • The Homo sapiens museum on the evolution of man – I won’t recommend it but the car park offers a beautiful view of the plains.
  • The cave on Mount Dicte, also called the Cave of Zeus or the Psichro cave, because according to legend it is here that Zeus was born. The cave is very deep and has large stalactites and stalagmites. Entrance fee costs €6 (a 10-minute climb + descending a long staircase). It is the main tourist site in Lassithi.
  • Greek Mythological Park where you can discover Greek mythology thanks to an audio guide in English and truly representative scenery. I was really surprised (well!) with the quality of the explanations and the facilities.
  • Lasinthos Eco Park where you can discover weaving workshops, wood turning, pottery. Free entry.
  • The ancient city of Latho offers a beautiful view of the entire bay and is a renowned archaeological site
  • Kritsa village and the Panagia Kera church known for its very well preserved Byzantine frescoes.

Voyage Tips - Advice

You can’t visit the Lassithi plateau by public transport. If you don’t have a car, the only way is to book a day trip in 4*4.

You will cross villages, visit the Zeus cave and have lunch in a traditional tavern.

This trip with an English-speaking guide is available from several cities (click on the links in orange to book):

Grotte de Psychro
Zeus cave – Lassithi Plateau

16. Monasteries to visit in Crete

If you’re still wondering what to see in Crete, you must visit some of the many monasteries on the island:

  • The Agia Triada monastery, on the Akrotiri peninsula (next to Chania) – After driving all around Crete, I thought it was the prettiest.
  • The Governto Monastery, also in Akrotiri
  • The monastery Chrisoskalitissis (before arriving at Elafonissi beach)
  • Arkadi monastery, near Rethymnon
  • Moni Toplou, before visiting Vai beach
  • The Preveli monastery, next to the famous beach of the same name.
Arkadi monastery
Arkadi monastery

17. Spinalonga Island

If you’re planning an itinerary in East Crete, a visit to Spinalonga island is a must.

The island was once a fortress in the 16th century, occupied by the Venetians and then by the Ottomans. It was then used as a leper colony in the 1900s.

But if Spinalonga ranks among the most important tourist sites in Crete today, it is thanks to the famous novel by Victoria Hislop, “The Island”. The book, whose story takes place in Spinalonga, was successful worldwide and was later adapted into a film and series.

Today, by docking at the island, you can walk through the village ruins, the fort, the leper hospital and the church.

It takes a good hour to walk around, and don’t forget to climb up the hill to admire the view of the Plaka peninsula. 

Entrance fee for Spinalonga: €8

Voyage Tips - Advice

To go to Spinalonga, you can take the boat to Plaka or Elounda (€12). In peak season, there is a shuttle every 1/2 hours and the journey takes just 1/4 hour.

You can also visit the island of Spinalonga through an organised trip including pick-up from your hotel, transport by bus and the visit to Agios Nikolas and Elounda:

Spinalonga island

18. Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is a small and well-known town not far from the island of Spinalonga.

You must park your car in the municipal car park and to follow the seafront promenade until you reach Voulismeni lake, the main attraction of the place.

There are plenty of restaurants and shops all around.

Sea excursions also leave from Agios Nikolaos to visit Spinalonga.

And if you’ve decided to go to Crete with your children, you can take a transparent-bottomed boat ride to observe the fish.

Close to Agios Nikolaos, there are also several beaches that are not among the most beautiful on the island but you can go there to refresh yourself.

Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos

19. The most beautiful caves to see in Crete

If you are driving around Crete, there are several caves you can visit:

  • The Zeus cave on the Lassithi plateau (which I have already mentioned in point 15 of this article) is the best known for its history – Entrance costs €6
  • The Melidoni cave where you can admire beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and which I found very pretty – Entrance at €4
  • Agia Sofia cave for a 10-minute photo stop on the road before reaching Elafonissi beach – Free entrance
  • The Sfendoni cave and its 7 chambers where you can admire numerous stalactites and stalagmites – 40-min guided tour at €5
  • Kronion cave (also in Lassithi): inhabited in the Neolithic and which later served as a burial site during the Minoan period – Free entry
  • The Matala, caves carved into the cliff on the seashore (see point 22) – Entrance fee: €4.
  • The Milatos cave where 2500 people who had taken refuge to escape the Turks were found and killed – Free entry
  • The Mount Ida cave where Zeus allegedly hid to escape his father. Several offerings have been discovered here, but the cave is of no particular interest except for mythology lovers – Free entry.
grotte de Mélidoni
Mélidoni cave

20. Richtis Gorge and Waterfall

For a little refreshing walk when visiting Crete, you must go on the the Richtis Gorge hike.

From the car park located at the exit of the village of Exo Mouliana, you will need about 90 mins on a shady path running through the forest and along a small river to reach the Richtis waterfall.

Apart from a patches with large, slippery rocks, there is no particular difficulty if you are wearing good shoes. Of course, if you’re wearing flip-flops (as I’ve seen some people do), things can be difficult…

The waterfall is really beautiful and if you are not feeling chilly, you can even take a swim. 

From the waterfall, you can then continue on your way to a small beach (not very pretty and very windy by the way) which takes 30 minutes.

From there, you can choose to turn back, take the tarmac road that leads to the village on foot (I wouldn’t recommend this it gets dry, the sun is high, and it’s not interesting!) or take a taxi that will take you up to the car park (the number is displayed on the trees – €25 for 2).

Note that access to the Gorge is charged: €3 per person. 

Good news for those who don’t have a car, you can visit the waterfall in a 4*4 trip with an English-speaking guide.

You can book it directly by clicking here!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to walk there and back, you can save some time by parking your car closer to the waterfall.

Drive along the small road from the left of the car park to a small bridge. There are a few parking spots on the roadside (if you arrive early).

You can also access the waterfall directly from the beach in 30 minutes on foot. To reach the beach from the top of the village in a car, you have to take a very narrow and winding road.

cascade de Richtis
Richtis waterfall

21. Xerokampos and its beaches

If you want to visit an off-beat place during your stay in Crete, go to the town of Xerokampos, at the Eastern tip of the island.

Not only does the road leading to it offer splendid views, but you will also discover a succession of beaches and coves, each more beautiful than the last.

Fine sands, shallow turquoise waters and, above all, very few people, this is doubtlessly one of the most beautiful places in Crete, a true favourite!

And if I had to name the 2 most beautiful beaches of Xerokampos, I would say:

  • Katsounaki beach ( name), also called “ Paralia Anola” (Google Maps): a pretty cove with fine sands accessible by car via a dirt road.
  • The Ambelou beach (on or “Paralia Mazida Ammos” (if you search on Google Maps) which is just beautiful!
Xerokampos Crete
Xerokampos and its beaches – Crete

22. Matala

Matala is a small seaside resort known for its caves carved into a cliff by the sea-side and overlooking a pretty cove with turquoise waters in the shape of a crescent moon.

The caves, dug in the Neolithic period, served as a Roman necropolis, before being used as a squatting spot in the 1960s by a community of hippies who made them their hippy “Peace and Love” Camp.

With such a view and direct access to the beach for evenings around the fire, you can understand why they chose the place!

Entry to the caves is charged: €4

Matala also has another beach: Red Beach, a small beach with golden sands and deep and turbulent water. You can walk there in only 30 minutes along the path that starts from behind the village.

Voyage Tips - Advice

At the beginning of the Red Beach trail, on the right after the first set of stairs, you will have a magnificent view of Matala and the caves.

Matala Crete
Matala – Crète

23. Hora Sfakion and the south-east coast

In South-East Crete, you’ll find some of the least accessible seaside villages on the island.

They are very isolated, and you can only reach them by taking long, winding mountain roads, and in some cases, only by boat.

What are the things to see in Crete along the South-East coast?

  • Hora Sfakion: a very cute village that is the departure point for boats to Loutro, Sweet Water beach or Gavdos island (see below).
  • Loutro, located in a tiny creek, the village is only accessible from Hora Sfakion by sea (by ferry in 20 minutes) or on foot (6 km).
  • Agia Roumeli, the village located at the exit of the Samaria Gorge, which can only be reached on foot or by boat from Hora Sfakion, Loutro, Sougia and Paleohora.
  • Sougia where the boat from Agia Roumeli arrives filled with hikers who have completed the Gorge of Samaria. Then everyone gets on the bus back to the car park or to Chania.
  • Paleohora, a small picturesque village located 70 minutes by car from Elafonissi beach. From Paleohora you can take the ferry to Sougia, Agia Roumeli, Loutro, Hora Sfakion and Gavdos.
Voyage Tips - Advice

You can view the different ferry routes, schedules and rates on the official website of the boat company: Anendyk .

Hora Sfakion
Hora Sfakion

24. The Cretan islets

Visiting Crete also means taking the time to go on beautiful day trips by boat to discover one of the pretty Cretan islets:

Gramvoussa seen from Balos lagoon

25. Activities to do in Crete

Throughout your trip, you will have the opportunity to enjoy several activities in Crete.

And I’ll start with my favourite activity, a quad bike safari to discover the traditional villages and beautiful mountain landscapes.

The best way for an authentic experience of Crete, far from the classic tourist circuits. For me, this is the best quad bike trip in Crete!

For a quad bike trip from Georgiopoulis, you must book in advance by clicking on the green button:

For a departure from Rethymnon (with an English-speaking guide!), here you go:

Here is a list of the main activities offered in various places on the island (click on the orange links to access details and make your reservation).

We’ll start with water activities/activities to do in Crete:

And here is my selection of the best land/sports activities:

quad bike tour Crete
Quad bike tour – Best activities in Crete

26. Typical villages

On your trip to Crete, you will have the opportunity to visit many traditional Cretan villages.

You should not expect charming white façades with blue shutters typical of the Cycladic islands like Santorini or Naxos for example, but more to mountain village houses made of stone.

One of the best known villages of Crete is Margarites. Nicknamed the potters’ village, there are several workshops and shops selling bowls, dishes and other terracotta objects.

And a piece of advice: you’d better rent a small car to drive around the narrow streets.

villages Crète
Small typical villages in Crete

27. Discover Cretan gastronomy in the taverns

To taste the best Cretan cuisine, there’s no doubt, you have to eat in the small taverns.

They have often been run by the same family for generations and offer simple but tasty traditional cuisine.

You will always be greeted very warmly and at the end of your meal, you will be offered a small dessert and of course a glass of raki, the traditional Cretan alcohol.

Here are some examples of the culinary specialities that you should definitely try in Crete:

  • Pastitsio: pasta and meat gratin, the equivalent of lasagne
  • Stifado: rabbit stew with small onions and shallots
  • Mezze, the Cretan version of the tapas: tomato/feta bread, tzatziki, stuffed vine leaves, meat or fish croquettes, fried zucchini flowers. Some taverns in Crete offer “Mezze” platters.
  • Apaki, pork meat marinated and smoked and flavoured with local herbs
  • Fish and seafood
  • Keftedes: succulent, spicy meatballs
  • Antikristo or “ofto” lamb, lamb slow-cooked on a spit – Some taverns also offer pork.
  • Souvlakis and gyros: a pita served with chicken, pork or lamb, yoghurt sauce, salad, tomatoes, onions and chips. We tried many of these dishes and each tavern adds its own personal touch, so it never tastes exactly the same.
  • Kaltsoúnia: cheese-stuffed pastries
  • Raki, a traditional Cretan alcohol, served as a liqueur after every meal.
Voyage Tips - Advice

To discover all the secrets of traditional Cretan cuisine, you can also opt for a cooking class:

Crete also produces excellent wines, olive oil and delicious cheeses. 

If you would like to visit the vineyards, an olive oil factory and of course wine tastings, you must book this visit from Chania: Day focused on wine and olive oil.

Taverne Crète
Eating in a tavern – Crete

Best things to do in Crete: the tourist map

To help you visualize the island a bit better, I have created this tourist map of Crete, with all the places to visit and things to do in Crete.

You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with a small arrow on it.

Crete tours

On, I give you all my best tips and itineraries to plan your trip to Crete by yourself. (All my Crete guides are here)

However, if you prefer to book a Crete tour with a travel agency, I recommend you to check the 10 best Crete tours by clicking the button below:

Renting a boat in Crete

If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your stay in Crete, you should book it with Samboat.

Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental!

So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Crete? 😊

What are the places of interest that you would like for your trip to Crete?

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling to Crete? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Crete: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Crete are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

Best places to visit in Crete
Best places to visit in Crete

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Leave A Reply