Crete Island Travel Guide

  • Boats to Spinalonga
    Boats to Spinalonga
    by rl1steve
  • The bay of Kato Zakros
    The bay of Kato Zakros
    by MikeBird
  • traditional windmill of Crete
    traditional windmill of Crete
    by angiebabe

Crete Island Highlights

  • Pro
    Jmill42 profile photo

    Jmill42 says…

     Dramatic Scenery, Hania, Beaches, Samaria Gorge 

  • Con
    Balam profile photo

    Balam says…

     You need a few weeks and a car to see everything 

  • In a nutshell
    kentishgirl profile photo

    kentishgirl says…

     Beaches, Stunning small towns, Nightlife and home of Greek Mythology 

Crete Island Things to Do

  • Chania (City)

    With markets selling all kinds and qualities of leather goods and a really interesting indoor food market Chania Town is worth a visit just for the shopping. The harbour is beautiful with an old mosque providing interesting architecture. Boats leave from here for trips and you can also catch a horse and buggy. Have a wonder around the back...

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  • Lasithi Prefecture

    I went to Lassithi with the original purpose of going to the Lassithi Plateau to view the windmills as I had seen old pictures where the plateau was filled with working windmills and it looked spectacular. On the way after travelling along a road from the north coast towards the plateau, having just emerged from a quaint village called Kera, I...

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  • Knossos

    Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete.Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a neolithic settlement sometime in the seventh millennium BC, and was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC which marked the end of Minoan civilization.damaged several times during earthquakes, invasions, and in 1450 BC by the...

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Crete Island Hotels

Crete Island Restaurants

  • Food and Drink

    Skewered pork meat, a traditional Greek dish. It is served with french fries and there is also chicken, lamb and swordfish souvlaki.Apart from the classic pork souvlaki, you can also try chicken or any other meat. One shop in Athens even serves ostrich souvlaki. All these variations were invented to provide a different taste, and also contain far...

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  • Zorbas Taverna (Gouves)

    This is one of the large Tavernas on the sea road at Gouves, It is a spacious restaurant with a large area at the rear set aside as a bar and swimming pool area. On the other side of the road there is another large seating area for the Restaurant which goes out over the sea. We both ordered Mussels Saganaki for starter's and I ordered Wild Goat...

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  • The Cafenio Aksios (Chania)

    This my favorite place in the old town of Chania Crete has a wide international Kichen inclugind; French, Italien, Russian, Scandinavian and ofcourse local Greek gourmet kichen. # Suosikkipaikkani Hanian Kreetan vanahassakaupungissa on Kafenio Aksios. Sesonki: kevät-syksy Laaja-alainen ammattimainen keittiö, jota pitävät suomalaiset Maija & Arto;...

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Crete Island Nightlife

  • ARMIDA Bar, (Agios Nikolaos)

    You can not miss the Armida bar as it’s the Pirate ship moored in the small harbour near the Tourist Office. We called on board for a drink as it is open during the day as well as at night. it's well worth a visit just for the photo opportunity. The Drinks were not expensive (about average price)

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  • The Bull (Gouves)

    The Bull is a rock pub on the way around the back of Gouves (go up the main St to the Chinese restaurants and turn right, Keep walking and it’s on your right) they have live music Saturday, Sunday's and Wednesdays. Good atmosphere friendly staff (The bar maid is English and has been living and working on Crete for the last 7 years) Prices of...

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  • Ammos Bar (Gouves)

    After being shown to our rooms and unpacking it was about 02:00 am but we were not that tired so we decided to go for a walk to see if there were any bars open nearby, a short walk brought us to the sea front and to various bars and tavernas which were still open. After walking along the front we were enticed into this bar by the Greek music. The...

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Crete Island Transportation

  • Buses

    Airport to Kokkini hani,Gouves,Analipsi,Anissaras,Chersonissos,Stalida,Malia, until Agios Nikolaos,Ierapetra and Sitia.This is a route of a bus from the station.The bus always pass in the airport in a certain time,so its easy if you like to take it to reach to your hotel.From the arrival area walk directly to the gate on your right,you will see a...

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  • Car & Bike Hire

    First time in Crete and i must say that it was fantastic! We booked the car via email just a few days ago. I was the first driver of a great brand new city car. As the staff member informed me they renewed their fleet every two years! We picked it up from their parking station which is just a few steps from the arrival station. They were very...

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  • Ferries

    Hellenic Seaways-Flying Cat 4 is departing from Heraklion port to Thira Santorini,passengers only no cars.This is the FASTEST ONE,it takes 1hr. and 45 mins.to reach Santorini,departs from Heraklion at 9;45 am and comes back 19;25 on the summer time. Sea Jets- megajet is also sailing to Santorini from Heraklion but it takes 2 hrs,This is for...

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Crete Island Shopping

  • Traditional Products

    It is a local tavern names 'Agia Paraskeyi' in Christos Vilage, 27 Kilometers from Ierapetra at Northwest. themselves make and sales honey from pine and olive oil from their olive trees! the bees are in Selakano forest and make one of the best honeys..! the olive trees are near there.. the place name is 'Sarakina'! both made without drugs and...

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  • Markets

    Municipal markets can be found in most towns in Crete (as well as all over Greece). They're open from the morning till early afternoon. There you'll be able to buy fresh food, some local crafts, drinks, even clothes. I especially adore municipal markets in which one can have a cup of coffee or lunch. Should I copy this note to "Must See...

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  • Food and Drink

    Lidl supermarkets have become extremely popular in Crete, they seem to be everywhere. Fortunately for us, being budget minded, there was a Lidl on the outskirts of Hersonissos. Easy to get to in the car and plenty of parking (even under sun-canopies!) we were grateful of it's proximity to our accommodation. We bought mainly drinks from Lidl. Fresh...

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Crete Island Local Customs

  • Food and Drink

    This tip is not about any one particular restaurant but a comment on our experience of several restaurants in the eastern end of Crete ( all in the Prefecture of Lasithi). All of these eating places were popular with the locals and/or Greeks and had very few, if any other, non-Greek tourists. We tried two in Piskachefalo and two in Monastiraki and...

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  • People

    The evil eye is big in Crete, where I lived for four years, and possibly elsewhere in Greece. If you go into someone's home, don't look too enviously at their things and don't pass too many complements-they believe your jealously an bring them bad luck and will not invite you back. If you see gaudy coloured beads, don't be attracted to them,...

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  • Religion

    Crete became part of modern day Greece less than a hundred years ago, maintaining to a degree its cultural variety. There used to be a sizeable Muslim but Greek speaking minority in the island, now resettled in the aegean coast of Turkey, with great concentrations in and around Izmir. Todeys cretan population accepts the Orthodox dogma and reports...

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Crete Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Driving on Crete

    We drove about 1000 km on the eastern part of Crete in a Peugeot 107, thank you Sixt. The roads were overall rather good, even the small ones. Sometimes there was suddenly a clearly new surface. None the less, sometimes there are holes in or rocks on the road. The main route in the north is very fine, until Agros Nicolaos. Then it becomes smaller...

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  • Walking in the Mountains

    Recently it has come to my attention that two tourists from my country lost their way in the Gorge of Samaria. It's hard to believe that such thing happened but as a result they were found several kilometers from Samaria - one of them still alive, died in hospital, the other one was already found dead. Both dehydrated. Please follow the route....

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  • Weather

    I have encountered very strong winds in some parts of Crete. While high in the mountains I have stepped out of my car to take some photos and I was struck with very powerful unexpected winds. However the fiercest of them all was met in Frangokastello (on the southern part of Crete) where literally I felt very unsafe while trying to take some photos...

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Crete Island Tourist Traps

  • Popular Places

    Usually most popular Cretean beaches are overcrowded in full season. This sometimes can make sunbathing and/or swimming annoying and tiring. Try and find less popular beaches. Ask locals - they're very friendly and know less crowded places. In many cases those beaches are even more picturesque than the popular ones. I suggest that you...

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  • Excursion's

    prices for 2012 if you need to book with the above, Spinalonga 99 euros premier Taste of Greece of Crete 69 euros Heraklion market 35 euros plus others please expand photo for full list try the local companies will be around 20% cheaper hire a car!!!!

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  • First Choice and Thomson holidays

    prices for 2012 if you need to book with the above, Spinalonga 99 euros premierTaste of Greece of Crete 69 euros Heraklion market 35 eurosplus others please expand photo for full list try the local companies will be around 20% cheaper hire a car!!!!

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Crete Island What to Pack

  • Beach Holidays

    Even if you have a decent base tan the intense Sun on Crete can burn you in no time at all if you don't use sunblock. And if you wait to buy it until you get to Crete the incredibly high prices for it will make you regret not bringing your own. Fortunately we brought plenty, so we did not have to buy any there. Make sure you apply it first thing in...

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  • Exploring Holidays

    backpack cap, shorts, good shoes, sandals, sunglasses, the medicaments, especially when you are allergic to sun like me for example, something against diarrohea if your stomach is sensitive films for the camera or flash memory, the batteries for your cameras, tripod, sun blocker (high numbers especially in you go there in July and August),

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  • Do not take too much!!!

    Backpack or a case on a wheels so you can easily roll it from your car to the hotel.If you are planning to bring back with you Cretan oil, get a small cardboard box and some bubble wrap and plastic bags. You don't want the oil to spill all over your summer dress and on the way in it is a great way to transport your shampoo and stuff to prevent it...

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Crete Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Hidden Beaches

    Leaving Sitia we headed off to the east for Vai the beach with the palm forest. The road to Vai was pretty new and looked like it had been resurfaced which I was glad about as I could imagine it had been one of those roads!! During the 70`s when the hippies were thrown out of matala they made there way to vai, they certainly could pick thier spots!...

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  • Towns and Villages

    Travel from Ag Nik towards Sitia - about 20 minutes on you come to a village called Kavousi, go through Kavousi up the big hill (still on main road) at the top you come to "Panoramic View taverna" stop for a coffee and see the greatest view on Crete. Then travel further on (about 2 minutes) til you come to a sign saying MOCHLOS - drive down to...

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  • Coastal Places

    Now this is what we had been searching for!! What a beach!! We actually missed the turn off to the beach from Kavousi so stopped on a clifftop to turn round and view the beach. What a stunner!! We couldn't wait to get down there! The road runs alonf the baxck of the curved bay and ends in a tiny harbour. Before this there is a parking area under...

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Crete Island Sports & Outdoors

  • Beaches

    Preveli beach is a ery scenic beach, especially when seen from high up: there's the sea at the front and a river at the back. In one day you can get a salty and a resh water swim. You can also walk along the river and admire the canyon and vegetation, or rent kayaks to go upstream. There's soft sand and may trees for some precious shade. Parking...

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  • Biking the Lassithi plateau

    We had a great time, biking the Lassithi plateau for a few hours. Everything was there: helmet, water, supportcar, good and friendly guides.... And I can tell you, it wasn't easy for Rik and his crew to keep 25 women going... They did a great job, we had a very nice lunch in the middle of nowhere and really experienced Crete in another way. You can...

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  • go rock climbing

    Go rock climbing in Capetaniana, Aghiofaraggo, Aghios Nikolaos, Sitia. Visit www.climbincrete.com for more details. You can climb almost all year round. Crete is also a paradise for canyoners. There are hundreds of canyons to explore. Some of them Like Samaria gorge is just hiking but there are many others that the canyoners will love. Many...

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Crete Island Favorites

  • Towns and Villages

    Bali is a small, picturesque village between Heraklion and Rethymno. People go there usually when they buy the whole package (flight, hotel, food etc) Bali used to be a fisherman village, but now during the summer it is a family vacation destination. There are few large hotels and many small hotels. Bali has at least 3 beaches with the largest (not...

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  • Exploring Cities

    Chania (Hania) is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and the second biggest town in Crete, with a population of 60.000 inhabitants. As for me Chania is one of the nicest towns in Crete with wonderful houses, parks and squares and a well designed town-plan. Visit Public Market in the town center with grocery stores, butchers' shops,...

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  • Exploring the Island

    Cretean spring is beautiful. After months of bad weather, relative cold and rains the plants burst with life. Crete becomes a blooming place and the fresh greens give a great shade against strong sun.

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Explore Deeper into Crete Island
Heraklion (City)
Things to Do
Hersonissos
Things to Do
Rethymnon (City)
Things to Do
Samaria Gorge
Things to Do
Agios Nikolaos
Things to Do
Matala
Things to Do
Souvenirs
Shopping
Strange Things
Local Customs
Places to Walk
Off The Beaten Path
Places the Locals go
Off The Beaten Path
Archeological Sites
Off The Beaten Path
Beaches
Favorites
Airports and Airtravel
Transportation
Mountain and Plateau
Off The Beaten Path
Cookware and Kitchenalia
Shopping
Little Shrines on the Road
Local Customs
Phourmi - the Minoan cemetery
Off The Beaten Path
Nefeli Taverna (Gouves)
Restaurants
Family Taverna (Gouves)
Restaurants
Inland Retreats
Off The Beaten Path
The Plumbing
Warnings and Dangers
Acropolis Taverna (Hersonissos)
Restaurants
Kehagias Tavern (Stavromenos)
Restaurants
Boat's
Transportation
Etiquette
Warnings and Dangers
Zisis (Rethymno)
Restaurants
Taxi's
Transportation
Traditional Products
Local Customs
Pella Restaurant
Restaurants
Street Stalls
Shopping
Copied Archaeological Artefacts
Shopping
Music
Local Customs
Tom`s music bar, Matala
Nightlife
Bar Klio (Gouves)
Nightlife
History of Crete
Favorites
Raki (tsikoudia)
Local Customs
Exploring the Mountains
Favorites
The Sun !
Warnings and Dangers
CAFETERIA DESMARIA (Gouves)
Nightlife
kafeneion Ziya (Heraklion)
Nightlife
Map of Crete Island

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