The island of Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. It was the center of the Minoan civilization from around 2700 to 1420 BC.
Besides the natural beauty and exquisite cuisines, one of the other thing that makes Crete a compelling destination is the diversity of cultures that have ever occupied the island. These includes: Minoans, Romans, and the Ottoman Empire, just to mention but a few.
Take a look at 15 of the very best places and amazing things to do while in Crete:
1. Explore the City of Heraklion
The city of Heraklion is capital of the island of Crete. It is also the main transportation hub in Crete.
Certainly, the holidays in Heraklion combine amazing beach resorts with visits to historical sites.
A drive around Heraklion will also bring you to traditional villages, medieval castles, Byzantine monasteries and nice beaches.
2. Visit the Palace of Knossos in the Island of Crete
The Place of Knossos is the biggest Bronze Age site in the island. It is often referred to as Europe’s oldest city.
Indeed, this is the most famous sight in Crete. It is located just a few kilometers from Heraklion Town.
3. See the Fortress of Koules in the Island of Crete
The Fortress of Koule is located at the entrance of the old port of Heraklion in the Island of Crete. It was built by the Venetians in the early 16th century.
The fortress has two stories, with a total of 26 rooms. And the lighthouse tower is located on the northern part of the fortress
4. Visit the Cretaquarium in the Island of Crete
Without a doubt, the underwater journey in the Mediterranean starts in the Creteaquarium.
This offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the magnificent Mediterranean sea world.
From large sharks to microscopic sea horses and jellyfish, this aquarium has a diverse marine life showcased.
5. Explore one of the best preserved medieval cities in Greece
The city of Rethymno combines the old town’s charm and history, with a long sandy beach.
In this city, you can explore a number of Venetian and Turkish sights, temples and public buildings.
The atmosphere of the old city and its narrow streets narrates the rich history of the place, in a very fascinating way.
6. Adventure into the Sfentoni Cave in the Island of Crete
Sfentoni Cave is one of the most interesting caves in the Island of Crete. It is located in the village of Zoniana, just 43 km from Heraklion and 52 km from Rethymnon.
The tickets to the cave includes the services of a well trained guide, who is responsible for both your personal safety and the protection of the cave.
7. Wander Around the City of Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos is a medium size town that has lots to offer.
The town has three faces to the sea: The Lake and port, Kitroplatia beach and the Marina. Its unique features, start with the Lake Voulismeni which is connected to the sea by a narrow inlet.
8. Visit the Agios Nikolaos Chapel
Agios Nikolaos Chapel is a traditional Greek fishermen’s chapel set on a rocky outcrop in the sea.
9. Experince the Crete Semi Submarine
While visiting the city of Agios Nikolaos, you can’t miss out the Crete Semi Submarine experience.
This the name of a unique kind of a double hull ship that take visitors on a tour to discover the underwater world of Agios Nikolaos in the island of Crete.
10. Discover the Ancient Aptera of Crete
The Ancient Aptera in the island of Crete was one of the most significant city states of Crete.
The site is located on a plateau above Souda Bay, about 15 km away from the city of Chania on the road towards Rethymno.
The two city ports of Minoa (today’s Marathi) and Kisamo (currently Kalives) made Aptera to be one of the most important commercial centers of Crete.
Its inhabitants were skilful archers and fought as mercenaries bringing back wealth to their land.
11. Enjoy a Walk at The Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete
The Marinaki’s family built the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete to showcase the Mediterranean flora and fauna.
Due to the topography of the island of Crete, it also encourages hiking. In addition, the White Mountains also form a spectacular backdrop to the walk round the park.
12. Take a Boat Trip to Santorini Island
Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km south east of Greece’s mainland.
There are several boat tour companies that offer excursions to Santorini.
The have a wide selection of vessels, speedboats, yachts and catamarans. Some of these have luxurious amenities, great lounging areas, meals and excellent services.
13. Beach Hopping in the Island of Crete
This Greek island is adorned with a lot of beaches. They vary from fantastic beaches, to crowded ones and to the exotic beaches.
Whether you’re into water sports, snorkeling or sunbathing, the island of Crete certainly has a stretch of a beach to suit your taste.
14. Visit The Lychnostatis Open Air Museum In Crete
This is a museum in Hersonissos, Heraklion in the Island of Crete. It is a private foundation, established in July 1992.
Lychnostatis Open Air Museum contains a variety of artifacts and structures related to Cretan folk tradition, economic activity, and the environment.
15. Organic Wine Tasting at the Winery Stilianou
Last but not least, while in the island of Crete, you can’t miss out the tasting of these are Stilianou wines.
Getting there is also an adventure and overall, worth the visit.
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