Things To Do In Crete

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1. Knossos

Knossos
4.5 /5

32 km
from city center
1 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Knossos was the centre and capital of the Minoan civilization, which lay 5km south of Heraklion.

2. Heraklion Archeological Museum

Heraklion Archeological Museum
4.3 /5

32 km
from city center
2 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Heraklion Archeological Museum is situated in Heraklion and is dedicated to Minoan Civilization art. It contains the most notable collection of artefacts of the Minoan Civilization of Crete. It is among the most magnificent museum in Europe because it contains artefacts from the Neolithic period to Roman times.

3. See Pink Sand at Elafonissi Beach

See Pink Sand at Elafonissi Beach
3.5 /5

115 km
from city center
3 out of 65
things to do in Crete

One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Elafonisi, is a must-visit in Crete. Hundreds of tourists come here to enjoy the area's crystal-clear waters, pink beaches, and unique landscapes each year. You may rent sunbeds and umbrellas from the beach for a reasonable price or bring your umbrellas and mats. Elafonisi's western side faces the lagoon because of its position, and this region is typically more breezy and crowded.

4. Day Trip to Spinalonga Island

Day Trip to Spinalonga Island
3.2 /5

85 km
from city center
4 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Spinalonga is a Greek island located in Crete, near the town of Plaka. In addition to the abandoned leper colony and ruins of the Spinalonga Fortress, tourists visit the island to relax by its shallow beaches and tranquillity. Please remember that Spinalonga does not offer accommodation and should be considered only for a day trip. Boats from Plaka, Elounda, and Agios Nikolaos are available to Spinalonga daily.

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5. Hike to Samaria Gorge

Hike to Samaria Gorge
3.4 /5

77 km
from city center
5 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Samaria gorge is a national park in Crete which is a major tourist attraction, especially for hikers. It is situated in the regional unit of Chania. The walk through National Park is 16 km long. The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as Iron Gates, where the width is only 4m and the height of almost 300 m.

6. Balos Beach and Lagoon

Balos Beach and Lagoon
3.4 /5

117 km
from city center
6 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Balos is an exotic beach and lagoon situated about 50 km from Chania. The beach at the lagoon comprises pinkish-white sand and thousands of broken and intact seashells, with shallow water. It is popular for snorkelling, camping and swimming.

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7. Stroll Through Rethymno Old Town

Stroll Through Rethymno Old Town

248 km
from city center
7 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Rethymno lives up to expectations for what a Greek city should be. The town is also known for its network of cobbled pathways that are framed with bougainvillea and vines. Studded with picturesque cafes, boutiques offering ethnic souvenirs, and eateries serving the best Cretan cuisine shape the old town. A vast sandy beach stretches into the sea in the recently built-up area of the town. A few Ottoman arches and minarets can be seen peeking out from behind 16th-century houses.

8. Sacred Monastery of Arkadi

Sacred Monastery of Arkadi
3.3 /5

18 km
from city center
8 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Arkadi Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery situated in Rethymnon. It dates back to the 16th century, marked by the presence of the Renaissance. Within the monastery is a museum where the sacred banner of the Arkadi tragedy is housed, weapons from the revolutionary era and items belonging to the legendary Father Gabriel.

9. Watersports

Watersports

0 km
from city center
9 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Jet Skiing, water skiing, windsurfing, flyboarding, and scuba diving are activities that will surely give you an adrenaline rush, and when in Crete, these are combined with the perfect picturesque backdrop! From watching the shipwrecks to Kayaking your way into the ocean most Crete beaches offer water sports and courses for beginners. The most popular sites for Scuba Diving in Crete are Chania, Rethymnon,Heraklion and Lassithi.

10. Venetian Harbour Chania

Venetian Harbour Chania

248 km
from city center
10 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Venetian harbor of Chania is one of Crete's most historically significant sights. One of the most important trade centers in the Mediterranean in the past, The Venetian harbor of Chania now serves as an essential tourist sight with most of the ports restored, including the lighthouse, Firka fortress and other fortresses.

11. Falassarna Beach

Falassarna Beach
4.3 /5

115 km
from city center
11 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Falassarna beach, also spelt as Phalasarna, is one of the most famous beaches in Greece located on the western edge of Gramvousa. With white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, it has often made it to the list of Top 10 beaches in Europe. It actually consists of 5 beautiful beaches, all of which face the West and make for the perfect spot to catch the setting sun!

12. Explore Archaeological Site of Phaistos

Explore Archaeological Site of Phaistos
4.0 /5

29 km
from city center
12 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Phaistos, also known as the Minoan Palace of Phaistos, is a Bronze Age archaeological site situated in the south centre of Crete at Faistos. The original palace underwent several constructions post damage caused by earthquakes. The present-day site preserves ruins from the old and the new palace and the artefacts and inscriptions unearthed from the site.

13. Discover Cafes at Lake Voulismeni

Discover Cafes at Lake Voulismeni
3.8 /5

82 km
from city center
13 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Lake Voulismeni is a beautiful lake and the most popular landmark of Agios Nikolaos surrounded by restaurants and cafes. It is perfect for hanging out and relishing the serene views either by walking around the lake or enjoying its views from the surrounding cafes and restaurants.

14. Malia Minoan Palace

Malia Minoan Palace
4.0 /5

62 km
from city center
14 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Malia Palace is a historical site which was once the third-largest Minoan palace after Knossos and Phaistos. It is located a few kilometres east of the seaside town of Malia. The archaeological site gives a glimpse of the structure that it used to be with a large central courtyard, a theatre and elaborate rooms.

15. Hiking

Hiking

0 km
from city center
15 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Crete is a paradise for trekking lovers with the ideal lush-green backdrop of hilltops and crystal-clear waters. Hiking in Crete can range from 1-4 days. And the trails are marked with at-home hotels and inns by the locals. The best season to Hike in Crete is Spring, when the weather is pleasant and the trees are blooming, you can also spot rare orchids during your spring hike in Crete.

16. Olive & Wine Tasting Tour

Olive & Wine Tasting Tour
4.0 /5

82 km
from city center
16 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Cretan Olive Oil Farm gives visitors a peek into the making of authentic Cretan products, such as olive oil, cheese, and wine. Located at Agios Nikolaos in East Crete, Greece, it has a variety of tours and activities like the Olive Oil production tour, cheese making, wine tasting, and pottery workshops.

17. Aquaworld Aquarium

Aquaworld Aquarium

53 km
from city center
17 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Centre is the first aquarium in Crete. It is located in Hersonissos Port around 100m from Bus Stop 20. The Aquaworld is home to sea animals and reptiles who were either injured or unwanted and have been rescued to spend the rest of their lives here. Some animals include the blind turtle named Stephania, a river Nile crocodile, pythons, lizards, snakes, octopus, and more. One can interact, feed and hold the animals.

18. Lychnostatis open Air Museum

Lychnostatis open Air Museum
4.2 /5

55 km
from city center
18 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Lychnostatis Open Air Museum is a private museum in Heraklion based on private collection owned by Yiorgos Markakis, an ophthalmologist. It was established in 1992. The museum contains a variety of artifacts and structures related to Cretan folk tradition, economic activity, culture and the environment.

19. Loutro

Loutro

0 km
from city center
19 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The ancient city of Phoenix, the harbor of ancient Anopolis and an important port in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, was located in Loutro. Loutro or Loutra, the baths located nearby and from which water was sent to Anopoli Village, gave Loutro village its name. Only accessible by foot or ferry, this village is a quaint and relaxing retreat for locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by deep forested canyons, the mountains rise up from the sea in Loreto, making it a must-visit in Crete.

20. Frangokastello

Frangokastello
3.5 /5

53 km
from city center
20 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Frangokastello is a gorgeous seaside village in Chania on the southern coast of Crete. It is predominantly known for its magnificent 14th century Venetian castle and its sandy beach, which has shallow turquoise water. The beach is ideal for swimming for both adults and children, sunbathing, watching the sunset, and taking pictures of the surrounding mountains.

21. Swimming at Hippie Matala Beach

Swimming at Hippie Matala Beach
4.2 /5

28 km
from city center
21 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Matala Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Crete, located on the island's southern edge in the Heraklion region. It spans across 300m and provides the best escape with its beautiful sandy shores, crystal clear waters and idyllic tall cliffs. In addition, it is a popular diving spot. One can jump into the sea from the cave located on the north end of the beach.

22. Preveli Beach

Preveli Beach
4.2 /5

32 km
from city center
22 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Preveli Beach is a sandy beach in Rethymno, close to the Monastery of Preveli. The Megalos Potamos or the Grand River runs into the sea from the mountains here. The beach is surrounded by Theophrastus palm trees and is also known as Palm Beach. With turquoise clear seawater, Kourtaliotiko and Preveli Gorges nearby and accessibility to numerous water activities, it is one of the most famous beaches in Crete. Swimming and snorkelling are popular here.

23. Archeological Museum of Chania

Archeological Museum of Chania
3.6 /5

78 km
from city center
23 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Since 1963 the Archeological Museum of Chania has been housed, temporarily, in the Venetian church of St Francis which once belonged to the Franciscan monks, an important monument of the city. The displays contain items starting from Neolithic times, continuing with various Minoan objects, ending with the Byzantine period.

24. Vai Beach

Vai Beach
3.3 /5

132 km
from city center
24 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Vai Beach located at the easten end of Crete is a stunning, uninhabited beach with fine sand and boulders. Via beach enjoys the exclusivity of hosting distinctive lush palm forests in its vicinity. It's a beautiful beach with crystal-clear water, great for snorkeling. Although there are no accommodations at this beach, there are plenty of services, including food, beach supplies, cameras, and drinks, in the driveway all through summer. In addition, rentable seaside chairs and umbrellas are available, and a nearby monastery runs a beachfront eatery serving scrumptious Greek cuisine.

25. Stavros Beach

Stavros Beach
4.2 /5

76 km
from city center
25 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Stavros Beach is a stunning white sand beach with clear turquoise water and marvellous views of the camel-shaped Vardies mountain. It is situated within the seaside village of Stavros on the northern tip of Chania in Crete. The beach is most famous as the location of the classic film "Zorba the Greek".

26. Ruins at Aptera

Ruins at Aptera
4.0 /5

66 km
from city center
26 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Aptera is one of the most famous archaeological sites in western Crete, with scenic views of the Souda Bay and Akrotiri peninsula in the north and Lefka Ori in the south. Some notable things here are a large three-vaulted Roman Cisterns, a 3rd century B.C. fortification wall, a 4-5th century B.C. double-room temple, Roman baths, villa and theatre, among other ruins.

27. Red Beach

Red Beach
4.0 /5

29 km
from city center
27 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Red Beach or Kokkini Ammos is a beautiful beach located south of the Matala resort in Crete. It is called Red Beach because of its reddish-brown sand. Usually a little secluded, it boasts of the greenish-blue waters of the Aegean Sea which is ideal for swimming. It is one of the world’s top nudism-friendly beaches. Red Beach is also the nesting ground for sea turtles (Caretta Caretta).

28. Boating at Lake Kournas

Boating at Lake Kournas
4.4 /5

50 km
from city center
28 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Lake Kournas is the only freshwater lake in Crete, near the village of Kournas. It is located 4km away from Georgioupolis Chania and is a popular relaxing spot. Juxtaposed against the White Mountains, the lake is famous for paddle boating and is home to some turtles. Free sunbeds are available here, and swimming is allowed. In addition, there are some cafés and restaurants overlooking the lake.

29. Snorkelling at Triopetra Beach

Snorkelling at Triopetra Beach
4.3 /5

29 km
from city center
29 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Triopetra Beach is located at the foot of Siderotas mountain, a few kilometres off Akoumiav village in Crete. Surrounded by the Libyan Sea amidst olive groves, it comprises two beaches separated by a peninsula and connected by three big rocks. The Small Triopetra beach is in a closed sandy bay with adequate provisions of umbrellas beside a few taverns and a small harbour. West Triopetra, or the main beach, is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and watching the sunset.

30. Thirathen Museum

Thirathen Museum
3.6 /5

16 km
from city center
30 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Thirathen is the museum of Greek folk music, musical instruments, research and documentation located in Krousonas village. Visitors can hear the instruments being played by experts and are also encouraged to play them. Lively dance performances often accompany these musical sessions.

31. Acqua Plus Waterpark

Acqua Plus Waterpark
4.1 /5

83 km
from city center
31 out of 65
things to do in Crete

One of the biggest waterparks in Crete, Acqua Plus is situated close to Hersonissos and boasts of over 50 fun attractions for both children and adults. It has a number of water slides at different heights, with the highest one being Tsunami which is about 47 feet high. Some others include the zigzag Crazy River, Kamikaze which is the park’s fastest and longest at 125m, Spacebowl and more.

32. Damnoni Beach

Damnoni Beach
4.2 /5

36 km
from city center
32 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Damnoni Beach is a popular beach located a little away from the Plakias resort, about 35km south of Rethymno in Crete. This white sand beach is usually not very crowded and is well known for its clear turquoise water, perfect for kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing and paddling. Facilities like showers, changing rooms and parking are available here, along with regular ferries to and from the beach.

33. Mount Ida Hiking

Mount Ida Hiking
4.0 /5

6 km
from city center
33 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Mount Ida, locally known as Idha or Ita, is the highest mountain in Crete and has the highest topographic prominence in Greece. Located in Rethymno, the mountain offers several hiking trails with 4-5 different routes to reach the summit. Some famous peaks include Holy Cross, Agathias and Stolistra, which provide panoramic views of the Libyan Sea. There are also several points of interest for tourists to explore.

34. Museum of Typography

Museum of Typography
3.9 /5

73 km
from city center
34 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Museum of Typography is a first of its kind museum near Chania, Crete, dedicated to typography and printing. It houses an extensive collection of printing presses, machinery, tools and objects related to typography from the days of Gutenberg to the present day. The visit is only by appointment, but tours are arranged easily.

35. Preveli Monastery

Preveli Monastery
3.7 /5

32 km
from city center
35 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Monastery of Preveli is one of the most famous monasteries in Crete and houses collections of metal seals, gold-plated chalices, semi-precious stones, and liturgical vessels, which are displayed in a small museum here. The Benediction Cross, a big silver cross carried in all battles to encourage fighters, remains the main attraction.

36. Nea Chora Beach

Nea Chora Beach
3.9 /5

80 km
from city center
36 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Nea Chora is a picturesque beach that lies to the west of the Chania city centre in Crete. A mix of sandy and rocky, the central part of the beach is organised but it keeps its natural character towards the west side. Nea Chora has clear blue water that is perfect for taking a dip, while the beach itself is ideal for sunbathing, watching the stunning sunset and taking photographs.

37. Greek National Football Museum

Greek National Football Museum
3.6 /5

78 km
from city center
37 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Situated in the Old Town of Chania in Crete, the Greek National Football Museum houses many memorabilia of the country's national football team. The museum's main highlight is the many original jerseys worn by world-renowned players and other items like tickets to different matches, balls with autographs, photographs, a copy of the 2004 trophy, and more.

38. Maritime Museum of Crete

Maritime Museum of Crete
3.5 /5

78 km
from city center
38 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Maritime Museum of Crete, or the Nautical Museum of Crete, is Greek's second-oldest maritime museum. It lies at the entrance to the Firka Fortress on the Chania Harbour. The museum, founded in 1973, is home to exhibitions related to Greek maritime traditions and the Greek Navy. Some popular displays include ships, submarines, frigates, marine equipment, parts of a ship's bridge, coins and lead seals, models of cities, maps and more.

39. Agia Triada Monastery

Agia Triada Monastery
4.2 /5

71 km
from city center
39 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Agia Triada Monastery is a 17th-century Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri Peninsula in Crete that also houses a museum. One of the most prominent churches in Greece, it was built by two Venetian brothers in the Byzantine style of architecture. The museum within the monastery consists of several Greek Orthodox icons, including that of St. John the Theologian, manuscripts dating back to the 12th century, religious clothing items, codices etc.

40. Morosini Fountain

Morosini Fountain
4.3 /5

31 km
from city center
40 out of 65
things to do in Crete

A renowned fountain and meeting point in Heraklion in Crete, the Morosini Fountain or Lion’s Fountain is located at Eleftherios Venizelos Square. This 17th-century historic structure is one of the most beautiful monuments in Crete. It is most notable for four lions which support the central basin and let out water from their mouths into eight ornately carved troughs. There are cafes, restaurants, bars and a few stores around the fountain.

41. Agios Pavlos Beach

Agios Pavlos Beach
4.3 /5

103 km
from city center
41 out of 65
things to do in Crete

A relatively secluded beach that lies towards the south of Rethymno in Crete, the Agios Pavlos Beach is a stunning location featuring clear green waters and a rocky waterbed. The water here is usually warm and therefore suitable for swimming and snorkelling. A few sunbeds and umbrellas are scattered around the sandy beach, making it ideal for sunbathing, watching the sunset and relaxing.

42. Agios Minas Cathedral

Agios Minas Cathedral
3.9 /5

31 km
from city center
42 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Church of Agios Minas or the Agios Minas Cathedral is a 19th century Greek Orthodox church located in Heraklion, Crete. It is dedicated to Saint Minas, the city’s patron saint. It is the largest church in Crete and one of the largest churches in Greece. The highlight is the stunning architecture with impressive interiors.

43. Kommos Beach

Kommos Beach
4.0 /5

26 km
from city center
43 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Kommos Beach is located south of Heraklion in Crete and is a scenic beach that was once part of the ancient port of Phaistos. It lies along the Bay of Messara and overlooks the picturesque Libyan Sea. One of the largest beaches on the island, it boasts of golden sand and clear turquoise water which is a treat for swimmers. The northern end is the non-nudist section, while the far end is the nudist section.

44. Koules Fortress

Koules Fortress
3.8 /5

32 km
from city center
44 out of 65
things to do in Crete

Koules Fortress is the entrance to the harbour of Heraklion. Also known as the "Sea fortress", it is one of the most beloved monuments of the city.

45. Chania Venetian Lighthouse

Chania Venetian Lighthouse
3.7 /5

78 km
from city center
45 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The lighthouse of Chania is located at the entrance of the port and is considered to be the symbol of Chania.

46. Agiofarago Beach

Agiofarago Beach
4.0 /5

83 km
from city center
46 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Agiofarago Beach is an utterly stunning and serene rocky beach that boasts of clear waters and is surrounded by imposing cliffs. It is situated south of Heraklion city in Crete at the exit of the Gorge Agiofarago. It is excellent for sunbathing, watching the sunset and taking photographs. Those looking for a little adventure can also try climbing the cliffs, especially since the view from the top is spectacular.

47. Toplou Monastery

Toplou Monastery
3.9 /5

128 km
from city center
47 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Toplou Monastery or Monastery of Panagia Akrotiriani is a 14th-century Greek Orthodox church that also comprises a museum. It is situated at the northeastern tip of Crete, Greece. It almost resembles a fortress and is one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in Crete. The museum here is well-known for housing a multitude of icons made by its monks as well as other religious items.

48. Richtis Gorge

Richtis Gorge
4.1 /5

107 km
from city center
48 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Richtis Gorge or Faraggi tou Richti is a gorge in the eastern part of Crete, a popular hiking destination. It is a lush green state-protected park that extends from the Exo Mouliana village (on the national road between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia) to the Richtis Beach (east of the village Kalavros). The gorge is approximately 4 km long and is known for being a moderately difficult trail.

49. Watercity Waterpark

Watercity Waterpark
4.3 /5

41 km
from city center
49 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Watercity Waterpark is a big amusement park situated in Anopolis off the northern coast of Crete that features more than 36 exciting water attractions for kids and adults. There are a number of water slides and swimming pools here such as the Turbo Cyclone, Ofiss Rattlesnake Toboggan, Lazy River, Tarzan’s Game and Body Slide Cyclone.

50. Agia Marina Beach

Agia Marina Beach
3.9 /5

87 km
from city center
50 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Agia Marina Beach is located about 10km from Chania, Crete, and is a popular beach resort with good infrastructure and facilities. It offers splendid views of the clear blue waters and sandy shores. Agia Marina Beach is also known for its various water sporting activities like jet-skiing, kayaking, paddling, surfing, and more.

51. Nautical Museum of Crete

Nautical Museum of Crete
3.6 /5

78 km
from city center
51 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The nautical museum was constructed in 1973 and stands next to the Firkas fortress. Itæ includes models of ships, nautical instruments, paintings, historical photographs and war relics.

52. Historical Museum of Crete

Historical Museum of Crete
3.8 /5

31 km
from city center
52 out of 65
things to do in Crete

The Museum, founded by the society of Cretan Historical Studies highlights the collection of art and history of Crete from the 4th century AD up to the second world war.

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FAQs on Crete

What are the top activities in Crete?

The top activities in Crete are Elafonisi Island Day Tour from Rethymno/Chania/Heraklion, Private Chania International Airport (CHQ) and Chania Port Transfers for Crete, Heraklion Hop-On Hop-Off Tours (Open-Top), Private Heraklion International Airport (HER) and Heraklion Port Transfers for Crete, Wine Tasting and Cooking Workshop in Crete, Wine Tasting Experience in Crete.

What are the top sightseeing places in Crete?

The top sightseeing places in Crete are Knossos, Heraklion Archeological Museum, Lychnostatis open Air Museum, Koules Fortress, Historical Museum of Crete, Chania Venetian Lighthouse.

How can I commute within 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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