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100 Reasons to visit Crete in Greece – Updated for 2022
The friendly welcoming locals that will make you feel right at home instantly.
Crete has some of the hottest summer temperatures in Greece with the summer temperatures averaging 34°C
The local drink of Crete is Raki and locals claim drinking it will give you a long and healthy life.
Crete is only 4 hours flight from most European destinations and only GMT+2 so its easy to adapt and enjoy your holiday.
This small island has some of the best wine in all of Greece but also famous for some of the strongest and sharpest wine called Retsina, a local wine which many compare to vinegar but its an acquired taste.
You will always find someone in Crete who speaks English, Dutch or German as well as Greek so you will always get help in one way or another if your lost or in need of a place to stay.
Visit the town of Spili near Agia Galini and see the amazing fountain with 25 carved lions heads spouting out clean and drinkable sweet water.
The palace of Knossos is a must see and is unique to Crete and believed to be the start of modern civilization.
Your just a short cruise from the romantic island of Santorini and can easily book to visit it in a day trip.
Victoria Hislop wrote a book based on called “The Island” and its based on the island of Spinalonga near Elounda.
Lady gaga was recently spotted taking her holiday in Crete and she is not the first, many of Hollywood’s A-lister’s choose to holiday here and get away from the paparazzi.
The olive oil you can buy in Crete is some of the finest in the world, look out for it in local markets and village stores rather than in supermarkets.
Visit the island of Spinalonga which was one of the last Leper colonies in the world, take a guided boat trip and enjoy a beach BBQ after.
The Greek island of Crete has been occupied countless times in the past, from the Ottoman Turks to the Venetians and their architecture is still present toady in the larger cities of Rethymnon, Heraklion and Chania.
Crete has some of the best beaches in Greece from the sandy beaches of Matala, Rethymnon, Malia and more to the secluded pebble and shingle bays on the southern side of Crete near Sfakia and Loutro.
Visit the area of Phaistos or Festos and explore the ancient ruins which date back to 4000 BC. In 1908, one of Crete’s most famous artefacts was discovered in Phaistos, known as the Phaistos Disc.
Crete is the birthplace of El Greco and famous Renaissance artist and you can visit his birthplace in Fodele near Heraklion.
When your in Crete and visiting the eastern side then take a look at Cretan Open-air Museum ‘LYCHNOSTATIS ‘ near Hersonissos for an insight into the Cretan culture and the way things were done.
Thomson holidays has so much faith in Crete that they built their first Sensatori all inclusive luxury resort near Analipsi in Crete and its one of their premier properties for holidaymaker’s.
You can go deep sea sport fishing here with large Tuna shoals running on the southern side of the island.
The island is home to the unique Kri Kri goat and can be seen in and around the Samaria Gorge
Chania has a famous Cross shaped market and is open daily and your best place to find authentic local produce and goods like feta cheese, olive oils and local Cretan honey.
Take a tour around the Venetian fortress in Rethymnon and you will get some great photographs and memories to share with the family.
The food of Greece is some of the healthiest in the world, with amazing fresh Greek salads, goats cheeses, and grilled meats all normally hand reared locally.
Choose to visit in Easter and join the Greek Easter celebrations which are nothing like what you get back at home, with spit roasted whole lamb and sweet breads. Its like an Christmas but better.
Crete is excellent for surfing, you can surf the huge waves that sometimes crop up near Kissamos and other parts of Crete.
Near Gouves and Gournes they have a huge aquarium called CretAquarium and its well worth a visit to see the local sea life of Crete and Greece.
Crete is home to some of the best citrus fruits in Europe, with some of the juiciest and sweetest oranges to be found in Fodele.
They recently filmed a version of a popular American show called Americas Next Top Model with Tyra Banks visiting Agios Nikolaos and doing model photo shoots on the local beaches.
Heraklion is home to the Saturday Gypsy local market and you can find all manner of local products and delicacies.
The island has a sleeping dragon lying just offshore, its called Drag or Dia island and when you look at it from near Heraklion city it looks just like a sleeping dragon.
Visit Preveli and see the amazing monastery and palm beach, one of the most photographed and popular destinations for visitors to Crete.
The chance of getting a sunny and hot holiday is high in Crete and waking up to the sun blazing through your window is enough to give your mind body and soul a much needed boost.
There are many activities to do in Crete also from scuba diving, swimming, fishing, climbing, horse riding and sightseeing to name a few.
Take a tour to the wonderful sandy beaches of Elafonisi and enjoy the pink sandy beaches and if you wonder far enough you may find your own private cove to relax and enjoy without being disturbed.
If your into walking or hiking then you have to visit Samaria Gorge, one of the longest gorges in Europe and a must do for those keen hikers. You can get some amazing pictures too!
Visit the caves of Matala where Bob Dylan and others all chilled out and got high in the 60’s and 70’s.
The island of Crete was one of the last Greek islands to stand against the Germans in WWII and the famous battle of Crete took place here near Maleme and Souda.
If your a keen nudist then the island of Crete caters for this very well with nudist beaches in Hersonissos and near Loutro to name a few.
Nikos Kazantzakis was born here and he wrote some of the greatest books of our time including Zorba the Greek, Freedom or Death, The Last Temptation and many more.
The White Mountains or Lefka Ori mountains are the largest and most impressive in Crete and you can even go skiing in the winter here.
Malia is one of the most popular clubbing destinations in all of Greece and was featured in the recent “The Inbetweeners” movie.
Crete has the 2nd largest Waterpark called Watercity in Europe in its in Kokkini Hani near the airport.
Crete is home to Vai beach, one of the few remaining natural palm tree forests in Europe and where they filmed the bounty advert.
Holidays are relatively cheap to Greece at the moment due to the high euro and recent problems but rather than being put off make sure you grab a bargain holiday.
Try visiting Lake Kournas to see one of only 2 freshwater lakes in Crete and its one of the most beautiful. With small Terrapins and goldfish seen swimming wild its a safe and relaxing place to bring the family for a different day out on the beach.
The clear blue seas, the Aegean and Libyan seas throughout the summer are warm and inviting and with gently shelving beaches you can be sure that the kids don’t go in too far.
The island of Crete has part of the E4 Trail and is an excellent place for walkers and hikers. Try some of the many walking guides on our website.
Try visiting Rethymnon for some of the finest Gold and Silver jewellery in Greece. You can get items made to order or choose from a selection of what’s on offer.
If designer labels are your thing then Heraklion city has it all, all the major chains are here and you can pick up some tax free bargains to take home.
Watersports are on offer on most beaches in Crete and are cheap enough for the whole family to enjoy.
The resorts are so varied with hectic party resorts like Hersonissos and Malia to the quiet and chilled out beach resorts of Sissi, Stalis, Ierapetra, Sfakia and more. There is literally a resort for everyone.
A visit to Chrissi island or Donkey island has to be on the cards if you visit Crete. You can enjoy a day on the beach or swimming in the clear blue waters.
Make sure you buy some local Cretan honey to take home, its fresh and sweet and you can taste the herbs and flowers that the bees feed off in the honey. And it’s good for you!
If you’re into ghosts then a visit to the ancient castle of Frangokastello is in order, rumoured that you can see the ghosts of the fights who fought in the Battle of Frangokastello on the anniversary every year.
The charming mountain villages of Crete hold a secret, the food here is cheaper than the tourist’s resorts and it’s the real Cretan way of life you can experience here. Try driving into the mountains of Lassithi and see what you find.
Buy up the grapes from any local market stall in the summer and you will find these to be the sweetest and most succulent grapes you have ever had.
Make new friends on your Crete holidays. The hoteliers in Crete are famous for their hospitality and friendships have been forged between hoteliers and guests that have lasted for years.
Visit Topolou Monastery or one of the many others in Crete to see some amazing Frescos and stunning gold work. These monastery’s and churches are treasured and offer some excellent photo opportunities where allowed.
They have some excellent organised Greek Nights where you can enjoy the food and wine of Crete and enjoy watching spectacular shows by professional Greek dancers. You will find one of the best in Anopolis Village.
You can still take Donkey rides or horse rides on the beach. A few stables in Crete offer this facility.
There is an amazing choice of hotels in every resort, from self catering villas and studios all the way up to sprawling all inclusive complexes.
If you’re a photographer you will find the views all over Crete something very hard to resist with photo opportunities cropping up everywhere you go.
Crete is an idea place to get married, it’s easy to get married and get it organised with companies doing the ground work for you and the locations can be stunning and normally always matched with perfect weather.
If you fancy living in Crete there is a wealth of information o help you choose the island and a thriving ex pat community in larger towns and villages.
Visit the many museums in Heraklion and find out the history of Crete and Greece and see some amazing pieces of artwork and artefacts.
Go Bungee jumping of one of the highest bridges in Europe with a fully qualified company.
Take boat trips all over the island and visit secluded coves and beaches and enjoy a day out on the waves.
If you’re looking to get off the tourist trail then there are plenty of hidden villages and villas you can book off the beaten track.
In Hersonissos there is a Waterpark just on the beach so you get the best of both worlds, beach and slides!
Visit the Palace of Knossos for a few euros and see where Theseus fought the mythical Minotaur.
Another great reason to visit Crete if you’re from the UK is to buy duty free in Crete. Watch your limits though.
Become immersed in a different culture and join in cultural celebrations. Planning ahead and going at the right time the locals will include you in their celebrations.
Go mountain biking in Crete, there are many winding roads and off road trails to explore ad you will meet some friendly locals along the way.
Try your hand and skydiving or paragliding if you feel that way inclined, there is a school for both on Crete.
There are WWII wrecks to dive to on the coast of Crete including German plans and shipwrecks. Some of these you won’t see anywhere else in the world so why no try your hand at learning to scuba dive.
Go island hopping from Crete, you can jump on at Heraklion or Chania airport and fly to other islands for the day or week.
Take up sailing; the island of Crete can get quite windy and is perfect for sailing and going yachting.
If you enjoy the Irish hospitality then try visiting the resort of Stalis on the eastern side of Crete and you will find some welcoming Irish bars.
Ouzo! [the_ad id=”433″]
Get interested in learning another language. If you go to Greece once you will go again, so why not learn a bit of the language as it always helps when ordering food or getting directions.
To fall in love! Yes you might be the next Shirley Valentine.
Have we said golden sandy beaches? If we have then it can’t be stressed enough how beautiful they are all over Crete.
If you’re a keen bird watcher there are some bird species some of which are very rare including the Bearded Vulture and Golden Eagle.
Check out the Homosapien museum in the mountains of Lassithi, a great look into how man evolved in Crete from Neolithic times onwards.
Visit the birthplace of Zeus, the Dikteon Cave again situated in Lassithi.
Visit the Naval Museum in Chania, a cheap museum to visit and you can get round it in a few hours with some excellent examples of ancient naval warfare.
The Dourakis Winery is a must see if you’re visiting the area of Chania. Get to sample some of the 17 excellent wines produced here.
See the Venetian Loggia in Heraklion which used to be a 17th century gentleman’s club. It’s now the town hall for Heraklion but interesting all the same.
Did we mention OUZO!
If the history of the Minoan’s is more your thing and you have visited Knossos then why not have a look at the ruins of the Necropolis of Armeni just 9 km from Rethymnon.
The sunrises! If you get up early enough and watch the sun rise over the Aegean sea it s a magical moment.
You get to try Mythos for the first time! Mythos is one of the best Greek beers and is cheap and very tasty.
For the variety, every time you visit Crete its always different. Things are always changing but in a nice way.
You can play golf in Crete with 2 courses now. There is a PGA golf course near Hersonissos and a smaller course near Elounda.
Gyros! You have to try a chicken or pork Gyros at a takeaway in Crete, one of the best I found was in Stalis and its only a couple of euros.
To take up art! There are a few holiday companies that do painting and drawing holidays now and what better way to learn that by painting Cretan landscapes.
Visit Crete and relax, what better way than unwind from your day job than sitting on a white sandy beach reading a book.
To walk with Donkeys! Take a trail around some of the finest landscapes and mountainous regions with a Donkey tour.
I’m not sure if we got this in anywhere but a good reason to visit is to try OUZO! Updated for 2022
The Greeks weathered their country almost going bankrupt and still have a smile on their face
The choices of island hopping are insane! You can day trip to Turkey, Albania, Egypt and many more wonderful places
The small villages that are hard to find offer a real taste of Greece
You will never find a friendlier bunch of people
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