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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

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Pasiphae Hotel
8.8 10
Pasiphae Hotel
34 Poseidonos str. & 1 Naxou str., 71307 Heraklion, Greece

Pasiphae Hotel is located in a quiet part of Heraklion, just a 10-minute walk from the main port of Heraklion and 2.5 km away from Nikos Kazantzakis International airport. The historic center of Heraklion can be reached within 15 minutes on foot.

Villa in Rethymno, Greece Cretan Mansion
9.9 10
Cretan Mansion
Dramia - Georgioupolis, 73007 Rethymno, Greece

Featuring a private swimming pool, Cretan Mansion is located in the village of Dramia just 15 minutes walk from the beach. Georgioupoli town is at 5 km, while the lively Rethymnon town is at 17 km. Cretan Mansion lies at the foot of the White Mountains at the northeastern corner of the prefecture of Chania. Chania and Chania International Airport Ioannis Daskalogiannis can be reached within a 40-minute drive.

Studio & Appartment in Agios Nikolaos, Greece Argyro Rent Rooms
Argyro Rent Rooms
Kritsa, 72051 Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Argyro Rent Rooms is located in the traditional village of Kritsa. The nearest beach is approximately a 10-minute drive away. Agios Nikolaos town and port is a 15-minute drive away.