The island of Crete can combine amazing sandy beaches, long history, endless entertainment, and Cretan hospitality. Find out the best things to do in Crete and explore them by car or motorbike.
The Island of Spinalonga
The island of Spinalonga, which is located in the Gulf of Elounda in eastern Crete, is the second most visited archaeological site in Crete. The Venetians fortified the island during the 15th century and as a result, Spinalonga is now considered to be a real architectural treasure. It is, also, known as the Leper island, due to the forced isolation of lepers in it from Crete and the rest of Greece until 1957. The central position of the islet of Spinalonga has led the place to have a turbulent history replete with tough battles and plenty of human suffering.
From April 1st until October 31th: 08:00-18:00
Admission fees: Full: €8, Reduced: €4
Archaeological Site of Knossos
The Palace of Knossos was the center of the Minoan civilization, as it was the largest palace of all the Minoan centers. It is estimated to be first inhabited during the Neolithic period and to be built around 1900 B.C. on the ruins of the Neolithic settlement. In the site of Knossos, tourists can visit the Great Palace, the Little Palace, the Royal Villa, the House of the High Priest, the Caravan Serai and the Royal Temple Tomb-Sanctuary.
Admission fees: Full: €15, Reduced: €8.
Winter: 08:00 – 17:00.
Summer: 08:00 – 20:00.
Beach of Seitan Limania
Seitan Limania is a hidden beach, only 20 km away from the city of Chania. Although, it is in a quite isolated location, thousands of tourists visit it every year due to the spectacular color of the sea which is almost identical to the color of a swimming pool. Seitan Limania means in Greek “The Satanic Harbors” because of the steep rocks that surround it. Be aware, it is recommended to wear your training shoes to climb down the path to reach the beach.
The Cretaquarium is part of the complex of THALASSOKOSMOS, which is the largest complex for marine research, technology and entertainment in the Mediterranean. It is one of Europe’s largest aquariums and the visitors can enjoy and discover the marine organisms of the Mediterranean Sea.
Winter (1st November – 31st March) daily: 09:30-16:00.
Summer (1st April – 31st October) daily: 09:30-19:00.
General Admission Fee: 9€ (1/5 – 30/9), 6€ (1/10 – 30/4).
Children 5-17 years old: 6€.
Gorge of Samaria
Exploring the Samaria Gorge is a must not only for tourists but also, for the Cretans because it is the longest gorge in Europe (16km). It is a National Park that attracts thousands of visitors every year and is part of the World’s Biosphere Reserve. The walk through the gorge begins from Omalos, which is 38km away from Chania, and ends to Ayia Roumeli, in the shores of the Libyan Sea.
Visitors are allowed from May 1st to October 15th.
Palm Forest of Vai
The palm forest o Vai is the largest in Europe and attracts thousands of tourists every summer. Vai became well-known by hippies, who used to go there and were over Preveli and Matala. Since the 1980s the area was declared as protected and the place was again revitalized. In Vai, there are a number of activities that someone can take on such as watersports. The palm beach is located at the East side of Crete, close to Palekastro, Sitia and the Dionysades islands.
Natural History Museum of Crete
The Natural History Museum of Crete, which is located near the city enter of Heraklion, is under the aegis of the University of Crete and its aim is to enlarge upon the diversity of flora and fauna of the Eastern Mediterranean. The museum is housed in a restored industrial building. In 2012, it was rewarded by the Academy of Athens for its work.
Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 15:00.
Weekends: 10:00 – 18:00.