Things to do in Crete

Tourists will always find plenty of things to do in Crete. Crete attractions are not just limited to beautiful beaches; this is the fifth-largest of all the Mediterranean islands, and it boasts a rich history. There are many stunning harbors, historical ruins, and breathtaking gorges scattered around Crete’s four prefectures, and there are the requisite pristine beaches as well.

Chania

Chania city is the capital of the Chania prefecture in Crete. The city, with its harbor surrounded by old buildings of Turkish and Venetian origins, has much to offer tourists. Things to do in Crete should include a visit to the town’s Venetian lighthouse and the old neighborhood of Halepa. The Nautical Museum in the fort of Firkas near the harbor is also worth a visit, especially for those interested in seafaring.

Knossos

The Palace of Knossos, near the city of Heraklion, is one of the main Crete attractions. Believed to be the palace where the legendary Minotaur was kept in a labyrinth, the palace dates back to the Bronze Age. Knossos is spread across six acres and is noted for, among other things, the beauty of the frescoes that adorn its walls. Much of the ruins have been reconstructed, and a visit to the site must be included among any list of top activities in Crete.

Rethymno

The capital of the prefecture with the same name, Rethymno is a vibrant city full of narrow paved lanes and buildings from bygone eras. One of the major Crete attractions is the wine festival held here every July. Activities in Crete for those interested in historic monuments must include a visit to the Venetian Loggia and the Neratze Mosque. Rethymno also boasts several campuses that belong to the University of Crete, and the large student population here adds to the lively atmosphere of the city.

Chrissi Akthi

Chrissi Akthi literally means golden coast. Located on the Lassithi prefecture, near Aghios Nicolaos, its beautiful blue waters attract hordes of tourists. As a result, the beach can become quite crowded, so getting there early in the day when it's quiet and the sun is far from its fiercest can be a good ideal.

Prevali Beach

South of Rethymno, Prevali Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete. Bordered on one side by beautiful palm trees, this was once a favorite on the hippie tour. Today, visitors of all kinds flock to enjoy the scenic pleasures of Prevali.

Elafonissi

This is one of the most famous beaches in Crete, and a trip to this beach should be near the top of your list of things to do in Crete. Located in the prefecture of Chania, Elafonissi is famed for its pink beach. Look closely and you’ll see that the sand is actually white—the beach’s pinkish tinge comes from the many broken seashells scattered in the sand. Spectacular sunsets at Elafonissi also recommended it to vacationers.

Samaria Gorge

Located in Chania, this ten-mile gorge is an awesome national park that’s primarily home to the Cretan goat (the Kri-Kri). Part of a larger area that has been declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the gorge is best seen by those who don their hiking boots to experience the topography. At the end of the hike you can also take an invigorating plunge in the sea at the nearby Agia Roumeli. All in all, it’s an area that makes for excellent combinations of activities in Crete.

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