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Top things to do in Crete

Chania ● Crete ● Heraklion ● Rethymnon ● 16 August 2017
 

Crete is the biggest island in Greece offering numerous historical sites and things to do. Archaeological monuments, museums, national parks and pretty traditional towns are waiting for you. We have chosen for you the best things to see in Crete. Don't forget to read also the article about the best beaches in Crete.

The Old Towns of Rethymnon and Chania are something you should definitely not miss. Wander through the narrow pebbled streets, and admire these seaside neighbourhoods, which date back to the Middle Ages. In these towns, you will find examples of the Venetian architecture combined with the Turkish influence that create a stunning scenery. In Rethymnon, you will be impressed by the Venetian Fortezza, a symbol of Crete’s glorious past. The Venetian ruling class has built this fortress in order to protect the island against the Ottoman invasion. Rethymnon and Chania offer you great food and shopping opportunities as well as luxury hotels, traditional guesthouses and affordable rooms to let.

Chania

The archaeological sites of Knossos and Faistos belong also to the best things to do in Crete. In Knossos, there is the Palace of Knossos that is a magnificent testament of the Minoan civilisation. In Phaistos, there are ruins of a Minoan Palace, but the place is not as crowded as the Palace of Knossos. You can explore the central courtyard, the royal apartments and the location where the famous Phaistos Disc was uncovered in 1903.

If you are a fan the Greek history and antiquity, a must-see in Crete, in addition to the above sites, is the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion with its extensive collection of Minoan art. The highlights are the small statue of the Snake Goddess and the Phaistos Disc, a clay tablet with symbols of the writing system Linear A, which has not been deciphered.

Knossos

If you are interested in hiking, you should definitely hike the Samaria Gorge National Park. Samaria Gorge is considered as one of the largest canyons in Europe, and its natural beauty is impressive. Speedy hikers can make this journey in five hours, but if you are more leisurely paced walker, you will definitely need eight hours. Thus, for this long but unforgettable walk, you should bring plenty of water and sunscreen protection, wear sturdy shoes and improve your fitness level before attempting it.

Last but not least, if you are an animal lover, the Cretaquarium is a perfect spot for you and your children. It is located 15 km east of Heraklion, and it is home to 2000 sea animals and 200 different Mediterranean species.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Hotel Hara Ilios Village
Hotel Hara Ilios Village
Agiou Panteleimonos, Kato Gouves, 70014 Heraklion, Greece

The property is located 16 km away from Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport and only 250 m from the sandy Gouves beach. The largest city and port of the island of Crete, Heraklion, can be reached within a 20-minute drive.

Hotel in Rethymno, Greece Forest Park
Forest Park
Agiou Ioanni, 74100 Rethymno, Greece

Forest Park is located in the town of Rethymno, a 15-minute walk away from the sandy beach. Rethymno Port is a 20-minute walk away.

Hotel in Chania , Greece Hotel Idramon
8.4 10
Hotel Idramon
Mitropoleos square, 73100 Chania , Greece

Hotel Idramon is set in a traditional building in the historic center of Chania, just 500 meters away from the Venetian Port and 15 minutes walk from the sandy beach of Nea Chora. Chania International Airport is 17 km away.


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