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Ideal duration: 4-6 days

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"A mesmerising land of sun, sand, sea, and party!"

Crete Tourism

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, 160km from the Greek mainland, separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. Crete is popular for its stunning beaches, wild natural beauty, mouthwatering cuisine and rich history.

Crete has a varied landscape consisting of mountains, beautiful gorges, rivers, and lakes. It is home to some of the finest beaches in the Mediterranean, with endless kilometres of golden coastline. The island also has some of the famous archaeological sites of Greece, 15th-century monasteries, regal palaces and fascinating museums. In addition, it is the ideal destination for sports and adventure activities like canyoning, hiking and scuba diving.

Crete was once the centre of Minoan civilization, regarded as the earliest civilization in Europe. It is divided into four main areas - Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, and Lasithi. Chania is the second largest city on the island and lies on the northern coast of Crete. It has the island's main airport and is a good base for exploring the region's attractions. The north part of the island, like Chania and Heraklion, is great for exploring the bars, clubs and nightlife. In contrast, the southern part, including Rethymnon or Agios Nikolaos, is great for the outdoors. These islands are connected by ferries.

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Currency in Crete

Euro is the currency accepted by almost all the countries in Europe.

Shopping in Crete

Tourists often buy olive oil and honey from Crete as a souvenir. Raki, a famous spirit is also what people bring back from there. The most famous place for buying leather goods in Crete is "leather street" in the city of Chania which offers the best quality of leather belts, bags sandals, and purse. "Potter's village" of Margarites near Rethymnon is famous for Crete's traditional style pottery which contains the essence of ancient Minoan art.

Nightlife in Crete

There are endless stretches of party beaches in Crete. Because of this, Crete is often referred to as "party islands". Although every region has some type of nightlife activity, Heraklion and Agios Nikloas are more well known for parties. Malia and Hersonissos also offer some great options around every corner after dark. Contact the hotel waiter for the name of the latest hot spot in the town. Often taverns and bars secretly convert into a nightclub after specified time.

History of Crete

Crete was the centre of Minoan civilization from 2600 BC - 1150 BC. The island consists of the remains of that time in the form of palaces, tombs, and sacred sites. The civilization was advanced and active up to an extent that they even had a navy. The decline was initiated by tsunami waves from the eruption of the volcano in Santorini Greece in 1450 BC. Thereafter, Crete followed the classical stream of Greece, and later Rome. Crete was later invaded by Romans which eventually brought much wealth into the island.

Language of Crete

The language used in Crete is Greek but it has some differences with the one spoken in mainland Greece. However, people in cities and tourist places do not have the problem in understanding English. Since many Europeans visit the place, people also understand other European languages.

Crete Customs

Crete music and traditional dances play an important part in the life of Cretans and will be seen and heard in most of the festivals. Many villages still retain the old way of life - men in the cafeneons sipping Greek coffee and raki while women gather outside crocheting and gossiping together.

Religion of Crete

Much of the Greek culture revolves around the Greek Orthodox Church and 97% of the Cretans are Greek Orthodox. Religious holidays are rigidly followed and are celebrated with colourful festivals and great enthusiasm.

Daily Budget for Crete

Crete is more expensive than Athens with the daily budget being around EUR 40. This includes food, transportation, entertainment, tips, souvenirs and alcohol.

Exchanging Money in Crete

There are plenty of banks on the island and currency exchange is not a problem. You can also change money in the post office. In smaller places, you can change the currency in tourist shops. There are plenty of ATMs where you can draw Euros with your bank card, visa, and master card. Credit cards are accepted all over the island with a 5% commission to the shop.

Best Time to Visit Crete

How to Reach Crete

How to Reach Overview

By air, there are domestic flights from Athens daily. To arrive by boat you can reach any one of the 6 ports which are located at Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia, and Kastelli-Kissamou.

How to reach Crete by flight

You can fly to Athens and from there you can take summer charter flights to Crete which will land you in the city of Heraklion.

How to reach Crete by waterways

To reach Crete by boat, you can board it from Athens which will drop you on one of the 6 ports located at Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Ag. Nikolas, Sitia, and Kastelli-Kissamou. Crete connects through these ports with Piraeus, Santorini, Sikinos and more ports around Athens.

Local transport in Crete

You can easily rent a car in Crete as long as you have your licence. The rent starts from around EUR 100 for 7 days. Cretans drive on the right-hand side of the road so it can be a challenge for Indians. Taxis are also available but that can be bit expensive. Buses are quite frequent and trustworthy. Drivers usually divert from their marked route to enter little villages if ask them¾to do so. Bus services along the north coast and south are excellent and cheap. Since there are no roads along the southwest coast, there is a ferry line between Paleochora, Sougia, Agia Poumeli, Loutro and Hora sfakion.

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FAQs on Crete

What are the things to do in Crete?

The top things to do in Crete are Knossos, Heraklion Archeological Museum, Lychnostatis open Air Museum, Koules Fortress, Historical Museum of Crete, Chania Venetian Lighthouse. You can see all the places to visit in Crete here

What are the places near Crete?

The top places near to Crete are Athens which is 320 km from Crete, Mykonos which is located 249 km from Crete, Santorini which is located 1092 km from Crete, Istanbul which is located 737 km from Crete, Antalya which is located 561 km from Crete

What is the best way to reach Crete?

By air, there are domestic flights from Athens daily. To arrive by boat you can reach any one of the 6 ports which are located at Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia, and Kastelli-Kissamou.
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What is the local food in Crete?

Crete is famous for its cuisine. Also called "The Mediterranean Diet", it rely heavily on fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. A good way to enjoy local food is to join traditional festivals in villages. You will find a variety of dishes and can also enjoy the music and dance of Cretans.¾You can also find Cretan cheeses like Graviera, myzitra and Anthotiros - local delicacies. Other famous dishes include Dakos - Greek bread salad, Horta Vrasta - a boiled leafy Greek salad and ¾Kotosoupa - a traditional Greek soup¾.
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What is the best time to visit Crete?

Winters can be cold and rainy. Still, at times you can see snowy mountains with around 3m of snow on them. You might find it difficult to get food in lodges but it won't be a problem in cities. May to June can be the best time to visit Crete as there are not too many tourists on the island. The sea is warm and people interested in hiking will have a good time. July and August¾witnesses too many tourists and the prices all over are very high. Tourism comes to an abrupt stop in November and December with the end of charter flights.
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