Discover the Best Attractions and Places to Visit on Crete
Crete is a beautiful island in Greece that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, there’s something for everyone on Crete. In this guide, we’ll cover the top-rated attractions and places to visit on the island, so you can make the most of your trip.
Explore the Palace of Knossos.
The Palace of Knossos is one of the most popular attractions on Crete, and for good reason. This ancient palace was the center of the Minoan civilization, which flourished on the island from around 2600 BC to 1400 BC. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the palace, which include impressive frescoes, intricate mosaics, and a labyrinthine layout that is said to have inspired the myth of the Minotaur. Guided tours are available, or you can explore on your own with a map and audio guide.
Visit the stunning beaches of Elafonisi and Balos.
If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, look no further than Elafonisi and Balos. Elafonisi is a pink sand beach located on the southwestern coast of Crete, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning sunsets. Balos, on the other hand, is a lagoon located on the northwestern coast of the island, accessible only by boat or a long hike. The turquoise waters and white sand beaches make it a must-visit destination for any beach lover. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views!
Hike the Samaria Gorge.
The Samaria Gorge is a must-visit destination for any nature lover. Located in the White Mountains of Crete, it is the longest gorge in Europe and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The hike through the gorge is approximately 16 kilometers long and takes around 5-7 hours to complete. Along the way, you’ll encounter unique flora and fauna, as well as the famous “Iron Gates” – a narrow passage with towering cliffs on either side. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks for the journey.
Discover the ancient city of Phaistos.
Located in the south-central part of Crete, the ancient city of Phaistos is a must-visit destination for history buffs. This Minoan palace dates back to the Bronze Age and was once one of the most important centers of Minoan civilization. Visitors can explore the ruins of the palace, which include a central courtyard, a throne room, and a labyrinthine network of rooms and corridors. Be sure to check out the famous Phaistos Disc, a mysterious artifact that has yet to be fully deciphered by scholars.
Experience the traditional Cretan lifestyle in the village of Archanes.
For a taste of authentic Cretan culture, head to the charming village of Archanes. Located just 14 kilometers south of Heraklion, this picturesque village is known for its traditional architecture, narrow streets, and friendly locals. Visitors can explore the village’s many shops, cafes, and tavernas, or take a stroll through the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as dakos (a type of Cretan salad) and raki (a strong alcoholic drink made from grapes).