START BOOKING YOUR TRIP TO Crete
** Please note that we get a small commission if you book via our referral links. We use this to invest in new foodie content and to update the Greece Foodies website.
Crete Travel Guide for 2023
Looking for the perfect travel guide to Crete for your trip in 2023? Look no further! This Crete Travel Guide covers all the essential information you need to know before you go, from practical tips to must-see attractions!
Welcome to Crete, the enchanting island paradise in Greece that beckons travelers with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. As you plan your adventures for 2023, this comprehensive Crete travel guide is here to be your trusted companion, unveiling the hidden gems, must-visit attractions, and culinary delights that await you on this remarkable island.
From ancient ruins and breathtaking beaches to charming villages and mouthwatering cuisine, Crete offers diverse experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Crete has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, get ready to explore the wonders of Crete, and let this travel guide be your roadmap to an extraordinary journey.
A few things about Crete.
Crete is Greece’s largest island and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. With its stunning beaches, dramatic landscape, and rich history, it’s easy to see why Crete is such a popular destination.
It merits a week-long visit to even begin to scratch the surface and two weeks to truly circumnavigate. The picturesque seaside town of Chania, which is brimming with adorable eateries and boutique shopping, is the highlight of any trip there.
But there are additional north coast cities, including Rethymnon, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, and Elounda, that serve as excellent home bases for discovering the island. Visits should be made to the Samaria Gorge, Lasithi Plateau, Wine Country, and Knossos.
When is the best time to visit Crete?
Crete enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by long, hot summers and mild, wet winters. The island’s climate makes it a desirable destination year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences and interests.
If you’re seeking warm and sunny beach days, the months from June to September are ideal, with temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to low 30s degrees Celsius (mid-70s to low 90s degrees Fahrenheit). Spring (April to May) and autumn (October to November) offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds, making it a great time for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and exploring the island’s rich history. Winter (December to February) brings cooler temperatures, especially in the mountainous regions, and is perfect for those who enjoy hiking, cultural experiences, and a quieter ambiance. Overall, Crete’s climate offers a year-round appeal, so you can plan your visit based on your preferred activities and the atmosphere you desire.
Why is Crete famous?
Each year, millions of tourists travel to Crete because of its pristine beaches, striking mountain scenery, and comfortable climate. More than 30 million olive trees grow on the island of Crete, which produces 80,000 to 120,000 tons of olive oil annually. The rustic cuisine of the Cretans is widely renowned for incorporating mountain herbs and greens, local fruit and cheese, fresh seafood, and lots and plenty of olive oil.
The best Crete wine tours and Food tours in Crete you shouldn’t miss
Indulge in the ultimate sensory experience with the best Crete wine tours and food tours. Discover the ancient vineyards and taste exquisite wines crafted from indigenous grape varieties, while knowledgeable guides share fascinating insights into the winemaking process. Immerse yourself in the culinary heritage of Crete as you embark on food tours, savoring traditional delicacies like olive oil, seafood, and local cheeses. These tours offer a perfect blend of flavors, culture, and breathtaking landscapes, creating unforgettable memories for every food and wine enthusiast.
- Chania Walking Food Tour: Indulge your taste buds on a delightful Chania walking food tour in Crete. Stroll through charming streets, sample local delicacies, and uncover the hidden gastronomic treasures of Chania starting from 92€/ person!!
- Chania Wine Tour: Come join us on our Chania wine tour experience and enjoy a unique and unforgettable wine tasting! Our guide will teach you everything about their history!
- Heraklion Private Food Tour: Enjoy a delicious experience discovering the culture and history of Crete through its food. Join Heraklion private food tour and you’re guaranteed to have a delicious experience.
- Heraklion Food Market Tour: Heraklion Market Food Tour is the perfect way to learn about the city’s rich history and cultural influences while sampling some of the best local foods.Join now from 90€/ person!
- Chania Olive Oil Tour: Join us for a unique Chania olive oil tour with wine tastings. You’ll be able to sample a variety of flavors and learn about the production process.Book now from 65€/ person!
Getting to Crete
Getting to Crete is relatively easy and convenient, thanks to its well-connected transportation network. The island is served by three international airports: Heraklion Airport (HER), Chania Airport (CHQ), and Sitia Airport (JSH). These airports offer direct flights from major cities across Europe, making it accessible for travelers from around the world.
If you prefer traveling by sea, there are ferry connections from Athens (Piraeus Port) to Heraklion and Chania. Ferries also operate between Crete and other Greek islands, providing an opportunity for island-hopping adventures. You can easily book your ferry tickets to Crete using our book your ferry ticket service.
Things to do in Crete
Getting around in Crete
Once you arrive in Crete, various transportation options are available to explore the island. Renting a car is a popular choice as it offers flexibility and allows you to visit remote areas. Additionally, local buses operate throughout the island, connecting major towns and villages. Taxis and private transfers are also available for convenient transportation.
It’s important to note that Crete is a large island, so plan your itinerary accordingly and consider the distances between attractions. If you prefer a more relaxed approach, staying in a specific region and exploring its surroundings can also provide a fulfilling experience.
Whether you choose to fly or take a ferry, getting to Crete is just the beginning of your exciting journey to discover the beauty, history, and flavors of this remarkable island.
Where to stay in Crete
When planning your stay in Crete, let this Crete Travel Guide be your compass to find the perfect accommodation. The island offers a diverse range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. In the vibrant cities of Heraklion and Chania, you’ll find a mix of historic charm, bustling markets, and a vibrant nightlife. For those seeking a beach-centric getaway, coastal resorts like Elounda, Rethymno, and Agios Nikolaos offer idyllic settings with pristine beaches and luxurious amenities.
To immerse yourself in traditional Cretan life, picturesque villages nestled in the island’s mountainous regions, such as Anogia or Zaros, provide a tranquil escape and an opportunity to experience local culture. If you’re longing for a serene retreat surrounded by nature, consider eco-friendly resorts or rural accommodations that offer a peaceful atmosphere. Whatever your preference, Crete has a plethora of options to ensure a memorable and comfortable stay as you explore the wonders of this enchanting island. You can easily find the perfect hotel for your needs using our book hotel in Greece service or using the widget bellow.
Crete travel guide: History
1. Minoan Palaces
The Minoan Palace of Knossos outside Heraklion, one of the most significant historical attractions in Greece, is located on the island of Crete, which is arguably best known for being the former home of the Minoan civilization. An expansive central courtyard, private chambers, temples, workshops, and other features may be found in the royal complex.
2. Classical Era Treasures
The Gortyn Code is among the well-preserved ancient ruins that can be found at Gortyn, which was a prosperous Cretan city throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The Gortyn Code, which was found in 1884 and was carved on the side of an odeon (theater) constructed by the Roman emperor Trajan, is the earliest and most complete representation of a code of ancient Greek law that has been found to date.
3. Venetian Fortresses
The Venetian Fortezza in Rethymnon, which also houses the Abraham Han Mosque and the late 19th-century church of Agios Theodoros Trichinas, is the most impressive of the island’s three principal harbor towns and one of Crete’s outstanding examples of a 14th-century Venetian structure.
Food Tour in Heraklion
Welcome to the Heraklion walking food tour! This tour is a great opportunity to sample authentic Cretan cuisine and learn about the local food culture.
The small Spinalonga island, which is reachable by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and Plaka on the northeast coast of Crete, is notable for housing one of the last active leper colonies in Europe in the early 20th century. It also boasts stunning ruins of a 16th-century Venetian fortification. The island’s sick residents changed it into a haven of community and possibility from what was formerly seen as a grim death sentence for those banished from the mainland.
5. Monasteries and Mythology
There are several monasteries to select from in Crete if that’s your thing. The fortified Moni Toplou from the 15th century, which is full of fantastic icons, the Moni of Arkadi from the 16th century, which has a lovely setting and a tragic history, and the Moni Preveli from the 17th century, which has a small museum and expansive views of the Libyan Sea, are some of Crete’s best attractions.
3 Reasons you should visit Crete!
1. Seaside places
Along the seaside, you can find a variety of luxurious hotels and accommodations. You don’t have to travel to large cities like Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, Siteia, or Ierapetra to have an unforgettable trip.
It is amazing to see how these people utilize the abundant produce of their island. In combination with flavors from goat and sheep meat, the great variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes, wild edible greens, and fragrant herbs produce a number of particularly delicious food dishes that are unique for global and even Greek standards.
3. Cretan culture
The island of Crete is a crossroads where peoples and civilizations have left a lasting impression along with a rich cultural history due to its important location on the map.
Did this Crete travel guide help you plan the places you will visit? We got some things covered, so what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream trip to Crete today!
4. Heraklion Food Tour
Heraklion Food Tour is an essential experience for anyone visiting Crete. From traditional Greek dishes to classic home-style cooking, this tour offers a tasty variety of the island’s cuisine. Visitors will be invited to explore local marketplaces and tavernas, trying different food and getting insight into the lunchtime customs of Greek culture. Not only will guests sample delicious foods from around the region, but they’ll learn how to create their own unique Cretan dish! It’s a great way to familiarize oneself with what makes Greek food so special while also enjoying a truly fulfilling cultural experience.
5. Heraklion Food Tour
Chania food tours offer an incredible opportunity to explore the diverse and delicious cuisine of Crete. The tours take visitors on a journey through the winding streets of the historic Old Town, stopping at local tavernas and markets to sample traditional Cretan dishes. Participants can indulge in fresh seafood, grilled meats, and vegetarian options made from locally sourced ingredients such as olive oil, honey, and herbs. The tours are led by passionate guides who share their knowledge and love for the local food culture, offering a deeper understanding of the unique ingredients and cooking methods used in Crete. Chania food tours provide an unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the flavors and aromas of this beautiful island.
Armed with a steaming cup of coffee and an infectious love for teamwork, I brew up brilliant product designs and digital marketing strategies that will leave you buzzing with excitement.