Savor the magnificent legacy of Crete’s Minoan civilization and learn why this island is regarded as the birthplace of civilization. Trek through its mountains and enjoy the incredible views or just lounge on the fabulous beaches soaking up the sun in Greece’s most southern island.
Whichever fantasy brings you to Crete, you’ll probably discover a few more while you’re here.
The island’s charms are by no means a well-kept secret, so if you are looking to escape the crowds, head to the west where the inaccessible but the beautifully rugged coast is undisturbed.
Visit Chania, formerly known as Crete’s capital, and walk around the beautiful Venetian harbor area.
The buildings may be old and crumbling, but the quarter has had a revamp in recent years and is now home to some very chic bars and restaurants. A bit further east, Rethymno’s minarets, maze streets and Venetian monuments will give you a vivid sense of its multi-layered history.
Travel east again and start exploring the island’s incredible Minoan legacy. This ancient society ruled the island from way back in 3000 BC, and is generally considered to be Europe’s first-ever advanced civilization.
Gulf of Mirabello, Crete, Greece for an even more vivid Minoan experience, travel just 5km from Iraklio to Knossos, where controversial archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans first unearthed the secrets of this remarkable civilization.
Wander around Evans’ spectacular reconstruction of the large Minoan Palace.
Unlike many archaeological sites, Knossos will leave you in no doubt as to the sophistication of its former residents. Walk down Europe’s first ever road – the royal road – and enjoy the amazing 3,000-year-old frescoes, which even today will startle you with their vibrant realism.
The eastern third of Crete, famous for its beaches and nightlife, attracts a large contingent of tourists each summer.
The most common destination is spirited Agios Nikolaos, the regional capital.
It is full of bars, restaurants and pensions throughout the day, travel agencies provide a variety of coach tours to common far spots like Kritsa and Moni Faneromenis.
Stray from the beaten track if you can and visit the remote ancient Dorian city of Lato. In the 7th century, this was one of the most powerful cities in Crete.
Nowadays there isn’t a bus there, but make the pleasant stroll from Kritsa and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the Gulf of Mirabello.