Top Places to Visit on Crete
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As the largest island in Greece, Crete has no shortage of things to do. Despite its size, the island has a homey and captivating charm that often keeps them coming back for more. The weather here remains gorgeous well into the autumn and people flock here to enjoy the sunshine, beaches, history, and culture. The cuisine here is also unique and is totally centered around the fact that the island is self sustaining. The majority of things eaten here likely originated here.
While on the island, you’ll no doubt want to see the sites. Here’s a look at the best places to visit while on the Greek island of Crete:
Elafonissi is one of the most popular beaches on the island. It is a physically gorgeous beach that is nestled in a scenic lagoon. The water is warm and inviting, the soft sand will please people of all ages. There are some sun beds and umbrellas here to rent and there are also some services nearby to enjoy. You can easily reach this beach by car, but there is also an option to come here by boat, depending on where you originate on the island.
One of the things that Crete is known for is that it was a main hub for the ancient Minoan civilization. Evidence of these people can be found throughout the island, particularly at the palaces. Knossos Palace, which is located in Heraklion, is one of the most recognizable. However, there are other palaces located at Phaistos, Malia, and Zakros. Most of these are just ruins, but they’re all worth exploring.
If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to experience the outdoors on Crete, you’ll want to consider hiking the Samaria Gorge. The hike originates at the top of the gorge and winds its way down until you make it to the gorgeous black sand beach where you will need to take a ferry. The easiest way to do this is to join a tour group because they provide you with transportation to the trail head and then pick you up after you get dropped off by the ferry.
The Old Venetian Harbor, which is located in Chania, is one of the most recognizable landmarks on Crete. This whole area shows evidence of Crete’s Venetian occupation, and it makes for an interesting part of the landscape. When you have time, consider walking the length of the fortress to the end where the tower is perched. There are some incredible views here.
There have been a lot of archaeological excavations done on the island of Crete, and it is proof that the history here is a rich one. Most of the artifacts have been removed from the sites in order to be studied and ultimately protected from the elements. Many of them reside in the Archaeological Museum, which is located in Heraklion. You won’t want to miss the chance to visit!
You’ll definitely want to log plenty of time at the beach while on Crete. Preveli Beach is one of those places that you won’t want to miss! The beach itself affords great views of the sea and the landscape, and it also makes for a relaxing place to spend some time. There is also a monastery that is perched on a cliff high above the beach. Consider visiting the monastery while here, as well!
If you love the stories of Greek mythology, you’ll want to visit the Cave of Zeus. As the story goes, Cronus was paranoid that one of his children would overthrow him as king of the gods. To prevent this, he swallowed his children whole. However, Zeus’s life was spared because of his mother’s trickery. He was taken to Crete, where he was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. After he came of age, he confronted his father, rescued his siblings from within Cronus, and became the new king of the gods.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do on Crete. While here, you’ll want to visit at least some of these places!
This post was written by Greek Boston