The largest Greek island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, Crete stretches for 160 miles west to east and boasts a diverse array of landscapes. Take a memorable trek through rugged canyons and mountains covered in lush greenery brightened with colorful flowers or spend the day at one of many spectacular beaches edging calm, translucent turquoise waters for swimming. Fuel your exploits at traditional eateries serving mouth-watering Cretan dishes. Signature cheeses, wild herbs, greens, and locally caught fish and seafood in the ultimate place for true farm- and sea-to-table delights. With a long history of wine production and over 60 wineries, you’ll find plenty of local and regional wines to enjoy with it.

Crete offers fascinating ruins to explore too, with everything from the famous Palace of Knossos that dates back to 1700 BC to the 16th-century fortress on Spinalonga Island, which housed Europe’s last leper colony.

Talk to the Experts

Our team of friendly Greek experts are here to help

(+1) 844 381 5808Request a Call Back

Our Trips to Crete

Get in touch with our travel experts today.

+1 844 381 5808OR

Best Hotels in Crete

As Crete covers such a wide swathe of terrain, you’ll want to choose your base carefully or perhaps split the time you have between its western and eastern regions. Some of the top spots include Chania in western Crete. Old Town Chania with its magnificent Venetian-era buildings, while beautiful beaches and mountains are nearby. Heraklion is Crete’s largest city, tucked between Mount Psiloritis and the Dikti mountains along the northern coast. A stay near the main square or old market provides a perfect place for exploring the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, trendy eateries, and boutiques.

Rethymno is about midway between Chania and Heraklion, making it a good base for exploring both cities. It has a gorgeous Venetian fortress and Old City with a maze of cobbled streets and 16th-century architecture. Agios Nikolaos in eastern Crete is popular for beach getaways with many picturesque stretches lapped by clear blue waters, while Hersonissos offers a number of popular beach resorts, waterparks, an aquarium, and plenty of other perks for a family-friendly trip.

 

Things to do in Crete

 
Why Crete is Best for Families

When to visit Crete

Crete’s tourist season generally runs from May through October, peaking in July and August. If your main goals are sightseeing and hiking, you may want to come in the spring or fall when the weather won’t be too hot, and the crowds won’t be too thick. Mid-April through early June or late September and October are typically ideal. For a relaxing beach escape with good weather guaranteed, aim for June or September. Of the two, September is best with the sea warmer thanks to the higher summer temperatures. Summer is the liveliest time to visit, with lots of nightlife to enjoy.

 

Crete FAQ

Perian
From

Perian Our Greece Expert

How many days do you need in Crete?
As such a large island, you really need six or seven days in Crete to properly explore it. If you want to see all the highlights, it requires a two-week stay. For those who want to do it in less, you’ll want to choose one base such as Chania that makes it possible to explore other popular destinations like Samaria Gorge and Balos Beach. With six days, you can split your time into two areas, perhaps flying into Heraklion and out from Chania or vice versa, which makes it possible to cover quite a few highlights, including Knossos Palace.

What is the best time to visit Knossos Palace?
The best season to visit is in spring or early fall when temperatures will be comfortable, and it won’t be as busy. But regardless of the season, the best time of day to visit is early in the morning or toward the end of the day, about two hours before closing to ensure you have enough time to take it all in. Try to avoid dates when cruise ships are in Heraklion’s port by searching Google for the Crete cruise ship calendar.

 

What are the essential sites to see in Crete?
The Palace of Knossos is a must as Crete’s most important archaeological site, home to the Minoan civilization, at its peak from 1700 to 1400 BC. It provides a fascinating look at life during ancient times, complete with a sewage system, water piped in, and even flush toilets. Chania’s Old Town, with pastel-hued buildings enveloped by 16th-century walls, and backed by the White Mountains, is a sight to behold. Balos Beach is arguably the island’s most stunning with white powdery sands and a pink stretch, all framing a dreamy turquoise lagoon. The 11-mile-long Samaria Gorge is also impressive in terms of scenery and wildlife.

 

Is Crete worth visiting?
Crete is not only worth visiting, it’s one of the top islands to consider on a trip to the Greek islands with rich traditions, ancient history, incredible cuisine, and breath-taking views. Its sheer size and diverse offerings mean there’s something for everyone here. It’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches for soaking up the sun and swimming, mountains for hiking, wineries for tasting, and much more. The island’s size also means you can almost always find a way to escape the crowds and enjoy it in tranquil seclusion.

 
 

Why Book With Unforgettable Greece

  • 100% Financial Protection

    We are a licensed and fully bonded tour operator financially protected by both the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL) and the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT). All clients that travel with us are fully financially protected.

  • Destination Experts

    Our travel experts live and breathe the destinations they specialise in. This shows in their passionate to create hand crafted trips for our clients. We don’t offer cookie cutter trips, just truly unforgettable journeys unlike any other.

  • The Best Guides

    What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.

  • We Care

    From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.

You may be interested in