Crete: An Island Like No Other
Whether you’re on the lookout for an escape from a busy life and want to relax on the shores of a beautiful beach with some delicious Greek food, wish to visit places reeking with historical and mythological relevance or just want to trek, cycle and snorkel, Crete is the ideal place for you.
This amazing place is the largest among all the Greek Islands and is home to hundreds of beautiful beaches, ruins of ancient civilizations, amazing food and exquisite flora and fauna. Take a look!
Crete is most popular for the number of beautiful pristine beaches that make up its shoreline. You can indulge in water sports in many of its bustling shores, or enjoy some quiet time in one of the serene beaches. Few popular beaches are-
This exotic beach with its crystal clear water, soft white sand is a spectacular sight and a wonderful getaway. It is most renowned for its wonderful view, and the cherry on the cake-is a beautiful Venetian castle nestled on top of the Gramvassa island right across the beach.
This small islet with its pink coral sand and crystal aqua blue waters is home to about 110 plant species and is truly a sight to behold. Although, it si usually crowded during summers, it still calls for a great getaway when the crowd quiets down.
Also called Lake Preveli or Phoenix, this beautiful beach with its greenish blue waters, soft sugary sand and palm trees is located on the end of the river, Kourtaliotis. It is ideal for swimming and water sports and ofcourse sun, sand and relaxation.
Plakias Beach, Rethymno
Plakias beach is a popular beach in which the River Kotsifos empties itself. It is a beautiful green colour and has a scenic road running alongside it. Plakias is full of restaurants and hotels that occupy the space on the road. It is an ideal leisure space and great spot for water sports.
Vai Beach, Lassithi
Vai beach a.k.a Palm Forest, is surrounded by Europe’s largest palm tree forest (5,000 trees) which, according to legend, sprung up from the thousands of seeds thrown away by Pheonician merchants and pirates of dates that they were eating. It is a beautiful beach and is thronged by tourists all year long.
Matala, Heraklion: originally a hippie haunt in the 60s and 70s, Matala beach is now a haven for families looking out for a safe, calm holiday because of its friendly locals, accommodation and up to date facilities.
Savor the Cusine
Cretan cuisine is nothing short of a treat, bursting with unique ingredients and strong flavors. The various cheeses and olive oil are a must to try out. Some popular dishes include the Dakos Salad, Gamopilafo (Wedding Rice), Sofegada(Vegetable Dish), and desserts like Patouda pastry and Amygdalopita which is a type of cake.
Enjoy the Nightlife
Crete is lovingly known as one of Greece’s ‘party islands’, and rightly so. Whether you want to indulge in some wild partying or are looking towards spending quality time listening to traditional Cretan music, Crete has it all. With its Tavernas, bars, discos, nightclubs and lounges, Crete has something for every tastebud.
El Mondo Bar, Chania: The El Mondo bar in Chania is one of the oldest bars in Crete. The walls of this place are covered with memorabilia from customers creating a beautiful and artistic atmosphere.
Akrogiali Taverna, Chania: The Akrogiali Taverna is a fish Taverna which serves authentic traditional fish dishes and salads. It is situated right near the sea which gives it a serene, romantic atmosphere.
7 Thalasses Restaurant, Heraklion: this beautiful restaurant houses a beautiful courtyard and is decorated with light furniture and colourful flowers. It is a contemporary restaurant that serves traditional dishes with a modern twist.
The Bull, Heraklion: This rock pub is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and good music along with average priced drinks.
Take in the History
Crete is full to the brim with historical attractions including museums, palaces and ruins of ancient civilizations.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
A two storied wonder filled with jewellery, pottery and frescoes, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a treat for any history buff. From the neolithic period to the Roman period, this museum is filled with artifacts from various eras.
The Agia Triada
The ruins of a royal villa, the Agia Triada is a nice, peaceful place as it is not frequented by too many visitors and is filled with historical significance.
Fortezza of Rethymno
If you have a thing for forts, then the Fortezza of Rethymno is a must visit with its majestic walls and bastions and two churches and a mosque situated in the interior of it.
Malia Minoan Palace
The Palace of Malia dates back to 1900 BC and is the third largest Minoan palace in Crete. Built beside the sea, what remains of this palace is mostly ruins, but nonetheless it is fascinating due to the sheer size and detail.
Set on hill, this beautiful village is famous for its ruins from the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Roman periods. The beautiful structures from bygone eras make it a must visit site for any archaeological enthusiast.
Church of Panagia Kera
This tiny church is home to some of the most beautiful frescoes in Crete. The central aisle of this church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Experience the Adventure
The possibilities for adventure in Crete are endless due to its varied topography and beautiful climate. Cycling, bungee jumping, water sports and trekking are just few of the various adventure sports you can indulge in.
There are various cycle renting services in Crete from where you can hire a cycle and explore to your heart’s content! The beautiful picturesque surroundings and peaceful roads make it an ideal cycling destination.
Walking and Hiking
There is no dearth of walking paths in Crete. Going for walking and hiking tours while taking in the beautiful scenery are a must for any adventure junkie.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
Due to the clear water, the seas of Crete are ideal for snorkelling and diving. The varied aquatic flora and fauna also make it an ideal place for snorkelling and diving.
You can indulge in various forms of water sports on the organized beaches in Crete. Adventure sports such as Water ski, wind surfing, canoeing, kayaking, speed boat ride, etc. are the different types of water sports you can enjoy in Crete.
So, stop wondering and pack your bags right away!