Are you looking for things to do in Crete, Greece? I chose for you my favorites places from my three trips to Crete. I’ve stayed in Chania and I recommend this area too. A thing about all these things to do in Crete is that you’ll need to rent a car to see them.
Crete is one of the best Greek islands and one of the most beautiful ones in Europe. There are multiple ways to go there. Personally, I went once by car to Athens and from there by ferry (parking the car on the ferry). Another time I chose a bus company that included the entire road trip and ferry price. The last method I did was flying from my country to Athens and then Athens-Chania. There may be also direct flights to Crete too, it depends on which airport you’re departing from.
Greece is one of the cheapest countries I’ve been to and also it’s incredibly beautiful. The most visited islands can be more expensive, but not as expensive as some countries in Western Europe. Other than Greece, I’ve listed in this article (link) other countries you can travel on a budget. If you’re interested in tips for traveling cheap, here is an article about it (link).
Now let’s see the top 5 things to do in Crete:
1. Visit Balos Beach
The best views in Crete and stunning turquoise water – the best among things to do in Crete
You’re unsure if you’re a beach person or a mountain person? At Balos Beach, you can have them both! This incredible place will offer you some of the best views in Crete. Other than that, you can spend some good hours at the beach. The water is clear and the beach is very big. In case there are lots of people, you can just go to the other side of the beach which is also very beautiful. The top is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Crete. Also, keep in mind that there are no restaurants or hotels. This is very important because in case you’ll need water, there is no supermarket.
This is one of the best things to do in Crete for multiple reasons.
One is that it has the best beaches in Crete. The second one would be the road trip, which offers you breathtaking landscapes of the sea. The road is pretty bad, but honestly, it’s better like that. This will prevent you from speeding and missing lots of beautiful views. If you’re driving slow and careful, you’ll also have time to admire the beauty of that place. Another thing is that you’ll have to climb everything and make lots of stops. In all this time, you can just take some minutes to admire the beautiful view of Balos Beach.
2. Falasarna beach
Beautiful sunset – one of the best things to do in Crete is watching the sunset at the beach
Although it is pretty crowded and popular, Falasarna is one of the best beaches in Crete. I totally recommend you to put it on your list of things to do in Crete! The clear and turquoise water and the beautiful beach are the top reasons for coming here. Another one would be that it’s a great place to see the sunset in Crete. You can stay until late and watch everyone leave when the sun touches the sea in lots of colors. When I went to Falasarna, there weren’t many people left at sunset.
Exploring the island’s mountains is also one of the best things to do in Crete
If you’re a mountain lover, then this place is for you. One of the most famous places in Crete is Samaria Gorge. From Omalos Plateau, you can climb Gigilos peak, taking two and a half hours of climbing. For returning, it will be around 2 hours. It’s not a difficult trail, but it’s really worth it. Another thing to note is that you’ll need your own car, so I would recommend renting one to reach Omalos.
It can be the first one on the list of things to do in Crete for hiking lovers.
When I first got to Crete I thought it was all about beaches. Oh, I was so wrong! The mountains are so incredible in Crete that I couldn’t believe it. It’s a great opportunity for both hiking and cycling passionates to explore the central part of this beautiful island. If you’re a hiking lover, you can get by car to Omalos Plateau and from there to start the trail. If you’re a cycling lover, there are plenty of hard roads to climb for you.
4. Elafonisi beach
Some of the best views in Crete and a great place to see the sunset
This place starts with a beautiful view, as shown in the first photo above. That was the place where we parked, then we started walking to the beach. The walking trail wasn’t very long, but it was enough to admire the landscape. What I liked here more than at Falasarna beach was that it was not crowded. There were people, but not as many. 🙂
Sunset watching – one of the greatest things to do in Crete, especially at Elafonisi beach
One of the main things to do at this beach is to stay until the sunset. Both Falasarna beach and Elafonisi are great places for sunset in Crete. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to visit them just for the sunset. The water is clear and beautiful and the beaches are very clean. Elafonisi beach had some rocks in the water, but you could see them easily. The water was turquoise and great for swimming, rocks were very easy to avoid. Elafonisi beach is also full of white and pink beaches that are close to the main beach.
5. The Old Venetian Harbour of Chania
One of the places to visit in Crete where you have plenty of things to do
Right in the Old Town of Chania, the Old Venetian Harbour of Chania is a gem of western Crete. This place is very full of life, you’ll see everywhere people, cafes and restaurants. Here you can also see a very beautiful sunset, as in the photo from above, on the left. In the same photo, you can see the Lighthouse, one of the most photographed gems of the area. There are multiple horse rides around, but I would recommend just to explore it by walking. There are lots of things to see by just walking around as much as you can.
Chania has multiple activities among things to do in Crete.
You can either stay at a cafe and meet new people or explore the area. After seeing the Lighthouse, you can go see The Firkas Fortress. If you want to see colorful and small streets, you can spend all day walking around the Old Town of Chania. If you’re interested in history and antiquities, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Chania. Yali Mosque, which is the oldest Muslim building in Crete, also deserves a visit. Close to the Yali Mosque, you will see a building that was built by Venetians. It is called Megalo Arsenali and it holds the Center of Mediterranean Architecture.
There are so many more things to see in Greece. If you’re visiting multiple cities in Greece, I recommend visiting:
I didn’t include all the best islands in Greece, but you can try island hopping. Personally, my favorite place in Greece was Meteora, I would totally go back and see those incredible landscapes. In general, Greece is one of the most interesting countries I’ve been to. It has incredible mountains, breathtaking beaches and lots of history. It’s matched for all types of travelers and another great thing is that it’s pretty cheap too! There are some places in Greece that are more expensive, like Santorini, but others that are cheaper. I found Crete pretty cheap, or at least the zone where I stayed (Chania).