I guess you’re wondering what are things to do in Crete and see this beautiful island as one of the best places to see in Greece.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean. Crete is located at the edge of Greece near the African continent and Cyprus. Our trip to Crete was incredible. We had a fantastic week exploring the island and everything it has to offer from its beautiful landscape, beaches and delicious food.
We stayed a 2-bedroom apartment in Travelopo in Hersonissos. The apartment has all the amenities that we need for self-catering and a lovely rooftop lounge area where you can see the fantastic view of the Hersonissos. The location of the apartment is perfect!
Here is our full detailed travel itinerary to Crete, Greece
On our stay in Crete, we visited various places from Hersonissos like the Lasithi Plateau, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Heraklion and many more.
Here are the various places to visit and things to do in Crete!
Palace of Knossos
An ancient treasure in Crete. The Palace of Knossos was built a few thousand years ago in the Bronze age and was considered as the one of the oldest city in Europe.
This famous landmark is believed to be the seat of King Minos and was linked to the Greek mythology tales like Minotaur in the Labyrinth and Daedalus and Icarus. The ruins of this ancient palace were restored by Sir Arthur Evans and the project lasted for a few decades.
The main attraction in Knossos is the stunning ruins of red pillars and the alfresco of the charging bull.
Are you planning to visit the Palace of Knossos?
Agios Nikolaos is a charming coastal town in North Eastern Crete. The town has various cafes and taverns near the little lake called Voulismeni. If you love a bit of shopping, the bustling high street of Agios Nikolaos has all the Cretan trinkets.
Are you planning to visit Agios Nikolaos?
Psychro Cave at the Lasithi Plateau
If you love Greek mythology and adventure, Lasitihi Plateau is definitely worth a visit. Lasithi Plateau is where the Psychro Cave is located.
Psychro Cave is believed to be the birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. If you are coming from Heraklion it’s just over an hour drive to the Psychro Cave. There is a little trek that you have to do to reach the cave.
The descent to the cave is fairly easy but you need to be extra careful with the slippery rocks and pave paths. You can see various stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave.
Are you planning to visit the Psychro Cave in Lasithi Plateau?
Archeological Museum of Crete
If you want to know more about Crete history, The Archaeological Museum of Crete is the best place to visit. You can learn and see different artefacts from the Minoan civilization up to the World War II.
It is located in the heart of Heraklion, and you can use your Crete Archaeological ticket to visit the museum for free. You can buy this ticket at any of the Archaeological sites in Crete and it will serve as your pass for all the attraction.
Located at the Old Port of Heraklion, the fortress was built by the Venetian during their occupation in the island and was originally known as “Ricca a mare” or “Castello a Mare” which means – The fort of the seas. During the Ottomans occupation, the Turks change the fortress’ name into “Koules” from the Turkish word “Su Kulesi” means the water tower. The Fortress has been a great strategic defence of Heraklion.
The Koules Fortress now turned into a museum where you can learn all the history and importance of the fortress during the Venetian and Ottoman rule in the island.
The Fortezza was built by the Venetians in the 16th Century to protect the city from the Ottoman invasion. The fortress was strategically located at the top of the Paleokastro hill overlooking the city of Rethymnon.
After the invasion of the Ottoman in 1646, The original cathedral was demolished and the Turks built the first mosque in the city inside the fortress dedicated to Sultan Ibrahim Khan. The interior of the mosque still exists and the prayer niche which points to Mecca. Currently, the Sultan Ibrahim Khan Mosque is used as an event venue in Rethymnon.
Are you planning to visit Rethymnon?
Old Venetian Harbour
The colourful coastal town of Chania is where the Old Venetian Harbour is located. The Old Venetian harbour resembles the Venetian island of Burano with its colourful building along its coast.
The old Venetian harbour in Chania has been an important commercial and military port during the Venetian occupation in the island. During the Ottoman occupation of the island, the Old Venetian Harbour also played an important role in securing the trade and security during the Turks reign. The beautiful mosque of Janissaries by the quays is unmissable due to its towering dome. It will give you a sense of nostalgia as a remembrance of the Old harbour’s history.
One of the most favourite things to do in Crete is to visit the Samaria Gorge in the White Mountain National Park. The gorge is located on the western side of Crete near Chania. If you are up for an adventure and outdoor, this one is for you!
It is one of the longest gorge in Europe. The trek to and back around the gorge will typically takes you around 6- 8 hours. There is a minimal entrance fee to the national park, to help the local government to maintain it.
Are you planning to visit Samaria Gorge?
Day trip to Santorini
You can book a day trip to Santorini from Crete. Santorini is a few hours away from Crete via fast ferry. That sail around Crete, Santorini and Mykonos. The day trip was seasonal and its only available from April to October.
The day trip package includes the return hotel pick up to the Heraklion port, the return ferry rides to Santorini and the tour around different towns of Santorini. It’s definitely worth it!
Are you planning to visit Santorini?
I hope you’ll enjoy your visit to Crete!
Let me know if you have other awesome places to add to this list, leave it in the comment box below.
Disclaimer: Our accommodation in Crete was provided complimentary in return for an honest opinion about the place and the apartment. All other activities, expenses, images and opinion are my own otherwise stated.