Things to do in Crete
Dreaming of soaking up the sunshine in Greece? The island of Crete has it all – ancient ruins and attractions, dramatic mountainous landscapes, lush olive groves, a buzzing nightlife, pristine white-sand beaches and attractions galore for the little ones. Here are some of the most unique things to do in Crete.
Visit the Malia Ruins
If you’re thinking of more adventurous things to do in Crete, head to the town of Malia, where just a few kilometres east you will find historical ruins dating back 4,000 years. Constructed in 1900 BC, the ruins are of a former Minoan palace which was then destroyed by an earthquake 200 years after it was built. Visitors are given free maps to explore the site. Step back in time as you tour the palace courtyards, altars, grand staircase and pillars. Don’t forget to visit the exhibition hall which features a model of how the palace would have looked in Minoan times.
Hop on a boat trip to Spinalonga
As one of the more off-the-beaten-track must-do things in Crete, the island of Spinalonga has a rich and interesting history that just beckons to be explored. Take a boat for a day trip from Aghios Nikolaos and discover winding cobbled streets, a Turkish fortress and a former leper colony village that was romanticised in Victoria Hislop’s novel The Island. After a day of exploring, head back to your Villa Elea for dinner beneath the stars in your private garden.
Spend a day on the beach
Whether you like to play volleyball on the sand, swim in azure waters, snorkel or take part in water sports, there is a beach for you in Crete. Heraklion and the surrounding areas feature a selection of beautiful shores, with the popular resorts of Malia, Amoudara and Agia Pelagia offering a range of bars and restaurants right on the sand so that you can make a day of topping up your tan. Diving schools are available in Hersonissos, Agia Pelagia and Gouves, offering diving and snorkelling to those who want to get closer to native sea life on the island. If you want to get away from the bustle and crowds to a more secluded cove, Agia Pelagia Psaromoura and Paleokastro offer more peaceful retreats with stunning views.
Visit Kotsifou Gorge
Those who love getting back to nature will love hiking Kotsifou Gorge, which offers spectacular views of the island while showcasing beautiful flora and fauna. At the top of the hill, once you have hiked upwards, you are greeted by a small Greek Orthodox chapel where you can admire the stunning vistas below. A romantic and beautiful place to watch the sun rise or set.
Tour Rethymnon Venetian Harbour
When you want to head out a little further from your private Villa Chloe up in the hills, hop in the car and take a leisurely drive to the resort of Rethymnon, featuring the popular attraction that is the Venetian Harbour – considered the most stunning boat harbour on the island and one of the most popular things to do in Crete. It isn’t hard to see why – take a tour of Rethymnon Old Town and discover traditional beautiful town houses in a Venetian style, as well as local tavernas, bars and eateries serving up local fare and freshly caught seafood – an ideal place to stop for lunch and soak up island culture. After exploring the harbour, head to the Venetian Lighthouse and the nearby beach to catch a few rays.
Now you’ve planned your itinerary and discovered some of best things to do in Crete, you’ll need to start browsing our range of premium holiday villas in Crete, where you’ll find your home from home on the island.