15 things to do in Crete: Guide to the Greek Island

6 March 2024

Things to do in Crete

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is a captivating destination with many attractions to explore. From its rich history and stunning landscapes to its vibrant culture and warm hospitality, Crete offers something for every traveller.

You will be spoiled for choice with places to see and things to do in Crete, Greece. Whether exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on beautiful beaches, indulging in delicious cuisine, or hiking through breathtaking gorges, this enchanting island has it all.

In this travel guide, we will delve into the best things to do in Crete, highlight must-see attractions, and provide insights into the diverse experiences in this Mediterranean gem. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery as we unravel the enchanting tapestry of Crete’s wonders.

Palace of Knossos

Embark on a fascinating journey as we delve into the historical marvel of the Ancient Palace of Knossos, one of the best places to visit in Crete. Nestled amidst the lush Cretan countryside, this Bronze Age site is a testament to Crete’s rich history and culture.

Exploring the Palace of Knossos allows visitors to immerse themselves in one of Crete’s most significant historical sites and experience firsthand the ancient ruins that have captivated historians and archaeologists for centuries.

Exploring the mysteries of Cretan history is just one of the many things to do in Crete. As you wander through this remarkable site, every stone tells a story of a bygone era. The Palace of Knossos offers a unique opportunity to step into the past and witness the grandeur of ancient Greece up close.

Spinalonga Island

Spinalonga Island

Embark on a journey through time and history as we delve into the mystical allure of Spinalonga Island, one of the fascinating things to do in Crete. This enigmatic island, known for its haunting past as a leper colony, is steeped in tales of resilience and survival.

While exploring the city’s rich history, be sure to include Spinalonga Island as one of the most important places to visit in Crete. The former leper colony is not merely a place of isolation but also home to the remnants of a once-majestic Venetian fortress, adding intrigue to its rich history.

Exploring Spinalonga Island offers a unique opportunity for cultural exploration, allowing visitors to witness firsthand the echoes of its past and the stories etched within its ancient walls.

Elafonisi Beach

Nestled in the breathtaking landscape of Crete, Elafonisi Beach is a true gem for those seeking sandy beaches and craggy coves. This secure island offers nature lovers and beach enthusiasts a serene escape.

Visitors to Elafonisi Beach can explore its pristine shores, dotted with soft sand and crystal-clear waters. The rugged coastline provides ample opportunities for adventure, whether discovering hidden coves or simply basking in the beauty of the surroundings.

When considering places to visit in Crete, take advantage of the stunning Elafonisi Beach. With its unique natural beauty and tranquillity blend, Elafonisi Beach promises a memorable experience for all who venture to its shores.

Seitan Limania

Seitan Limania

Seitan Limania Beach in Crete is a hidden gem for those seeking serenity and tranquillity away from the bustling crowds. Tucked away in a secluded corner of Crete, this beach offers a unique opportunity to unwind and relax in a pristine natural setting, making it one of the perfect places to visit in Crete.

For beach lovers looking to dip in crystal-clear waters and soak up the sun on golden sands, Seitan Limania Beach is the perfect escape. Its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking beauty make it one of the best-kept secrets among the beaches of Greece.

If you’re looking for a calm beach for relaxation or want to discover one of Crete’s most secluded beaches, Seitan Limania Beach will offer an unforgettable experience. It is one of the top things to do in Crete for those who visit its shores.


Nestled along the picturesque coast of Crete, Loutro Village beckons travellers seeking an escape to tranquillity and authentic Cretan charm. This hidden gem stands out among traditional Greek fishing villages, offering a serene retreat away from the bustling tourist hotspots.

Exploring Loutro Village is one of the best things to do in Crete, which captivates visitors with its timeless allure and unspoiled beauty. The cobblestone pathways wind through this traditional Cretan village, leading to quaint tavernas where you can savour local delicacies amidst breathtaking coastal views.

In Loutro, visitors can choose from various accommodation options, including family-owned guesthouses and seaside retreats. This lets guests fully experience the village’s relaxed vibe and coastal beauty. Whether you seek relaxation by the crystal-clear waters or explore the surrounding rugged landscapes, Loutro promises an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of authentic Crete.



Explore the charming town of Chania, where history seamlessly blends with modernity against a backdrop of the sparkling sea. The Venetian and Turkish influences infuse vibrancy into this stunning seaside destination, making it one of the top places to visit in Crete for travellers seeking a unique cultural experience.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting Chania Old Town, where every corner tells a story of its rich past. Discover the top sites in Chania, from ancient architecture to bustling markets offering local treasures.

Enhance your exploration with guided tours that bring this captivating city’s hidden gems and historical significance to life. Experience the perfect fusion of history and modernity as you uncover the top things to do in Chania, creating unforgettable memories.

Balos Lagoon

Discovering the natural wonders is one of the must-do things in Crete for any visitor. Embark on a journey to uncover one of Crete’s most breathtaking natural wonders – Balos Lagoon. Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Greece, Balos Lagoon stands out as a true gem among the best beaches in Crete.

As you traverse the Balos Beach Trail, be prepared to be mesmerised by the unparalleled views that await you. The turquoise waters of Balos Lagoon beckon travellers to immerse themselves in its beauty and tranquillity, making it one of the best places to visit in Crete.

Discover this hidden gem in Greece and experience a paradise where nature’s splendour knows no bounds. Let the allure of Balos Lagoon captivate your senses and leave you in awe of its pristine beauty.



Unveiling Rethymno’s cultural treasures and vibrant atmosphere is just one of the many things to do in Crete. Wander through the charming village sights, where every corner tells a story steeped in history. Explore the majestic Rethymno fortress, a testament to the island’s past grandeur and resilience.

Indulge in unique cultural experiences on Crete Island, where tradition meets modernity in a harmonious blend. Let the allure of Rethymno captivate your senses as you delve into its vibrant tapestry of art, architecture, and local customs.

Samaria Gorge

Embark on an epic adventure through the breathtaking landscapes of Samaria Gorge for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When planning your places to visit in Crete, take the chance to explore one of its most famous national parks. This renowned national park in Crete offers stunning vistas, soaring cliffs, and unparalleled nature trekking adventures that will leave you in awe.

When planning your hike through Samaria Gorge, you must arm yourself with valuable tips to make the most of this exhilarating journey. Discover the best hiking trails in Greece within the heart of Samaria Gorge National Park, where every step unveils a new wonder of nature waiting to be explored.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder as you traverse through rugged terrain and witness the sheer magnificence of towering cliffs and lush greenery. Prepare for an unforgettable experience as you set foot on one of Crete’s most famous national parks and embark on a journey that promises unparalleled beauty and adventure.


Dining at Quaint Tavernas

Immerse yourself in the authentic Cretan culinary experience by dining at quaint Tavernas on the picturesque island of Crete. Sample deliciously hearty fare at local eateries such as Gramboussa and Ferryman Taverna, known for serving some of the best traditional dishes on the island.

These informal tavernas offer more than just food; they provide a glimpse into Cretan culture and hospitality. From freshly caught seafood to locally sourced ingredients, dining at these establishments is a feast for the palate and the soul. This is one of the best things to do in Crete, something you will never forget.

Village of Sissi

Nestled along the coast, the charming fishing village of Sissi offers a serene escape for those seeking a relaxing holiday. Visitors can immerse themselves in the laid-back atmosphere and explore the picturesque surroundings at their own pace.

Sissi village has a quaint charm and inviting ambience, making it one of the ideal places to visit in Crete for travellers looking to unwind and recharge. The tiny beach provides a perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun, while the narrow streets lined with traditional houses offer a glimpse into the village’s rich history and culture.

Agios Nikolaos

Mirabello Bay and Agios Nikolaos

Relaxing by the Mirabello Bay offers a serene escape, nestled in one of the largest bays in Eastern Crete. This off-the-beaten-path destination is perfect for those seeking tranquillity and natural beauty. Go for a drive throughout the entire area, stop by the Sea of Crete for a quick swim, and go to Agios Nikolaos for a meal.

Known as Eastern Crete’s cultural hub, Agios Nikolaos offers a charming setting for exploration and relaxation. Agios Nikolaos is another gem you should consider adding to your list of places to visit in Crete.

Take advantage of the opportunity to indulge in a delightful dinner with a view, making your visit to Agios Nikolaos memorable. Stroll through Agios Nikolaos before ending the night at Voulismeni Lake, the town’s hub for spirituality and nightlife.

Kouremenos Beach

Windsurfing at Kouremenos Beach offers an exciting adventure for water sports enthusiasts visiting Crete’s eastern coast. The beach is renowned for its ideal wind conditions and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect spot for windsurfing enthusiasts of all levels. Water sports enthusiasts should use Kouremenos Beach when searching for places to visit in Crete.

Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the ropes or an experienced windsurfer seeking an adrenaline rush, Kouremenos Beach provides the perfect setting for an unforgettable windsurfing experience. With its picturesque surroundings and consistent wind patterns, this beach is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to combine exhilarating water sports with natural beauty.

Lasithi Plateau

Lasithi Plateau

Cycling among the iconic windmills of the Lasithi Plateau is just one of the many things to do in Crete. This picturesque destination, a bastion of tradition, offers a unique experience that combines cultural immersion with outdoor adventure. As you cycle through the green fields, you will be surrounded by stone houses and the distinctive stone, steel, and canvas windmills that dot the landscape.

The cycling route at Lasithi Plateau allows you to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty while exploring its historical landmarks. Combining traditional architecture and modern windmills creates a charming contrast that will captivate visitors.

Zakros Gorge, the Valley of the Dead

The Zakros Gorge, also known as the Valley of the Dead, offers visitors a unique and peaceful hiking experience, making it one of the must-do things in Crete. This gorge is a stunning natural wonder and holds ancient Minoan burial sites within caves along the canyon walls.

The trek through Zakros Gorge provides a serene and quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Hikers can immerse themselves in nature’s beauty while exploring the area’s historical significance. The length of the hiking trek through Zakros Gorge varies depending on the route taken and individual pace. You should allocate sufficient time to fully appreciate the breathtaking scenery and archaeological sites.

Begin an incredible expedition of exploration while you engage with the stunning beauty of Crete through this essential guide. It is crafted to enhance your upcoming vacation to Greece. Discover the intriguing history of Crete by exploring its depths.

From exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on pristine beaches, there are many things to do in Crete. Take in the stunning landscapes and immerse yourself in its rich cultural tapestry. Get ready for an unforgettable expedition on this Mediterranean gem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best time to visit Crete?

The best time to visit Crete is spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October), when the weather is pleasant and tourist crowds are thinner.

Is it easy to get around Crete using public transportation?

While public transportation options like buses and taxis exist in Crete, renting a car is often recommended for more flexibility in exploring the island.

Are there any festivals or events worth attending in Crete?

Yes! Crete hosts various festivals annually, celebrating music, food, culture, and religious events such as Easter and Rethymno Wine Festival.

What are some popular souvenirs to buy from Crete?

Popular souvenirs from Crete include

  • Olive oil products.
  • Local wines and spirits like raki or tsikoudia.
  • Traditional Cretan textiles or ceramics.
Are there family-friendly activities available in Crete?

Families can enjoy activities like visiting water parks such as Watercity Waterpark or Acqua Plus Water Park, exploring kid-friendly beaches, or taking a boat trip to Spinalonga Island.