The Most Instagrammable Places in Crete That You Need to See!

instagram places in crete

Crete is considered to be a top vacationing spot for millions. If you love taking photos for Instagram, there are hundreds of instagrammable locations over here. Read on to discover some of the best Instagram spots on Crete.

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Top Crete Instagram Spots

Instagrammable Places in Crete

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Do you walk the towns you visit with your phone or your camera in your hand?

Me too! And if you’re traveling to Crete, you will be glad to learn that there’re hundreds of great photography spots for an unforgettable capture.

Gabi Ancaroa from The Tiny Book in Naxos, Greece.
Want to know how to organize your travel photos? Read about it here.

In this guide, I bring you some of the most popular ones.

However, if you’re curious enough, I invite you to explore Crete off the beaten path, you will find a magnificent photo corner with every step you take!

But first, check out these essential details:

The Venetian Harbor in Chania, One of the Top Instagrammable Places in Crete

The Old Venetian Port and the Egyptian Lighthouse

The old port of Chania is a great place to snap some memorable photos for your Instagram followers.

You have a view of the Egyptian lighthouse, the Ottoman mosque by the sea, and dozens of pastel-colored Venetian buildings.

Owning a distinctive style, mixing Venetian and Turkish architecture, these buildings make for stunning photos.

Besides, the shape of the harbor gives an amazing view to the east and the west, making the Venetian port a great spot for sunrise and sunset photos. 

If you get there before sunrise, you can also get a great photograph of the fishermen, with the lighthouse as a background.

Want more inspiration? Check my Instagram feed!

The Walls and Beyond

firkas fortress crete
The walls in Firkas Fortress.

There are several walls surrounding different areas in the city of Chania.

Some of them date back to the Byzantine period, while others were built by the Venetians as protection against the Ottomans over 600 years ago.

And while they didn’t stop an invasion, they make for an excellent place to snap wonderful Instagram photos.

You can use one of the fortification windows in the Fortress of Firkas to frame a sea shot.

Take your time when the sun is about to go down to catch a romantic shot full of sunset colors.

The Old Town of Chania

Probably one of the most photographed alleys in the Old Town.

The settlement that today is Chania was established thousands of years ago and has been inspiring many Instagram photographers for years.

With its mixture of colorful architectural styles, it makes for impressive photos to wow your followers. 

Get lost in the alleys of the old town, you won’t be short of great instagrammable places to discover.

Elafonisi Beach

Instagrammable Places in Crete
Sunset in Elafonisi

With its turquoise waters and the pink-white colored sand, this is one of the most famous beaches in Crete and is often compared to different Caribbean beaches.

It’s wide, exotic, and …yes, often crowded, but that does not mean that you won’t find a spot for a perfect photo.

This is a top place to snap some beautiful photographs. I mean, who doesn’t want to have a picture on this one-of-a-kind beach?

Trust me, a snapshot of Elafonisi will certainly boost your social media following. Want a different picture? Then wait until it’s sunset time for much more than only pink sand!

Want to get there but don’t know how? Read this How to Get to Elafonisi road guide or enjoy the trip without the hassle of driving with this affordable bus tour with pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.

Balos Lagoon

sea, beach, sand, Crete
The stunning shades of green in Balos Lagoon.

It is the ultimate destination of the island’s northwestern shore. As you may have already read, Balos is a tropical beach with turquoise and calm waters that look like a pool.

Snapping a picture from the top of the nearby mountain, with a stunning view of Balos Beach and Lagoon in the background is a must-have Instagram picture.

It’s not so easy to get there (more details on this guide), but there are plenty of affordable tours to get to Balos, this daily cruise is the most practical (and affordable)option.

The Roads on Crete

Road between Kera and Krasi near the Lasithi plateau. Lush vegetation.
The gorgeous road to Krasi, just a few minutes away from Kera.

Although odd, the roads on the island make a great subject for interesting photos.

Surrounded by the White Mountains in Chania, or the Dikti Mountains in Lasithi, you will find breathtaking peaks and herbs and flower bushes.

Venture along less-traveled roads to explore the numerous quaint villages, sure to inspire many photographers.

And, remember, rent a car so you can stop wherever you like and take a photo of the many different scenes without any rush at all.

As you know, taking a great picture is often a question of timing and patience! 

>> Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking engine.

Triopetra and Plakias 

Triopetra at sunset.

It’s more the beautiful beaches that pique a photographer’s interest.

Head south of Rethymnon for a fantastic seaside landscape with charming mountain scenes for idyllic background and colored stones as a foreground.

After crossing the mountains, the southern village of Plakias, a great photography spot on its own, is not distant from some of the most spectacular landscapes on the island.

Head to Tripetra to discover a quite curious beach where the rocks go all the way inside the water forming a maze surrounded by crystal-clear waters. This is a fantastic Crete Instagram spot that you really shouldn’t miss! 

Preveli Beach

Instagrammable Places in Crete

Preveli Beach is not far from Plakias and Triopetra, and it’s one of the most popular places in the south part of Crete.

There are several spots to snap impressive photos for your social media followers, including a palm forest on the back of the beach.

Preveli is only a few kilometers long but runs alongside a river and into a canyon.

There are plenty of good photo ops and many opportunities for a relaxing time surrounded by Crete’s stunning nature. If you plan wisely, you will also have time to discover the ancient Preveli Monastery, with incredibly beautiful corners for unforgettable snapshots.

This Preveli tour departs from Heraklion and takes you to discover both the beach and the river. The same activity is also possible from Rethymnon.

The Historic Lakkos District in Heraklion

Street art Lakkos, Heraklion Crete

Lakkos is the former red-light district in Heraklion and it is a unique maze of abandoned alleys and picturesque buildings where you can get lost with your camera.

These days, Lakkos celebrates its heritage with an amazing display of street art and art projects.

Why not include some of these street art displays on your Instagram? Be sure to check out Lakkos Café and take a few pictures as well! 

To learn a lot more about Lakkos, check out this weekend’s guide to Heraklion Town.

Knossos Palace

Add some drama to your pictures by visiting at sunset.

Knossos, also known as The Palace of King Minos, is an excellent attraction to visit when discovering Heraklion as well as a great Instagram photo opportunity.

Although the palace is also home to a few controversies regarding the restoration works, the colors of the palace are what make it an eye-catching place to snap some Instagram photos.

Make sure you get there early so you can take advantage of no crowds and good light. Sunset is also a great moment for great pictures of Knossos.

>> This entrance ticket can be used any time of the day (including sunset – when crowds are fewer and light is awesome) and it’s the most affordable way to purchase your ticket beforehand.

Matala, the Beach, and the Village

The beautiful landscape in Matala.

If you want great photos, don’t miss Matala Beach! You will enjoy one of the most magnificent beaches on the southern side of Crete.

Next to the sea, tourists have the chance to see the famous and highly unique rocks and caves, a perfect place to snap several worthy Instagram photos. 

If you are eager to read about Matala caves, head to this article.

>> Want to spend some time in Matala but not sure where to stay? Check this guide to the best places to stay in Matala.

Rethymno Old Town

Rethymnon at Night

Your Instagram followers will love your pictures of the tiny, charming Venetian Old Harbor and the imposing Fortezza, the medieval Venetian castle rising high on the hill of Paleokastro.

These are two of the most incredible places to take pictures in Rethymnon.

In the heart of the old town, don’t forget to check out the magnificent Venetian Rimondi Fountain and the elegant mansions hosting unique boutique hotels, to name a few.

This picturesque town is sure to boost your Instagram following. 

Koules Fortress 

Instagrammable Places in Crete
Inside the Koules, Heraklion.

Crete was under Venetian rule for approximately four and a half centuries before it became ruled by the Ottoman Empire in the 1660s.

The Koules Fortress was built in the early 16th century when the town was still known as Candia, and the fort still looks like the way it was five hundred years ago, making it an impressive place to photograph.

The best part is that is located right by the sea and steps from the city center, so you don’t have to leave Heraklion to visit it.

If – upon arrival in town – you don’t know where to start, for a very affordable fee, you can download this Self-Guided Audio Sightseeing Tour on your cell phone to navigate the capital of Crete without missing any important landmarks.

Samaria Gorge National Park

Samaria Gorge - Gorges in Crete
Samaria Gorge – Gorges in Crete

One of the most visited places in Crete, the breathtaking Gorge of Samaria is one of the longest in Europe and contains precious Cretan wonders that are sure to wow any Instagram following.

This trekking adventure can last for hours, so make sure to pack only your essential photography equipment.

The path eventually ends near the sea, in the village of Agia Roumeli, with its famous black pebbled beach which is sure to make a good photographic impression. 

If this is your first hike and are not sure how to handle it, joining a small group of like-minded hikers led by an official guide can be a good alternative to face Crete’s longest gorge.

Spinalonga and Elounda

Instagrammable Places in Crete
Spinalonga, Lasithi.

Take your Instagram audience on a journey back in time. Spinalonga is one of the most exciting places in Crete.

The small islet has been featured in documentaries, TV series, and even novels.

If you are planning a photo session, then you should plan to spend a night in one of Elounda’s stunning hotels, or the picturesque fishing village of Plaka if you’re on a more limited budget.

It takes only a few minutes from any of these two villages to cross the sea and get to the islet. 

There are plenty of daily boat rides to Spinalonga both from Plaka and Elounda, you can get the ticket at the port (in both villages) or purchase the ticket online in advance to avoid waiting in line, especially in summer.

The Vineyards of Crete

Instagrammable Places in Crete
Dourakis Winery.

One of the best things about Crete for your Instagram photos is the variety of scenes you can capture.

Why not visit a vineyard (or several of them) in Heraklion, the top wine region on the island, or even in Rethymnon and Chania and take some Instagram photos?

When in Chania, you can try the gorgeous set of Dourakis Winery.

You can either check their enchanting cellars next to the bottom of the mountain or stroll along the vineyards set against a backdrop of the imposing Wìhite Mountains near Skakia.

These settings give great photo opportunities, especially if you come to Crete in September.

The Venetian Loggia in Heraklion


An example of typical construction of the Venetian rule has been renovated and holds the Town Hall of Heraklion.

This doesn’t stop visitors from entering the courtyard, which you can do for free and snap some amazing Instagram photos. 

Don’t miss the unique architecture and the odd shape of the building, look up and down so as not to miss one single detail, you will love it!

These are just some of the top places in Crete to take perfect snapshots for your Instagram.

They will inspire you and might even help increase your followers on the squared social media platform!
Do you have any other favorite spots for photos in Crete?

This article was written in collaboration with Emily Henry a travel writer at Write My Essay who writes about many different subjects, including traveling.

Read more about Crete

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Crete

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

This Belongs to a Board! Pin This Guide to the Most Instagrammable Places in Crete For Your Next Adventures!

The most instagrammable places in Crete

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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