June 11, 2018

Top Destinations in Crete

As Greece’s largest island, Crete is a must-see destination for any adventure traveler. With landscapes varying from sandy beaches to soaring mountains to wildflower sprinkled plateaus, Crete is akin to paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

Crete is also an island brimming with culture and tradition, as its history dates back to Neolithic times. As one of the most ancient civilizations in Europe, Crete is home to a myriad of fortresses, castles, and other ancient ruins. No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Crete is sure to have something for you. Be sure not to miss these destinations on the beautiful island.

Chania

photo of crete, Crete, travel & discover mysterious GreeceLocated on the northwest coast of Crete, the Chania region is an ideal location to discover authentic Cretan hospitality, local cuisine, and local wine. As one of the most well-preserved areas on the island, Chania’s quintessential cobblestone streets, local shops, and views of the Venetian harbor are radically distinctive.

photo of balos, Top 10 Exotic Beaches in Greece, travel & discover mysterious GreeceBalos Beach is one of Chania’s most prized gems and cannot be missed. Nestled in the cliffside, Balos Beach boasts 50 shades of blue as far as the eye can see and the lagoon is one of purest on the island. The beach itself involves a 1.25-mile hike to reach, but rest assured, if you don’t feel like walking back up, donkey rides are available for a small price.

Samaria Gorge, Sfakia

photo of samaria, Hiking Samaria Gorge, travel & discover mysterious GreeceLocated in Samaria National Park, Samaria Gorge is Europe’s longest gorge and arguably the most scenic. Originally created by a river running down the White Mountains into the sea, this long, deep ravine is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Crete. The picturesque wooden bridges combined with the mountain views make this 10-mile hike totally worth it. The 450+ plant and animal species only add to the grandeur you’ll find as you make the descent to the ocean. In addition to the captivating natural beauty, the hike also passes by old churches and relics from old villages. Ending in a small village called, Agia Roumeli, the hike will have you well prepared for a dip in the crisp Libyan Sea. Group tours are available for roughly $35. The gorge can also be reached by public bus from Chania.

Lasithi

photo of lasithi, Lasithi, travel & discover mysterious GreeceThis region, located on the eastern side of the island, is the least-visited area in Crete. With fewer tourists and more locals, visiting Lasithi gives you a glimpse into real, rural life on the island. Widely known for its pebble stone beaches and lush resorts, Lasithi’s vibrant diversity goes beyond just fancy hotels and breathtaking beaches.

For a break from bustling city life, be sure to check out Agios-Nikolaos. This small, sleepy town is the perfect place to get lost in the winding streets, savor a cup of coffee, and enjoy life at a slower pace.The most popular attraction in Lasithi is the Lasithi Windmills. The 10,000+ windmills were once used to help with irrigation, but now the remaining windmills serve as a beautiful reminder of simpler times.

Rethymno

photo of rethymno, Rethymno, travel & discover mysterious GreeceRich in history, Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete. It doesn’t take long to fall in love with this Medieval town after exploring its charming cafes, fairytale-like scenery, and small town feel.The Fortezza or Fortress towers over the city and offers a glimpse into Venetian life circa 1573. It also offers unparalleled views of the city below. Additional points of interest in Rethymno are the Venetian lighthouse, the Folklore and History Museum, the Neratze Mosque, and the countless beaches running alongside the city.

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