Crete, Greece’s biggest island on the southern Aegean Sea and the fifth biggest island of the Mediterranean Sea is what we could call the ‘gold summer package’. Crete is only 7-9 hours away from the port of Piraeus in Athens by ferry and approximately 45 minutes by plane. Ferry itineraries to Crete are frequent in the winter as well. Crete combines a rich history with amazing beaches, a big and varied landscape to wander around and amazing food. On top of all, activities such as snorkeling, trekking, hiking and biking are available for the whole family.
#What to do
Chania, the main city of Crete, boasts a big history and tradition. The area looks like you are walking in an old Venetian city and has retained the picturesque architecture of the past. Crete came under the Venetian Rule after the Fourth Crusade when Crete was sold to them for 100 silver marks in early 13th century. After that, the island has suffered various occupations and wars, including the Ottoman rule and the World War II. As a result of its turbulent past, Crete is an alive monument in itself.
The first thing you need to visit when you arrive in Chania is the Venetian Port around which spreads the Old Town. The old town is very close to Souda, the port where the ferry arrives. The old town is a miracle of mixed architecture, open space and traditional restaurants where you can also taste the famous tsikoudia (alcoholic beverage of almost 45% alcohol) that Cretans love. The Venetian and Turkish-style mansions and buildings as well as the slated backstreets give the city a very cosmopolitan outlook. As the sun sets slowly, you can enjoy a drink in the various secret cafes and roof bars available. The other big prefectures of Crete, namely Lassithi, Heraklion and Rethymnon also serve as amazing destinations for the whole family. Do not forget to visit the Minoan Palace in Heraklion and the Lassithi Plateau.
#Where to swim
Beaches are an integral part of your vacation in Crete. Although they tend to be a bit far away from the center, those beaches are certainly worth visiting. Balos, Elafonissi, Falassarna are on the top of the list.
Balos is 60 km northwest of Chania and looks like a lagoon as you approach. It is an endless sandy beach with white sand and crystal clear waters. Its landscape is varied with small hills around and a very distinct shape.
Elafonisi is a small islet that is connected to the rest of Crete with a walkable reef. It is around 82 kms away from the center and it reachable with either car or boat. The surrounding are amazing and a visit there is definitely worth your visit.
Falassarna on the other side, is a deep blue paradise with white sand 58 kms away from Chania. The beach has a few sunbeds and boasts an amazing sunset in the evening. However, it is better to avoid swimming when the place gets windy.
#Where to go
Another very important part of Crete are the wild gorges that literally look like someone has cut the mountain in two pieces with a knife. These gorges are walkable and you can wander in the wild area and maybe meet some of the famous kri kri goats that are locals. Samaria Gorge is one of the most famous gorges.
More adventures await you in Crete. Book your ferry tickets for Crete now with Ferriesingreece.com!