The longer I spend in Greece, the more I realise just how much there is to see and do! It's an exciting country to live in, and I love encouraging other people to visit. Read on to discover the top 5 things to do in Crete.
Top 5 Things To Do In Crete – Travel Inspiration
If you are planning your holidays for next year, and would like to go somewhere that has sun, sea, sand, culture, and history, look no further than Crete. Crete is the largest Greek island, and boasts Blue Flag beaches, historic towns, and archaeological remains which date back thousands of years. There really is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are the top 5 things to do in Crete.
Top 5 Things to Do in Crete
1. Visit Knossos
Knossos is the most famous archaeological site on the island. Of all the things to do in Crete, this is the most popular. Knossos is a bronze age archaeological complex, and dates back many thousands of years. Legend and myth say that the Palace was the home of King Minos. This is the same legendary King which had a labyrinth constructed in which to keep his son, the infamous Minotaur. In fact, some people believe that Knossos itself was the labyrinth. If you are interested in finding out more about Knossos, this article might be useful – Tips For Visiting the Palace of Knossos In Crete.
The palace, and city was the seat of power for the Minoan Empire, who ruled this part of the world in ancient times. Natural catastrophe in the form of earthquakes destroyed the civilisation, and buried the city though around 1100BC. It was rediscovered in 1878, and Englishman Sir Arthur Evans excavated much of what we see today. It is a fascinating place to visit, and no matter where you stay on the island, trips to Knossos are easily booked.
2.Walk The Samaria Gorge
Walking the Samaria Gorge is another trip which rates among the most popular things to do in Crete. You are able to walk the 18km length of the gorge, and it takes about 6 hours. A reasonable level of fitness is required. Along the walk, expect to see plenty of stunning natural formations, and the occasional mountain goat! The walk finishes quite literally on the beach, and many people choose to cool off in the waters before catching the ferry back towards their bus. You might be interested in this Samaria guide for more information on the hike.
3. Try The Food
Greek food is amazing, and Crete is the place to try the very best of the best! At the end of your holiday in Crete, you should at least have tried the famous Dakos, which is a Cretan salad. There are also numerous tasty meat dishes to sample. When it comes to drink, many people of course associate Greece with Ouzo. The slightly harder form of that is Tsipouro, or Raki. Crete also produces many good wines, and there is a fledgling micro-brewery industry creating interesting craft beers.
4. Enjoy The Beaches
With over 1000km of coastline, it goes without saying that Crete has its fair share of beaches! Many people plan their holidays on the island with a specific beach in mind. However, one of the great things to do in Crete, is to hire a car, and drive off to check out the different ones around the island. Most people rate Elafonisi beach as the most stunning. It is renowned for its pink/white sand beach. Technically, it is a small island off Crete, however it is possible to walk across, through the waters at low tide. I actually found Kedrodasos Beach close by to be better. It is an isolated place that has a castaway feel to it. You can read about my own road trip around Crete here.
5. Visit Caves
Anyone interested in caves, should definitely find add visiting Dikti Cave to their list of things to do in Crete. It is a huge cave of over 2200m2, and it was used as a place of worship for thousands of years. The cave is stunning, with many impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Whilst it is possible to book day tours, some people choose to hire a car, and combine this with a driving excursion around the Lasithi Plateau. One of the other popular cave systems to visit is at Matala. This caves have been used for years. The last residents were some hippies in the 1960's!