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Visit Crete off-the-beaten-path

Agios Nikolaos ● Chania ● Crete ● Heraklion ● Ierapetra ● Lassithi ● Rethymnon ● 05 July 2017

Crete is a very popular Greek destination, and every summer, thousands of tourists gather on the island. However, Crete is also a large island, which means that you can find there also authentic places, away from the mass tourism. If you like to off-the-beaten-path, these places, which include small towns, beaches, islets, museums and archaeological sites, will impress you with their unspoiled character.


Ierapetra is a small, sun-kissed seaside town in south-eastern Crete, with beaches lapped by the Libyan Sea. The best sites in Ierapetra are the Ottoman Mosque in Kato Mera and the Venetian Kales Fortress, which is built in the 13the century and has a lovely view of the port. Worth visiting are also the Church of Afentis Christos, which was built in the 14the century and still holds to the custom of burning an effigy of Judas at Easter, and the Ottoman School, which was built in 1899 and is now home to the Archaeological Collection of Ierapetra, where you can admire, among other exhibits, the beautiful statue of the goddess Persephone in a veil. A simple walk through the snaking streets of the old town is also a lovely experience.


Spinaloga Islet

Right opposite to the port of Elounda (Crete) and the village of Plaka, is situated a small island, which in Medieval Times was operated as a fortress to protect the fleet of Crete and the eastern side of the island from Turkish invasions. In the 20th century, Spinaloga was used as a leper colony, and nowadays, you can see the hospital and the residencies of the lepers, who due to their illness were obliged by law to leave their families and live there until they die.


if you want to explore an unspoiled island, you can visit Gavdos, a tiny island that is located to the south of Chania and is the southernmost point of Europe. It is an exotic island, which makes you believe that you are swimming in the sea of Africa. Just a few taverns and rooms to let, free camping, total blue and a chair as a trademark on the top of the hill constitute the landscape of Gavdos.


Museum of Cretan Lyra

The instrument of Cretan Lyra is strongly connected with the musical tradition of Crete. In this museum in Rethymnon, you will learn about this tradition and the music of Crete and you will have the opportunity to see the workshop and the collection of Cretan lyras.


The islet of Gaidouronissi, which is included in the European Union's Natura 2000 network of protected areas for its natural beauty, has azure waters and wonderful beaches. You can go to Gaidouronissi from Ierapetra by boat or caique several times during the day.


Erimoupoli Beach, Itanos

80 km from Agios Nikolaos, lies an off-the-beaten-path choice for those, who are searching of secluded beaches. Erimoupoli Beach in Itanos is ideal for total privacy in the crystal waters of the Cretan sea. The landscape is stunning, the waters are the clearest you will find, and the whole experience is a true contact with nature.

The archaeological site of Agia Triada

The archaeological site of Agia Triada is worth visiting thanks to its astonishing natural beauty, on the edge of Geropotamos River, near Heraklion. The site is named after the village of Agia Triada that is located next to it, since the Minoan name of the location is unknown. The site was inhabited as early as the third millennium B.C., and its most important monuments are the Royal Villa, a small Minoan Palace, the cemetery, the settlement and the Agora (marketplace).

Where to Stay

Appartment in Agios Nikolaos, Greece The Traditional Homes of Crete
The Traditional Homes of Crete
Mavrikiano, 71202 Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Combining rustic and modern features, The Traditional Homes of Crete are situated in the peaceful village of Mavrikiano, just a 5-minute walk from the center of Elounda and from Elounda Beach. Nikos Kazantzakis International airport in Heraklion is at 70 km. The port in Agios Nikolaos town with a ferry connection to Piraeus, Athens is at 10 km.

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Park Hotel
Park Hotel
19, Evrou Str., 71303 Heraklion, Greece

Park Hotel is located in Heraklion, close to Ammoudara Beach and only a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Heraklion Port is 4.8 km away and Heraklion International Airport is 7.7 km away.

Hotel in Rethymno, Greece Ammoudi
Lefkogia, Ammoudi, 74060 Rethymno, Greece

The family-run Ammoudi Hotel is located in a quiet area, only a 3-minute walk from beautiful, secluded Ammoudi Beach. The lively center of Rethymno town is at 30 km, while Chania International Airport "Ioannis Daskalogiannis" is 95 km away.