Crete is the largest and most populated island of the Greek islands. It’s an amazing place to visit due to the beautiful natural architecture, great cuisine and amazing history. You can admire the remnants of ancient civilizations, relax on picturesque beaches and have amazing, locally crafted Greek wine here. If you’re looking to plan the perfect trip to this amazing island, read on ahead for our top list of things to do in Crete, Greece.
1. Visit Spinalonga Island
The tiny island of Spinalonga is so close to Crete and easily reached by a little boat over to the island. Perched in the north-east of Crete (within the Gulf of Elounda), it’s one little spot to explore some of the Venetian histories of the island.
2. Go swimming at Seitan Limania Beach
Relatively near Chania (and Chania Airport), the tiny little cover of Seitan Limania is a great spot to chill out and relax in that stunning Aegean Sea. Now, the beach is pretty small and it does get busy during peak season. Still definitely worth a visit to this beautiful area.
3. Taste the delicious local cuisine
No one should be a stranger to the amazing food of Greece. Crete is no exception and will cater to almost every appetite. From great cheese, to fresh tomatoes, to locally made olive oil, you won’t want to miss a single meal while you’re here.
4. Visit downtown Heralkion
If you like archeology and history as well as just wandering the streets of a city, then you’ll love Heraklion. Heraklion is filled with shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it the perfect place where you can spend your afternoon. Some points of interest in the center are Lions Square and the Venetian Loggia (a beautiful Venetian monument from the 17th century).
5. Wander through Chania
Chania is one of the biggest island cities you’ll find on the Greek Islands, which means there’s usually lots to do. Make sure to take a wander to the Venetian Harbour, visit the old lighthouse and visit the Agora Marketplace where you’ll be able to grab some freshly picked figs.
6. View the street art in Matala
As you wander through Matala’s streets, you’ll see countless paintings on the town’s walls and ground, which is something unique. It’s undoubtedly not what you’d expect from Crete, and that’s what makes it even more special.
7. Spend an afternoon at Matala’s beach
Matala’s beach is so beautiful and relaxing. With crystal clear water and sandstone rock cliffs views, you have to spend a couple of hours here and enjoy the scenery. And after a long list of other things to do in Crete, I think it’s ok to spend some quiet time at the beach.
8. See the Palace of Knossos
The Palace of Knossos used to be a great capital of Minoans, ruling this part of the world about 3,000 years ago. When you visit this place, you may be surprised to see that ruins are in such a good condition.
9. Relax in Iraklio wine country
Wine tasting is definitely one of the most delicious things to do in Crete. Approximately 70% of all Crete wine production comes from a small, mountainous area near Iraklio. If you want to know more about typical Cretan grapes such as kotsifali or malvasia, stop by one of a dozen picturesque vineyards.