50 Unmissable Things to Do in Crete: A Visit Guide by a Local

Balos Beach, Crete, winter landscape

Crete, the biggest island in Greece, is such a wonderful place that it has something for every visitor. Whether you’re a lover of history, nature, or sports or need some rest on one of the best beaches in Crete. There are so many fantastic things to do in Crete that it will be a real challenge to make up your mind.

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50 Unique Things to Do in Crete

In this list, I’ve included 50 of my favorite things to do in Crete, things that I’ve done both during my years as a tourist in Crete and since I moved to the island.

Crete has been my home for a while now, so don’t expect this to be a quick list of things to do.

Gabi Ancarola
A road trip is the best and most efficient way to get to know the island!

Why 50 Unmissable Things to Do in Crete

Choosing only 10 or 15 things to do in Crete is clearly impossible for me, not just because it is Greece’s largest island but simply because I love Crete. And, since I moved here, I got to know it deeply.

I could do that with other destinations, but now with my island. So, this is a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Crete.

I want to show you all the amazing things you can do on the island!

things to do in Crete
Me and the White Mountains

Choosing what to do in Crete can be daunting, especially if you’ve never visited.
Even more so if you are used to some smaller Greek islands.

On the other hand, it would have been easy for me to write about 100 things to do in Crete, but this would have turned out to be crazy long and even more overwhelming if you’re still in the planning stage of your trip.

How to Use this 50 Things to Do in Crete Guide

  • This first round of suggestions includes the top 10 things to do in Crete. All these places to see and things to do in Crete can easily be covered in two to three weeks on the island.

  • Next, I will go into more detail regarding the regions of Crete. This way, you can see my selection of things to do in Crete’s regions: I start with the place where I live, Chania, and then I move on to Heraklion, the region home to Crete’s capital, Rethymnon, and the easternmost Lasithi.

  • If you’re on the island just for a few days and wondering what you can do in Crete, it’s a great idea to start with the first items: 10 top things to do in Crete.

  • Check out my Crete itineraries for shorter holidays to fit these into your travel plans.

Crete’s Top Ten:
10 Stunning Things that You Must Do in Crete

Let’s start with my favorite things to do in Crete. These also are the most popular places to see on the island, and they should be included on your own list of things to do in Crete.

Take a look!

1. Discover the Ancient Minoan Civilization

things to do in Crete
Knossos is believed to be Europe’s oldest city.

The island of Crete has always been considered the cradle of Western civilization and a place of great importance for Greek mythology.

The Minoans, who lived and thrived on the island for thousands of years, left a legacy you can still see in archaeological sites scattered all over Crete or at the famous Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

things to do in Crete
Phaistos Archaeological Site.

But not only the Minoans! The island has a very rich history. It’s possible to discover ruins dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods to the Byzantine rule, the Venetians, and the Ottoman occupation, to name a few.

Approaching the local culture through its complex past is a wonderful experience.

So when planning your holiday, remember that visiting an ancient settlement, a museum, or even an old town is certainly a must-do thing in Crete and a good reason to discover what the island is all about.


2. Swim on the Southern Coast of Crete

things to do in Crete
The gorgeous waters in Loutro.

Some of Crete’s most beautiful beaches are located on the island’s southern coast, bathed by the pristine waters of the Libyan Sea. Many of these are among Crete’s most popular beaches, while others remain unique hidden gems that only a few discover.

If you plan to escape the chaotic northern coast and seek a relaxed and tranquil holiday, check out the best beaches in southern Crete to pick where to go and where to stay. But also everything you need to know to get there. Including the GPS coordinates!

GREECE - CRETE - PREVELI BEACH - ROCK
The spectacular southern coast, Preveli Beach.

The southern coast of Crete is one of those unforgettable places you always dream of when you think about complete relaxation, beautiful landscapes, and total isolation. These beaches should always be included in all lists featuring Crete’s best things to do.


3. Marvel at the Beautiful Cretan Monasteries

GREECE - CRETE - RETHYMNON - ARKADI MONASTERY
Arkadi Monastery in Rethymnon.

Monasteries played an important role for centuries all over Crete. They stood next to the locals when it was time to be free from the Venetians or the bloody Ottoman rule (1645-1898), during the Cretan revolt, or the devastating Nazi occupation during WWII.

Some of these historic monasteries are tucked away in the island’s mountainous landscape, often hard to reach and sheltered within a perimeter of thick fortified walls.

things to do in Crete
Agia Triada Monastery in Chania is another important historic site in Crete.

Other times, they are in beautiful, strategic positions, often close to the sea, to protect the island from pirate incursions.

>> Check out Crete’s most beautiful monasteries, churches, and other religious buildings.


4. Sail to the Islands Off the Coast of Crete

Beach, sea, palm trees, Thailand
Chrissi Island.

There are many small islands along the coast of Crete that you can visit. On the southern coast, the small Koufonisi and Chrissi are two uninhabited islands where you can spend a day swimming in truly beautiful shores bathed by the Mediterranean Sea.

Further west, the somewhat bigger Gavdos Island is a unique place to visit. Gavdos belongs to the region of Chania, and it’s Europe’s southernmost point, closer to Africa than to mainland Greece.

things to do in Crete
Gavdos island.

On the northern coast, the small Dia Island, opposite the shore of Heraklion, can also be seen with a day trip departing from the port of Hersonissos.

Spinalonga instead, is an island where you cannot spend a day at the beach, however, you can learn a lot about Crete’s past, as it was the last leper colony to close in the country.

things to do in Crete
Gramvousa Fortress.

Remaining on the northern coast, a boat trip can take you to Imeri Gramvousa, an island close to the fantastic beach of Balos, and spend a morning exploring the ancient Venetian fortress on the highest point on the island. A visit to the small islands off the coast is another great thing to do in Crete

You might also want to read: +5 Islands to visit near Crete.


5. Have a Shot of Cretan Raki

Cretan raki
Raki.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting the island for the first time or not. Nobody who comes to Crete leaves the island without a toast with Cretan raki.

Raki, or Tsikoudia, is a local spirit, usually produced in rather rustic environments, with a very high alcohol volume, served before or after a meal… or on both occasions! Yet, raki means a lot more. It’s Crete’s natural expression of hospitality, a way to welcome and thank you for your visit.

Among all the things to do in Crete, sampling a shot of raki is something you will do… even if you don’t plan for it!

>> If you’re curious about this drink, how it’s made, and all the legends connected to raki-making, look at this guide to Cretan raki.


6. Try an Outdoor Adventure

The vast landscape of Crete is not only about (awesome) beaches!

There are also many high mountains (with a height average of 2400 meters), deep gorges, plateaus, valleys, rivers, lakes, and even waterfalls. Crete offers the perfect scenario for sports.

bujee jumping, Crete, Aradena
Bungee Jumping in Crete.

Either extreme or soft, Crete is a land of adventures. A trip to Crete can include hiking one of Europe’s longest gorges and many other ravines with varying lengths and difficulty. On Crete, you can also go rock climbing, bungee jumping, or trekking.

Crete, a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, offers many activities to enjoy. From the thrill of kayaking and windsurfing to the underwater wonders of scuba diving and snorkeling, there’s something for everyone. And for a unique experience, why not explore the island on horseback?

Those interested in softer experiences can contact one of the many yoga associations for a class surrounded by some of Crete’s most beautiful landscapes.


7. Indulge in the Staples of the Cretan Cuisine
(Is there any better thing to do in Crete?)

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Food at a local public market.

The island is the perfect place to sample the healthiest diet. Even something quick like local fast food, gyros is healthier than you think.

Seasonal, simple products, fresh fruit, abundant greens, pulses, bread, cheese, and yogurt… but also a reduced amount of animal protein and a bounteous quantity of extra virgin olive oil shape the Cretan diet. However, even when you could try to eat this way at home, what makes this way of eating so special is that mealtime is also an occasion to share.

Cretan food
A Cretan table

And that’s key in the Mediterranean diet, the Cretan diet, and on Crete. You could spend more than four hours at a table and never notice time passing. Let’s be honest: Which dish doesn’t taste a lot better if shared in good company?

>> Do you want to learn about Crete cuisine and our traditional dishes? Check out this section, which features easy-to-replicate staples of Cretan cuisine!


8. Explore the Small Hidden Villages

The authentic Cretan way, traditions, and rituals are alive and well in every small village around the island.

One of my favorite things in Crete is driving around until I decide it’s time to stop in any village.

village, Crete, Lasithi, Greece
Tzermiado, Lasithi.

This way, you can walk around the streets, check the houses, and the local kafenio, the traditional bar where men still today gather for a cup of Elliniko (Greek coffee), a glass of raki, and a lot of conversation.

There are dozens of Cretan villages where you can stop and discover a different side to the island, a less postcard-like lifestyle.

things to do in Crete
Make some time to explore the Cretan villages.

Some of these villages have become well-known and are used to receiving tourists every year more or less; they can be a good place to start exploring what life in the village is all about.

Yet, other villages have remained lost and forgotten. I encourage you to discover those captivating places you can only find driving around and not being afraid of getting lost!


9. Choose your Favorite Beach on Crete

GREECE-CRETE-HERAKLION-MALIA-BEACH
Vai Beach.

It happens! If it’s the first time you’re planning to visit, one thing you might be thinking about is Crete’s famous beaches. And some time may go by until you learn there’s more to the island than the most unspoiled shores you can imagine. So yes, let’s start by exploring the beaches.

My personal suggestion? Don’t just go for the obvious! Of course, Vai Beach, Balos, and the Elafonisi nature reserve are worth a visit.

But explore more! Check the best beaches on Crete and the West Coast Beaches. Don’t forget the beaches in the South and the beaches in the East!

Vai Palm Beach, Crete
Vai Beach.

You can also enjoy beaches for naturists or the beaches in the lesser-known Akrotiri Peninsula. Don’t skip the best family-friendly beaches in Crete if you’re traveling with kids!

The island is an awesome destination for children… I guess you already know that! Swimming at the island’s beaches is one of Crete’s top things to do!

10. Have a Glass of Cretan Wine

things to do in Crete
Cretan wines.

Wine tourism is a serious thing in Crete! There are dozens of wineries in every corner of the island, producing phenomenal-quality wines. Most of them are open to the public. You can explore the wine region in Heraklion and visit a small local winery. You can also attend a wine seminar and learn about the 13 native grape varieties rocking the Greek wine scene.

things to do in Crete
Grapes.

You can taste the wines of Chania either in a monastery, the region’s wineries, or even in a wine cellar in the center of town. Or you can travel to the east to discover wine production in Lasithi.

Cretan wine is making some noise worldwide, too. So why not check what the local Wines of Crete have to tell you about the regional varieties and the island’s wine production?


Let’s now see the top things to do in Crete, region by region…

Chania’s Top 10: Best Things to Do in Chania Region

Spending some time in Chania, West Crete? Check out these top ten things to do in the area.

>> This section about Chania will help plan what to do. In contrast, these 52 Things to Do in Chania Region offer a deeper insight and more activities to enjoy.

11. Explore the Old Town of Chania

Greece - Crete - Chania - Venetian Port
Chania’s Venetian Port.

Crete’s second most important city is Chania, west of the island. Chania is a modern town with plenty of activities for every taste, and it’s also home to the most captivating old town in Crete (and some would even argue that it’s the prettiest in Greece!).

The Old Town of Chania is a maze of cobblestone alleys, colorful Venetian houses, and other stunning buildings that speak volumes of the city’s history and the foreign rules that the whole island underwent.

things to do in Crete
Chania old town.

In this ancient seaside town, ancient Turkish minarets share the skyline with Catholic churches and bell towers, an Orthodox cathedral, a few old-time monasteries, and several museums.

Donkey steps, gardens with blossomed bougainvillea, Venetian dockyards, a romantic harbor, and an Egyptian lighthouse are also part of the old town’s landscape. And the list of things to do in Chania certainly doesn’t end here.

Are you wondering if you should visit Chania? Trust me, spending a few days there is one of the unmissable things to do in Crete!

>> Discover everything about Old Town Chania or check out these amazing things to do in the Chania region. Your itinerary can also include a two-day visit to Chania’s old town.

12. Don’t Miss a Trip to Elafonisi Beach

GREECE - CRETE - ELAFONISI
Elafonisi Beach.

Crete’s most talked-about spot, and the place everyone wants to visit, is the pink sand beach of Elafonisi, with stunning shallow waters. A fascinating littoral on the southwestern tip of Crete that attracts more and more visitors every summer.

However, a trip to Elafonisi can be more than just one more day at the beach. First, the two best roads to get there are terrific. One of these roads guides you through an awe-inspiring ravine; the second, the coastal road, presents a unique seaside landscape at sunset.

things to do in Crete
Elafonisi Beach.

On the way to Elafonisi, you can explore forgotten caves, a wonderful monastery by the sea, or a village with a chestnut forest to enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch.

A trip to this beach offers opportunities to see every aspect of Crete in just one day. Check out this complete guide to visiting Elafonisi to prepare for the adventure or discover the best vacation homes in the area.

>> Want to visit Elafonisi with me? Check out my Pink Sand Experience here.


13. Discover the Turkish Quarter in the Old Town

things to do in Crete
A small square in Splantzia.

Back in the old town of Chania, once you’ve explored the Venetian district, the oldest synagogue, and the museums, it’s time to venture into the most picturesque place of Chania’s old town, Splantzia.

Splantzia, or the Turkish quarter, is isolated from mass tourism. It still guards an unchanged atmosphere of an ancient past. And still, there’s a vibrant atmosphere at all times. The neighborhood is home to the places that locals love the most.

things to do in Crete
Alleys in Splantzia.

The most convenient restaurants, the authentic kafenia, hip coffee shops, bookshops, artisan workshops… you name it! It’s a pity to visit Chania and miss a walk along the alleys of the Turkish district, so check out the 10 best things to do in Splantzia, one of Chania’s most authentic neighborhoods.


14. Plan a Trip to Balos Beach & Lagoon

Exotic beach, sand, water
Balos Lagoon.

I’ve already mentioned two of my favorite beaches in the region, Elafonisi and Falasarna. However, a trip to Balos must be on any list of unmissable things to do in Crete.

Crete’s most exotic beach and probably the most famous image of the island you can find anywhere online is the magnificent shape of Cape Tigani with the crystal blue waters of Balos, a shallow lagoon with spectacular white sand.

Among the most visited places in Crete, there’s no way to postpone a trip to Balos, no matter what time you come to the island.

Beach, sea plants, boat
Don’t miss a trip to Balos!

Balos has become a must-visit place for those in Chania and Crete’s other regions. Even though it’s quite far from places such as Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos, people travel from every corner of Crete to visit Balos.

Balos is also known for being quite difficult to access, and for that same region, many decide to board a day cruise and spend the day sailing to reach this beach.

And yet, going to Balos by car is not so difficult after all, and it can be a very rewarding experience and a super fun thing to do. Don’t put off swimming in Balos Lagoon when you visit Crete!

>> If you’re wondering how to get to Balos on your own, check this complete Balos guide to learn everything you need to know, including where to stay, when and how to go, and much more!


15. Swim in the Fantastic Beaches of West Crete

blue sea, sand, beach, Crete
Kedrodasos Beach.

The region of Chania treasures some of the best beaches of Crete. And you don’t even need to drive far to see them. Even close to the city center, there are fantastic beaches and safe and clean shores for every family member.

And if you’re not renting a car to explore further seaside villages, even close to the old town, there are a few beautiful beaches, such as Nea Chora, Koum Kapi, and Tabakaria.

island, sea, sand, people swimming - Platanias, Crete
Agia Marina.

Also, near the city center, you can swim on beaches like Agii Apostoli, Agia Marina, or Platanias. You can even venture west and check the beaches closer to Kissamos and Kolymbari or drive east to check out the beaches in the region of Apokoronas.

>> In this article, I’ve included over 40 beaches in the Chania region and tips to make the most of your beach day on any of them.


16. Hike One of the Gorges in Chania

Samaria Gorge - Gorges in Crete
Samaria Gorge is the most imposing gorge in Crete and one of the many natural wonders on the island.

Home to the imposing White Mountains, the regional unit of Chania has dozens of gorges for those into hiking, trekking, and exploration. Hundreds of travelers worldwide reach Crete to cross Samaria Gorge every year. And who could blame them?

Agia Eirini Gorge in Crete
Agia Irini Gorge.

Yet, if you’re not up to the hiking experience, you can explore several other gorges, some from the comfort of your own car, such as Imbros Gorge, Therisos, or Topolia.

Samaria Gorge is located in Chania, at the Samaria Gorge National Park. It is one of the longest gorges in Europe; it’s 13 km long, and you will need to walk about 3 km more to reach the nearest town to return to the city.

For instance, the gorge of Imbros in Sfakia can take about 3 hours to cross and is often included in the list of the “easiest gorges” in Crete. Other gorges include Aradaina, Agia Eirini, Topolia, Deliana, and Therisos, to name a few. There are dozens of gorges to explore in the Chania region, and hiking is one of the most popular things to do in Crete.

>> Let me drive you through the stunning landscape of the White Mountains with my Mountain Villages Experience, a half-day trip exploring the best areas far from Chania’s often overcrowded coast.

17. Day Trip to Falasarna Beach

Falassarna beach, Crete
The gorgeous seaside of Falasarna.

Another top beach in the Chania region is Falasarna (or Falassarna), in the extreme west of the island. It’s only slightly over an hour from the city center and can be a great place to spend a day or two.

Falasarna is a huge open bay with ideal conditions for water sports when it’s windy. But it’s also great for swimming when it’s not. The sandy beach is great for playing tennis and beach volleyball and for small kids to play and explore without fear of getting lost. There aren’t many things to do in Falassarna, so it’s often considered a great place for an extremely lazy holiday.

things to do in Crete
Falasarna Beach.

However, if you’re keen on exploring archaeological sites, check the ruins of Ancient Phalassarna or get in the car and visit the former city Polyrrenia. Not far from the beach, in the town of Kissamos, you can also visit the Archaeological Museum, which exhibits many objects from both ancient settlements.

>> You can also check this guide to plan a visit to Falasarna.


18. Choose a Beach in the Akrotiri Peninsula

GREECE - CRETE - CHANIA - SEITAN LIMANIA
Seitan Limani Beach.

Cape Akrotiri is the place I chose as my home in Crete. The area is conveniently close to the center of Chania yet far enough to avoid it if you want to spend some time away from the summer crowds. These are all good reasons to include it as one of Crete’s best places to see.

There are plenty of things to discover in Akrotiri, including three magnificent monasteries open to the public. Akrotiri also hosts the Tombs of Venizelos in one of the parks with the best views of the old town.

Greece -Crete - Chania - Stavros Beach
Stavros Beach.

But more than anything else, the Akrotiri Peninsula boasts some remarkable beaches. One of them, for instance, made it to Instagram and went from being practically unknown to one of the hottest spots on the island: Seitan Limania.

The peninsula is also famous for Stavros Beach, a Hollywood set for the Oscar-awarded film Zorba the Greek. Other lesser-known beaches are Loutraki, Kalathas, and Tersanas.


19. Visit the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete

Yellow flowers, orange flowers, green leaves
Botanical Park and Gardens, Chania

Not far from the Omalos Plateau, at the foothills of the White Mountains, the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete is a 20-hectare open space with gardens where you can spend a day doing something completely different.

Countless flowers, trees, and bushes, Gardens with berries, grapes, citrus, exotic plants, and native species, and a stunning display of nature surround this walk.

Red flowers
The botanical garden is one of Chania’s most beautiful places to visit.

Get acquainted with over 150 types of fruit trees, herbs, and medicinal plants used on the island for centuries. At the trail’s end, a magnificent restaurant serves dishes made with park products.

Even a simple orange juice tastes completely different in the gardens, especially since it’s paired with the unbelievable landscape and colors of Crete’s highest mountains.


20. Take a Photographic Tour of the Abandoned Tanneries

One of my favorite corners of Chania is the old quarter of Tabakaria (also Tambakaria), not far from the old town and just next to the aristocratic neighborhood of Chalepa

The Byzantines ruled the island of Crete on two occasions. Still, Saracen pirates dominated the island between the first and the second Byzantine rule.

things to do in Crete
Tabakaria district, Chania.

When they were gone, they had left no physical evidence of their time on Crete, what they did leave are habits, crafts, and traditions that have become one more ingredient of Crete’s individual traits.

They taught us about smoking, drinking coffee, using spices, and working leather. And that’s when you encounter the fascinating world of Chania’s abandoned tanneries.

Over here, a sunset walk by the sea grants unique sights and landscapes with suggestive beauty. A perfect place for intrepid photographers, a visit to Tabakaria can take you directly to the soul of a time long gone by.

>> Check this guide to photo-shooting in Tabakaria to plan your visit better.


Heraklion’s Top 10: Best Things to Do in Heraklion Region

Hundred are the things you could do in Heraklion if you had a lot of available time… unfortunately, we usually have just a few days to devote to each region of the island.

These are Heraklion’s top destinations, and checking at least a few of them can be a great addition to your own list of things to do in Crete!

>> If Heraklion is one of the regions you’d like to visit, then this section devoted to Heraklion will be super helpful to plan the trip. Remember to check out these 52 Things to Do in Heraklion Region

21. Tour the Minoan Palace of Knossos

things to do in Crete
The famous bull fresco, Knossos.

Yes! Knossos is the place on the island that receives the highest number of visitors year after year. And it’s a place you should visit, too!

The archaeological site of Knossos is a palatial complex dating from the Bronze Age, located just 5 km south of the center of Heraklion. It’s quite easy to reach Knossos by public transport or by car.

Significant restoration works by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans modified the aspect of the ruins according to his personal interpretation of life and architecture during the Minoan period.

things to do in Crete
The ancient columns, Knossos.

However, despite Evan’s own view, the site manages to show us how everything could have looked in the Minoan era. Once inside, don’t miss places like the Throne Room or the Queen’s Megaro.

When visiting Crete, you cannot postpone or avoid a trip to Knossos, even if you’re not a big fan of history. There are even special tours for those who want a quick view of the palace.

Instead, if you enjoy archaeological sites and ancient settlements, schedule a visit to Knossos, with or without a guided tour, to learn about the island’s mysteries and past. Knossos remains Greece’s second most visited archaeological site after the Acropolis in Athens!

So if you want details on how to avoid crowds, tips to prepare for the visit and navigate the site on your own, visiting hours, entrance fees, public transport, and suggestions to enjoy your day in the Minoan Palace, check this article about Knossos or learn what to wear when exploring Knossos for a comfortable visit! There’s no doubt about it: visiting the Minoan Knossos is one of the most stunning things to do in Crete!

22. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

Disc of Phaistos
Phaistos Disk.

The best way to complement your visit to the Archaeological Palace of Knossos is to head to Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum just before or after checking the Minoan Palace.

Among the most important museums in Europe, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is hosted in a former Venetian-Franciscan friary that suffered severe damage during an earthquake in 1865.

A day at the museums will display over 5,500 years of Crete’s history, from about 7000 BC (the Neolithic period) until the Roman occupation of the island (about 200 AD).

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion - Kamares Vessels
Kamares Vases, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

There are impressive objects found in some of Crete’s different Minoan Palaces (Malia, Phaistos, and Zakros, other than Knossos), including jewelry, pottery, weapons, and curious objects such as ancient board games, erotic figurines, and personal objects.

The most famous object in the museum is the Disc of Phaistos, a very small clay disc not bigger than 15 cm in diameter, with symbols carved on both sides, which still remains one of the best-known mysteries of archaeology and ancient civilizations.


23. Top Attractions in the Capital of Crete

Venetian fortress Heraklion - Koules at sunset
The Koules Fortress, Heraklion.

Even when many think of Heraklion as little more than the gate to access Crete, the island’s capital has much more to offer than the Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum. The center of Heraklion has some of the best examples of Venetian architecture, with its Loggia and the fantastic Lion’s Fountain.

Equally important are the Venetian Fortress in the old port and the churches standing along the pedestrian street 25th of August, the former Basilica of Saint Mark’s, now Heraklion’s Municipal Art Gallery, and the church of Agios Minas.

things to do in Crete
The area around Morosini Fountain is the beating heart of Heraklion town.

My 2-day Heraklion Itinerary includes these landmarks with greater detail. A cosmopolitan city with plenty of shops, fantastic restaurants, and animated nightlife, the capital of Crete can be a true surprise.

Heraklion is also a great place to explore the rest of the region. Thanks to its central position, it’s also a perfect place to stay if you want to tour the nearby regions of Lasithi and Rethymnon.


24. Discover Matala, the Hippie Beach

beach, sea, caves, Matala, Crete
Spending a few days in Matala is one of the coolest things to do in Crete.

The south coast of Heraklion’s regional unit has some ravishing beaches worth the trip. The most famous is Matala, with its impressive caves and stories about the 1960s, when Matala was worldwide known for hosting a large hippie community.

Not far from the village of Matala, there are more places you can come across and enjoy, including the naturist Red Beach, just a short hike away from Matala, the archaeological sites of Agia Triada and Gortyn, and Crete’s second most important Minoan Palace, Phaistos.

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Matala at sunset.

This guide to Matala includes all the landmarks mentioned, and other places worth checking out, such as the ruins of Kommos, the beach of Kalamaki, and several small villages where you can spend the night.

Don’t skip Matala when you travel to the island, a trip to this beach is among the many unforgettable things you can do in Crete.


25. Have Fun in Heraklion’s Theme Parks

Labyrinth Park Heraklion crete
The scary monster in the center of the Maze, Labyrinth Theme Park.

Popular activities and parks concentrate on the area surrounding the capital of Crete. So, in addition to great museums and ruins, once in Heraklion, you can discover theme parks and aquatic parks for the whole family.

Among my favorites, I always include CretAquarium, which, although not big, has an interesting collection of proposals, visits, and interactive activities always going on. Not far away and also fantastic for children is Dinosauria Park. As the name anticipates, Dinosauria is an amazing journey into a remote past. Both parks are in the Gournes area, just minutes from the center.

Water City, in Heraklion.
Water City, in Heraklion.

In the same area, just minutes away by car, kids can also discover everything about Crete and its labyrinths in Labyrinth Park.

For those who want to add more adrenaline, Heraklion is home to some water parks as well, Watercity is in Anopolis, a small village about 20 minutes from the capital. Acqua Plus is another water park for everyone in the family, with a special area devoted to relaxing and several water games for adults.

>> If you’re traveling to Crete with kids and want to discover more theme parks and family activities, check out this article about family holidays in Crete.


26. Go Clubbing in Hersonissos or Malia

GREECE - CRETE - NIGHTCLUB (1)
Nightlife in Crete.

Nights in Heraklion are all about Hersonissos and the nearby town of Malia, both on the northern coast, just minutes away from the capital.

Club Sensation, New York Beach Club, and Palm Beach Club are some clubs where thousands of tourists and locals choose to have drinks, dance, and meet new people every summer night. Likewise, the coastal resort of Malia, minutes away from Hersonissos, is another favorite area with many pubs, discos, bars, and nightclubs, such as Candy Club or Reflex.

Dolphin Bar in Heraklion
Dolphin Bar, Malia.

Most concentrate along Dimokratias Avenue and stretch until the port, where there are also a few popular beach bars. Nightlife in Crete is generally quite laid-back in most cities of the island.

There are a few clubs in Agia Marina-Platanias (in Chania) and Elounda (Lasithi), yet the Movida in Crete happens between Malia and Hersonissos. Are you eager to experience the nightlife on the island? If that’s your goal, heading to Hersonissos is one of the best things you can do in Crete!


27. Heraklion’s Wine Region

things to do in Crete
Have you tasted the spectacular wines of Crete?

More than 65 % of all Cretan wineries are in Heraklion, distributed all over the region, and concentrated in Peza, Archanes, and Dafnes. These are, in fact, three of Crete’s Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs).

Wine tourism is constantly growing all over the island, and it’s always smart to visit some of the local wineries when touring Heraklion.

GREECE - CRETE - GRAPES - VILANA
Vilana grape variety from Crete.

You can opt to visit a small family winery with a more informal setting but where it’s also possible to talk with the owners. This experience gets you closer to winemaking, and you might even be invited to a homemade lunch with a few glasses of the winery’s wine!

You can also go for a visit to a bigger winery, with tour packages that can include food pairing lessons, wine seminars, lunch, vineyard tours, walks among olive groves, or more sophisticated wine-tasting experiences.


28. Explore the Archaeological Palace of Malia

Minoan ruins, archaeological site, Malia, Crete
Minoan Palace of Malia.

About 30 minutes from the center of town, on the coast facing the Sea of Crete (North), there’s another archaeological site in the regional unit of Heraklion: the Minoan Palace of Malia. Inside the archaeological site, there’s also a small but captivating museum.

Once you access the area with the ruins and the excavations, you’ll be impressed by the ancient storage rooms and the immense jars or pithoi.

things to do in Crete
Pithoi and the museum in the background, Malia Minoan Palace.

Other things to check inside Malia are the staircases and a circular structure known as kernos. Similar to a round table with a central hole and smaller cavities around it, kernos were probably used by the Minoans to make offers to their gods in exchange for an abundant crop.


29. Try your Sailing Skills on the North Coast of Heraklion

The northern coast of Heraklion is not just the cosmopolitan and chaotic Hersonissos and Malia.

If you move west of the capital, you’ll find different beaches with a more laid-back atmosphere, some of which are great for practicing water sports.

boat, beach, swimming, Crete
Sailing in Agia Pelagia.

Beaches such as Agia Pelagia or Ligaria are fairly protected bays where you can rent paddle boats, kayaks, or fishing boats. You can also sail to discover the nearby hidden coves or swim in otherwise inaccessible beaches.

In some of these smaller resorts, rending a small boat without a sailing license and testing your skills as a captain is possible. I’ve written about my experience in Agia Pelagia inside my Heraklion itinerary for 2 or 3 days.


30. Heraklion’s Unique Museums

Other than the fantastic Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, there are many interesting museums to visit in the capital and the rest of the region.

The Historical Museum of Crete and the Natural History Museum of Crete offer a variety of special activities (some interactive) that are great for kids.

things to do in Crete
Natural History Museum.

Also in the city is the Museum of Visual Arts, and one of my favorites, the small but fascinating Museum of Ancient Greek Technology with its exhibition Hi-Tech Inventions of Ancient Greeks.

In the broader area, check the Open Air Museum Lychnostasis (in Kera village), the Kazantzakis Museum (in Myrtia village), the Museum of Rural Life (in Piskopiano village), and the Thirathen Museum of Greek Folk Music and Musical Instruments devoted to Greek traditional music, Cretan instruments and native music of the island.

El Greco Museum, Heraklion, Crete.
El Greco Museum, Heraklion, Crete.

Choosing any of these lesser-known museums can be a unique experience… And definitely, one more great thing to do in Crete during your holidays on the island!


Rethymnon’s Top 10: Best Things to Do in Rethymnon Region

Rethymnon is another region you should include in your trip. The area is brimming with things to do, places to discover, and landscapes that will impress you.

>> Is Rethymnon one of the places you want to explore in Crete? If the answer is yes, this section about Rethymnon is a must-read. You should also check the best 52 Things to Do in Rethymno Region

Now, let’s look at the wonders of this unique Cretan region…

31. Check Out the Old Town of Rethymnon

GREECE - CRETE - RETHYMNON LIGHTHOUSE
The lighthouse in the old Port of Rethymnon.

The Republic of Venice dominated and ruled the island of Crete from 1212 until the Ottoman conquest in 1649. Rethymnon is one of the Cretan cities, and its picturesque old town has unique memories from the Venetian period.

Rethymnon’s Old Venetian Harbor, the Lighthouse, the Fortress, the Loggia, and the historic Rimondi Fountain are some of the constructions that still stand, a living memory of the Italian influence in the city’s style and architecture.

things to do in Crete
Another thing to do in Crete is walk the ancient alleys of Rethymnon’s Old Town.

The Ottoman occupation of Crete, from 1669 until 1898, also left its mark with mosques and tall minarets shaping the skyline of Rethymnon’s old town.

>> If you plan to visit, you might want to discover the best things to do in Rethymnon during the day and at night.


32. Learn about Crete’s History at Arkadi Monastery

things to do in Crete
Arkadi Monastery, Rethymnon.

Crete’s best-known religious center, the Holy Monastery of Arkadi, has always been a key player in the island’s history and fights for freedom. Under 25 km from the center of Rethymnon, Arkadi is a fabulous day trip for anyone in the area.

things to do in Crete
The baroque facade of Arkadi Monastery.

The tragic history of the Arkadi Holocaust, during which over 900 men, women, and children chose to die rather than surrender to the Turks, contrasts with the peaceful beauty of the monastery’s gardens and the imposing Baroque church in the center of the courtyard.

If you wish to visit, you will find maps, visiting hours, and more details in this article about Arkadi Monastery and in this guide to Crete’s most remarkable religious sites. A pleasant mountain drive to this famous historic monastery is one of the most interesting things to do in Crete on one of those days you don’t feel like going to the beach!


33. Experience a Boutique Winery

things to do in Crete
Klados Winery, the reds.

Crete’s star grape, Vidiano, originally comes from the Rethymnon region; if you’re a wine lover, that reason alone should be enough to go wine tasting in a local winery.

Although not many wineries are open to the public in the region, one of them will certainly surprise you with its boutique approach to winemaking.

klados vineyards
Vidiano vineyard, Klados winery.

Klados Winery is close to the villages of Panormos and Skepasti, about 20 minutes from the center of Rethymnon city. They work with a small selection of native and international grapes to produce only a few labels of Cretan excellence.

Whether staying in Rethymnon or driving along Crete’s National Road, put Klados Winery in your GPS [35.417203 N, 24.707398 E] and taste their innovative reds and fantastic whites. You can read about my experience in this post.


34. Spend a Day in the Amari Valley

AMARI VALLEY AND PSILORITIS MOUNTAIN
Shepherd’s refuges (locally called mitato) in the Amari Valley,

One more traditional mountain area to check out in Crete is the Amari Valley, as well as the several small mountain settlements in the area, all of them at the foot of the impressive Mount Psiloritis, Crete’s highest mountain (2456 m) belonging to UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network, and Mount Kedros (1777 m).

A center of resistance during the Battle of Crete, the villages in the valley and on Mount Kedros were especially castigated by the Nazis during the German occupation during the tragic episode known as the Holocaust of Amari (or the Holocaust of Kedros).

Amari valley - Things to do in Crete
Amari Valley, Rethymnon

Nowadays, spending a day in Amari is a journey into the island’s traditions and the region’s nature. It’s a good idea to visit the beautiful and lush Patsos Gorge or, if you’re fit enough, try reaching the peak of the Psiloritis.

Our visit to Amari included experiences such as witnessing the raki distillation and baking bread in a traditional wooden oven.


35. Explore the Archaeological Site of Eleftherna

things to do in Crete
Eleftherna.

The Archaeological Site of Ancient Eletherna (also Eleutherna) is a settlement in the region of Rethymnon, no more than 30 km south of the city center.

Eleftherna is also close to the pottery village of Margarites and the Holy Monastery of Arkadi; therefore, combining the three in a day trip is always a great idea and a feasible plan if you want to take a break from the beach.

things to do in Crete
Part of the archaeological site.

On this site, you can observe remarkable historical findings, including an ancient Christian Basilica. The area has been continuously occupied from the early Minoan period until the early Byzantine era.

This is another archaeological site of utmost importance, so you can also find information to organize your visit in this post about Crete’s most prominent archaeological sites open to the public.


36. Rethymnon’s Traditional Mountain Villages

things to do in Crete
The mountain village of Margarites, Rethymnon.

There are beautiful, traditional villages in every corner of the island. They can be close to the sea or hidden in the mountains. The region of Rethymnon hides villages with a significant history, which treasure rituals and habits unique to Crete.

One of these villages is Anogia, which stands almost next to Mount Psiloritis and is home to famous musicians, including Cretan Lyra players.

things to do in Crete
Road to Anogeia, near Psiloritis.

Other villages to visit in the region include Spili, with its head lion fountains, Asteri, and the extravagant Poliou House and Folklore Museum, the ceramic village of Margarites, and Axos, home to a well-known wood artisan and wood-carving museum.

This article includes the most picturesque villages in Rethymnon and different villages and small towns hidden in each Cretan region. A day trip to a mountain village can be a unique experience and another unmissable thing to do in Crete if you want to explore the lesser-known places on the island.


37. Discover the Best Beaches in Rethymnon

TRIOPETRA BEACH - CRETE
Triopetra Beach, south Rethymnon

Rethymnon has a wonderful south coast, boasting beaches such as Plakias, Ligres, Preveli, or the wide shore of Triopetra. Damnoni Beach is close to the village of Plakias, and it’s a rather long sandy beach and a special, secluded corner where naturists have been sunbathing and swimming for years.

Always in the area, Ammoudi and Skinaria are two gorgeous coves that are popular with the different immersion schools that take their students there for scuba diving classes. The beaches south of Rethymnon face the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea, and some of them have such unique characteristics that a drive across the mountains is more than worth it.

>> You can read all about Rethymnon’s beaches here.


38. Spend a Day at Preveli Palm Beach

River flowing into the sea, Preveli beach, Crete
Preveli Beach

Another wonderful beach you can visit on the south coast of Rethymnon is the Palm Tree Beach of Preveli, with a unique exotic landscape.

The beach is 35 km south of Rethymnon city, at the mouth of Kourtaliotako Gorge where the Megalos Potamos river flows until getting to the Libyan Sea.

things to do in Crete
The river flows to the sea.

On both sides of the river, a palm forest suffered a severe fire a few years ago, although it’s still quite a green area. The shore is sandy, but there’s no organization.

On the east side of the beach, there’s a huge rock with the shape of a heart, which has become another landmark of Crete’s southern coast.


39. Preveli Monastery Complex

monastery, church, crete

One more beautiful monastery in the region, with an impressive past and an important role during the Ottoman rule of Crete as well as in the Nazi occupation, is Preveli.

Two different monasteries form the complex, Kato Monastiri (the lower monastery, today in ruins) and Piso Monastiri (the rear monastery), which you can visit since it’s active and open to the public.

things to do in crete: visit preveli monastery
Preveli is one of the most important monasteries on the island.

The role of Preveli Monastery and its monks during the Battle of Crete (1941) was very important both in the battle against the invading German forces, in the support of the allied forces even as a refuge for those soldiers who weren’t rescued, and had to remain on the island. Together with Arkadi Monastery, Preveli is among the most important religious centers in Crete.

Read about these two places in this article: Monasteries, churches, and mosques of Crete.


40. Mountain Springs in Argyroupoli

things to do in Crete
The mountain springs in Argyroupoli.

The mountain village of Argyroupolis is located about 27 km southwest of the city of Rethymnon. Argyroupolis was once a powerful Roman settlement known as Lappa, a remarkable city with traditional Roman characteristics, including aqueducts and public baths.

In recent years, archaeologists found ancient Roman villas of unique beauty, but also mosaics, statues, vases, and pottery. The importance of Ancient Lappa is highlighted by the coins that the city minted, also found during the excavations.

things to do in Crete
The small mountain village of Argyrouplois.

Some of the things you can see in the area are the waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation as well as the several springs that originate in the river Mouselas.

A day trip to Argyroupolis is a popular thing to do in Crete if you’re staying in Rethymnon, you can also walk Argyroupoli’s hiking paths, visit the cave with the church of Agios Ioannis, or eat in one of the several restaurants settled close to the springs and surrounded by exuberant plants and trees.


Lasithi’s Top 10: Best Things to Do in the Lasithi Region

I’m a fan of Lasithi. For me, this is a wonderful place, one of the most rewarding regions to explore.

The region of Lasithi concentrates truly authentic things to do in Crete, including sailing to the islands of Spinalonga, Chrissi, and Koufonisi, discovering the local gastronomy, checking lonely monasteries, and exploring unique archaeological sites.

>> If Lasithi is one of the places in Crete you want to explore more, check out this section about the Lasithi region and read my list with the best 52 Things to Do in Lasithi Region

41. Agios Nikolaos

GREECE - CRETE - AGIOS NIKOLAOS
The city and the calm waters of Lake Voulismeni, Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos is the capital of the Lasithi region and an important tourist resort on the northern coast of Crete, nestled in the heart of the Mirabello Gulf. It’s also a great place to stay to visit the region’s different landmarks, as it features plenty of hotels, restaurants, and interesting activities.

Among the many things to do in Agios Nikolaos (and also free things to do in Agios), it’s a good idea to check some of the several beaches right in the heart of the city as well as not many kilometers away, both towards the east and the west.

Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Sunset by the lake in Agios Nikolaos.

The main characteristic of the city is the beautiful Lake Voulismeni, which connects directly to the sea.
Around the area of the lake, there are several bars and restaurants worth a visit.

In town, check the staircases that connect the hilly landscape of the city. Some of them have been embellished by artists and students.

Agios Nikolaos is also home to some gorgeous churches, such as the old Byzantine church of Saint Nicholas, close to the bay, or Ormos, which also gives the name to the city.


42. Touring the Lasithi Plateau

GREECE - CRETE - LASITHI PLATEAU
Lassithi Plateau.

A unique place to see in the region is the Lasithi Plateau, a scenic drive along a 23-kilometer road that takes you to unexplored mountain villages surrounded by a fantastic mountain landscape.

Several villages along the way offer opportunities to discover everyday life in Crete or even enjoy a traditional homemade Cretan lunch with authentic, fresh products grown locally.

Things to do in Crete - Visit the Lasithi Plateau and its windmills
A windmill in Lasithi.

If you’re unsure which towns you can visit, stop in Tzermiado, a traditional village populated with ancient kafenia (Greek cafés, traditional houses, and a small but gorgeous central church.

Another village worth a visit is Agios Giorgos, which boasts an interesting Cretan Folk Museum dedicated to several Cretan crafts and traditions. Along the road, you can also stop at the village of Psychro and visit the Dikteon Cave (or Cave of Zeus) or admire the magnificent stone mills in the old village of Kera.


43. Explore the Cave of Zeus

GREECE - CRETE - PSYCHRO CAVE
Cave of Zeus.

The Cave of Zeus is another site worth a stop whenever you visit the Lasithi Plateau in the eastern region of Lasithi. Also known as Dikteon Andron, the cave is an ancient Minoan site of worship that the locals found out by chance at the end of the 19th century.

Once you’ve reached the entrance, located at the end of a very steep path after a 20-minute walk up the hill, you can visit several chambers inside the cave.

Zeus cave entrance.
The entrance to the Cave of Zeus.

Right opposite the cave, you can stop for a wonderful lunch and enjoy the fantastic views of the Lasithi Plateau and the remaining windmills.

Check out this guide to visiting the Cave of Zeus for more information about the opening hours and the entrance fee and some extra details about the history and myth behind this fantastic cave on Crete.


44. Sail to the Former Leper Colony of Spinalonga

things to do in Crete
The coast of Spinalonga.

The islet of Spinalonga is on the northeastern coast of Crete, opposite the seaside resort of Elounda. It’s one of Crete’s best places to visit in the region of Lasithi. Spinalonga is also easy to visit from Heraklion on a day trip. The island has a tragic history as a leper colony during the 19th century.

If you plan to sail there, bookmark these tips for visiting Spinalonga Island. The fortified island can be seen in less than an hour. You need to sail from the villages of Plaka, Elounda, or Agios Nikolaos.

things to do in Crete
Spinalonga Island.

The island’s past goes back in time to the Venetian times, long before becoming an infamous reclusion place for those affected by leprosy. After the Venetians surrendered to the Ottoman Empire (1669), Spinalonga remained in the hands of the Venetians until 1715. The island has been an Archaeological Site since the 1970s.

The Fortress of Spinalonga has been included in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites for its outstanding universal value regarding architecture, urban planning, and history as a leper colony. You can read more here.

>> One of the most remarkable things to do in Crete is to jump on a small boat and reach the forgotten leper colony of Spinalonga.


45. Vai Beach

things to do in Crete
Vai Beach.

Usually ranking among the best beaches on the island, Vai Palm Beach is on the extreme east coast of Crete. Although it’s a magnificent sandy bay with a rather calm sea, it’s not as much visited as the famous beaches of the west, and yet, the trip to Vai is worth it.

Where to stay in Crete for Beaches - vai beach
A must-do in Crete: Swimming in the turquoise water of Vai!

Vai’s most important feature is its impressive date palm tree forest, which is the largest in Europe. This forest covers a vast area and starts a few kilometers before reaching the beach. Moreover, the beach is well organized despite its remote position.

>> This exotic beach is also included on the list of the top beaches of East Crete and the best Cretan beaches.


46. Wine Tasting at Toplou Monastery

GREECE - CRETE - LASITHI - TOPLOU MONASTERY
Toplou Monastery.

The Holy Monastery of Toplou is located in the Lasithi region, just a few minutes away from the palm tree beach of Vai. It is a fortified structure built on the premises of a former church during the 15th century. Toplou played an important role during the German occupation of Crete, helping the resistance network.

One of the best things to do when you visit the monastery is to check out the museum, which exhibits many weapons, helmets, and even a clandestine radio used in those times.

things to do in Crete
Looking for things to do in Crete? Don’t miss a visit to Toplou Monastery.

The second thing to do in Toplou is to visit their fantastic winery and taste some of their labels, extra virgin olive oil, and raki. If you’re considering including a trip to the monastery on the list of things to do in Crete, check this detailed guide to Crete’s most important monasteries and read the section about Toplou.


47. One or Two Days in Ierapetra

things to do in Crete
Ierapetra is an important city in the south of Crete.

Despite not being the capital of any region, Ierapetra is the fourth most important city in Crete in terms of population. It’s the only big city on the southern coast of Crete, and it can be a great place to stay if you intend to explore more remote beaches, such as Xerokampos, Myrtos, Makrygialos, and Agia Fotia.

things to do in Crete
Ferma Beach is a dreamy shore not far from Ierapetra.

There are a few impressive gorges near the city of Ierapetra, some of them fairly easy to hike. In the city, take some time to check the Venetian fortress, the former mosque with its beautiful fountain in the courtyard, as well as a tiny house hidden in the alleys close to the port, where the legend says that Napoleon spent a night without revealing his identity until he was gone.

>> Here’s more information about visiting Ierapetra, including what you can do, where to eat, and what to do at night.


48. Sailing to Chrissi Island
(Another of the many unmissable things to do in Crete!)

things to do in Crete
Paying a visit to Chrissi is one of the best things to do in Crete.

Chrissi, officially Gaiudouronisi, is a small, uninhabited island off Crete’s southern coast. It’s located about an hour from the port of Ierapetra, one of the two ports with boat tours to reach the island (the other place is Makrigialos).

The best way to visit Chrissi is to spend at least a night in Ierapetra and sail to the island because it’s uninhabited. It’s impossible to spend the night over there. However, many people ignore this rule and camp in Chrissi’s protected juniper forest. The island is a protected reserve.

things to do in Crete
The gorgeous Chrissi Island, on the Lybian Sea.

Chrissi is a tiny island, about 2 km wide. When you disembark, you will eventually cross from the south—where the harbor is—to the north to reach the main beach.

The total length of the island is about 7 km, and there are a few beaches you can explore. The place is a paradise for any nature lover. Its main beach is organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, and a beach bar.

>> If you are ready to visit, look at this guide for Chrissi.


49. Check the Exclusive Resort of Elounda

elounda crete - best hotels in elounda
Elounda is one of the places to visit in Crete!

If a place in the region of Lasithi has gained international fame, it is the tourist resort of Elounda. The village is located on the Mirabello Gulf, opposite the former leper colony island of Spinalonga.

Elounda is a few minutes away from the relaxing and equally famous fishing village of Plaka. It is well-known for its exclusive resorts, some of which are among the most expensive in Greece.

things to do in Crete
The windmills near the coast, Olous

The small beach of Elounda is also very popular. The sea is so calm that it has often been compared to the surface of a lake: there are no waves and usually no wind.

Those staying in one of the exclusive hotels in the area will certainly enjoy private access to their own beach, sometimes even from their own room. You can also visit Olous, which is only meters from the center of the village. It’s a sunken ancient settlement from the Minoan times that, on clear days, you can easily spot from the sea’s surface.


50. Disconnect at the Most Remote Beach in Crete

XEROKAMPOS - CRETE
Xerocampos.

Xerocampos is one of the most remote places you can visit in Crete. It’s a wonderful collection for usually deserted beaches, with crystal clear waters and shores for every taste: Fine sand, coarse sand, pebbles, and even rocks.

The area is little known, and there were no good roads to access until not long ago. Besides, Xerocampos is far from Crete’s two international airports and the island’s main ports. There are limited places to stay and just a few tavernas for (great) food. Xerocampos is listed among the best beaches in East Crete, and I’ve also included it in the best beaches in South Crete articles.

Which of these things made it to your own list of things to do in Crete?

I publish new content about Crete almost every day! Bookmark my Crete and Practical Guides pages to learn more before your trip.

Are you dreaming of a getaway to Crete but feeling overwhelmed with planning?

  • You can join my Facebook Group, Things to Do in Crete, a friendly gathering of Crete enthusiasts.
  • With my consultation call services, I have assisted countless travelers in crafting the perfect Crete experience. Email me for more information!

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Although Crete is a safe destination, consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones from unexpected situations.

>> Join our Facebook Group!

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:

Don’t Leave Before You Pin!
Things to Do in Crete According to a Local!

50 Great things to do in Crete, Greece
things to do in Crete
Things to do 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 Crete. 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.

4 thoughts on “50 Unmissable Things to Do in Crete: A Visit Guide by a Local

  1. Nadia says:

    Great pictures, Gabi!! I spend every summer holiday in this beautiful island.. 2nd home for me and my family. Not only full of beautiful natural sceneries and crystal clear sea, but full of historical sites and warmhearted people. Agapo tin Criti!

  2. Lena says:

    I visited Crete last summer and I loved it! It was after Milos my favorite Greek island. I haven’t done half of the things on this list so I might have to go back again :))

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