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Things to do in Crete
Written by Manish on July 21, 2020 Share on

10 Best Things to Do in Crete On Your Greece Vacation in 2024: Your Ultimate Guide

Crete, the island with lots of amazing beaches, excellent nightlife and beautiful destination for youngsters and couples. So here in the blog, we will tell you about the island as well as the 10 best things to do in Crete. Blooming in 2700 BC, the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean was the birthplace of the oldest civilization in Europe. You can venture into Bronze Age archaeological sites over the island to get to know the Minoans and call at the fantastic Archaeological Museum in Heraklion.

These Minoan mansions and cities blur the lines between fact and Greek belief and the combined views of King Minos, Daedalus, and Icarus. After several centuries, the Venetian made a lasting contribution to Crete’s cities, ports, walls, and fortresses that today stand tall in Heraklion, Chania, and Rethymno. And far from civilization the island is sprinkled with whites like mountain ranges and life-changing Samaria and you have most beautiful beaches of the world.

10 Best Things to Do in Crete Greece

  1. Knossos
  2. Elafonisi Beach
  3. Heraklion Archaeological Museum
  4. Rethymno Old Town
  5. Samaria Gorge
  6. Balos Lagoon
  7. Chania’s Venetian Harbour
  8. Falassarna Beach
  9. Voulismeni Lake
  10. Arkadi Monastery

1. Knossos, Crete

Knossos in Crete
Image by Torsten Ritschel from Pixabay 

Knossos comes amongst the top things to do in Crete. A few kilometres south of the modern capital of Crete, Heraklion was the capital of Minoan Crete.

Knossos is the name of a palace. And the city adjacent to it, which had a population of up to 100,000 in the 18th century BC. The castle was built about 3,000 years ago, and you can read about in Greek belief as to the seat of King Minos, where he built Dedalus a maze to capture his son Minotaur.

Knossos was affected by repeated catastrophes such as invasions, earthquakes, and Theran Eruption around 1625 BCE. It was first excavated in 1900 by the Arthur Evans, The British archaeologist, who renewed some of the design and Graffiti.

You can see the sweeping reception courtyard where the royal family will entertain guests, and enter the throne room, the sanctuary, walk in a section of the Royal Way towards the coast and see the Royal Apartments on four levels.

2. Elafonisi Beach, Crete

Elafonisi Beach of Crete
Image by jarekgrafik from Pixabay 

World’s see Elafonisi Beach as one of the world’s best beaches. The beach is a nature preserve on the channel within the mainland and Elafonisi, a four-sided island famous for the pink sand on its shores. The water within the mainland and the island is pure, shallow and lagoon-like, and often you can pass through sand bars from one to the other without wetting your feet.

You can enjoy the vast natural pool where you can sit on the ankle or knee and swim in the shimmering water.

It features white sand, turquoise water, blue skies and views of the mountainous southwestern coast of Crete and you’ve got a small patch of paradise. This beach always considered in the topmost best things to do in Crete.

Also read:-Most beautiful beaches in Greece for the perfect vacation

3. Heraklion Archaeological Museum

To fully understand Europe’s oldest civilization, look no further than the outstanding Heraklion archaeological museum, which is one of the top things to do in Crete on your Greece vacation. It has the most extensive collection of Minoan artefacts of any museum and has 20 rooms in chronological order. 

You will begin in the Neolithic period before Crete’s palaces existed. And the places after that were embellished, lit sculptures, vases, weapons and armour. Entire frescoes transferred from the Minoan sites of Crete to the museum, as well as ivory, the emblem of the bull leper, from Knossos Palace.

One mystery that remains a mystery is the Phaistos Disc, which is having a diameter of 15 cm and covered with symbols arranged in a spiral. Another piece with strange inscriptions is Arkalochori Axe, which is there in a cave of the same name and it has 15 symbols.

4. Rethymno Old Town

Rethymno Old Town in crete
Image by Antonio Kovonni from Pixabay 

The third-largest city in Crete may also be the best-preserved old city on the island. After visiting this place, you will be surprised that you have actually covered one of the best things to do in Crete.

Originally behind the walls, the city’s tight cobblestone lanes were put out in the 14th century time when Crete was in the hands of the Republic of Venice and held on its Renaissance mansion, arches and Catholic churches.

If any building can encapsulate the vast history of Rethymno, it is the Neratz Mosque.

It began its life as Venice until 1925, before the mosque was built for nearly 300 years. It is now Rethino’s Municipal Odon, which hosts regular music concerts.

Venetian monuments surviving in Rehmeno include the 1729th-century Loggia (converted into a mosque by the Ottomans) and the Rimondi Fountain from 1629, built by two pairs of Corinthian columns next to a Gothic arch.

5. Samaria Gorge, Crete

Samaria Gorge in Crete
Image by eloneo from Pixabay 

Walking this path from the Omalos Plateau to the real road is something that will stay with you for a lifetime. There is a great demand for this place in youth and one of the top amazing things to do in Crete.

The 16-kilometre walk begins on a circuitous path and a viewing platform at the bottom of wooden steps. Where you have to bend your feet from the rock walls climbing for about 300 meters.

On the way, the ravine will be confined to a section called “Gates” or “Iron Gates”, where the gorge is just four meters across.

At the end of the gorge, it is another three kilometres to the coastal village of Agia Roumeli. Where you can catch a ferry to Sougia in the west of Sfakia in the east.

6. Balos Lagoon, Crete

Balos Lagoon in Crete
Image by G M from Pixabay 

A beach for the Alafoni’s rival, the Balos Lagoon, is equally a contrast and one of Crete’s best-known photographs.

Balos is odd 60 kilometres northwest of Chania and, often 18 kilometres by day-trippers by ferry from Kissamos.

The lagoon is between two caps, the Gramvausa and the Tigani. Which trap the shallow water reservoir to preserve the shallow water.

If you travel by road, walking through a rugged hill is an experience in itself. And you will bend against a rocky mass of triplets to be faced by a lagoon surrounded by white sand. By boat, you can always take a closer look at the Gramusa Islands as well. And of course, the Balos Lagoon is always attracting tourists and tourists to consider it one of the best things to do in Crete.

7. Chania’s Venetian Harbour

Chania in crete
Image by traytablesaway from Pixabay 

The Venetian began construction of the magnificent port of Chania in 1320 and work would continue for the next three centuries.

Several hundred meters from the eastern end, to the lighthouse, is a symbol for the city.

It created in the 17th century and received its minaret-like appearance in the Egyptian period in the 1830s. It is wonderfully designed and is known as one of the best things to do in Crete.

The western part of the port was one where goods were sheltered, while the more sheltered eastern pocket was for shipbuilding and maintenance.

There you still know the dry dock roof and repair yard known as Arsenali, which was built in the mid-1400s to 1599s. Different from this line, the Grand Arsenal has many different roles as a Christian school, a hospital. And Chania’s Town Hall.

Following post-war renovations, it now hosts the centre of Mediterranean architecture.

8. Falassarna Beach, Crete

Falassarna Beach
Photo by Daan Huttinga on Unsplash

Often ranked as the best beach on Crete and one of the best in Europe. Falssarna beach is on the western shore where the Gramusa Peninsula connects to the mainland, visiting the Falassarna Beach is one of the top things to do in Crete.

There are five different beaches here, around a large bay which was a port in antiquity. The city’s acropolis is on a peninsula on the north side of the bay, which rises 90 meters above the water and goes back to the fourth century with the remains of well, fortifications and a temple. The main destination centre for sun-seekers is the beach. Which has a full band of light sand, bathed only by a clear shallow sea with shallow water

On the beach, you can experience a tandem parading trip, which is worthwhile due to the rugged hills in the background.

9. Voulismeni Lake, Crete

Voulismeni Lake
Image by Alex Sky from Pixabay 

This particular lake is full of boats on the ports, coffee shops and restaurants in the eastern city of Agios Nikolaos.

Voulismeni Lake is no longer strictly a lake since a channel was laid in 1870, connecting it to the city’s port and sea.

You can notice the darkness of the water, although the width of the lake is only 137 meters.

There is a historical saga that the lake is unfathomable. But it is a long story as it drops to a maximum depth of 64 meters.

Stop here for a coffee to watch the lights on the water at meals in the evening of time.

On Saturday night before Orthodox Easter, most cities gather at the water’s edge for fireworks. Visiting this place will make a person feel great and will make you feel that you have covered one the best things to do in Crete.

10. Arkadi Monastery, Crete

Arkadi Monastery
Image by Murat Demirel from Pixabay 

The memorable human-made and natural site on Crete do not matter as much to its people as this monastery just 20 kilometres southeast of Rethymno. Founded in the 5th century by the Byzantine emperor Arcadius. Vineyards, olive trees and oak are there all over at Arcadi Monastery – visiting which is definitely one of the top things to do in Crete.

The current architecture dates from early 16th-century Venetian Baroque-style makeovers. Ottoman times were famous for its gold embroidery and wealthy library.

Then came a watershed in 1866, when, during the Cretan Rebellion 943 Greeks, mainly women and children walloped themselves in a monastery held against the Ottomans for three days.

Choosing martyrdom upon surrender, Cretan was brought to a devastating close, igniting his ammo barrel.

It is now a Greek national sanctuary. And local celebrate it on 8th November, the day of the eruption, in Arcadi and Rethymno.

Also read:- Top Hotels in Greece that will make your stay a memorable one

Excited about visiting Greece after reading about this blog on top things to do in Crete? Get ready to experience beautiful beaches, bronze history and Greek mythology in Crete.

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