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Things to do in
Crete

Meander between coastal villages, colorful old towns, and idyllic beaches on Greece’s largest island.

Our most recommended things to do in Crete

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

1. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Take a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon on a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard. At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and enjoy the magical environment created by Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island that sits atop a steep rock. Enjoy a swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your rest at the beach before heading back.

Heraklion: Dia Island Sailboat Cruise with Swimming and Meal

2. Heraklion: Dia Island Sailboat Cruise with Swimming and Meal

Sail with us to the exotic Dia island on our large and comfortable sailing yachts. Our journey begins at the Heraklion Old venetian harbor. As we start, we pass by the glorious Koules fortress which is built right at the entrance of the marina. A few minutes later we exit the main port of Heraklion and we set sails for our destination. As you admire the beautiful Cretan sea and enjoy the feel of sailing our crew will tell you about the legend of Dia island and its history. About 1 hour later we arrive to the first bay of Dia. There you can enjoy the crystal turquoise waters and our many water activities such as snorkeling, fishing, paddle boarding and more. While at anchor in the bay our crew will be happy to offer you any piece of equipment for our water activities and serve you plentiful drinks so please don't hesitate to request it from them. About 1 hour later our delicious Mediterranean menu is served and includes Greek salad and several appetizers, while the main course is shrimp pasta (we also offer vegetarian and gluten free versions of the menu upon request). You can also accompany your meal with the finest wine, beer, ice tea or soft drinks. Around 30 minutes later we sail to a different bay of the island where you can relax and enjoy the crystal waters and our refreshing fruit salad full of tropical and local fruits. There you will have about 30-60 minutes before we set sails once again to Heraklion and say goodbye to the beautiful scenery full of joy and great memories. You can choose between the morning or the afternoon cruise with the sunset view. *In case the weather does not permit or there is not enough time for a visit to the second bay there will be extra time in the first one and the fruit salad will be served there. We look forward to welcome you on board for an unforgettable day!

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

3. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 7.30 PM.

Agios Nikolaos: Boat Trip to Spinalonga with Swim Stop

4. Agios Nikolaos: Boat Trip to Spinalonga with Swim Stop

Spinalonga is a magnificent island with fortresses dating from the Venetian period. It is an island of legends, a triumph to survival in the early 20th century from the scourge of leprosy, now a place of great archaeological and historical significance. On Spinalonga island, enjoy the opportunity to visit the Interpretive Centre there and discover the settlements of the victims and survivors of this former illness. Explore the Venetian fortifications and learn all about the long and fascinating history of the island. Take time to walk around the island and see the views of the bay and the fortifications. Later the cruise continues, passing along other points of interest in the Bay of Mirabello such as the cave of the legendary Pirate Barbarosa, the sunken ancient city of Olous, and the island where the endemic and hardy Cretan Kri Kri goats live. Have time to relax and swim in the exquisite turquoise waters of Kolokitha Bay. The 40 m boat features two bars, a lounge, and a restaurant serving Greek and international cuisine at reasonable prices with high-quality service from the crew.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Entry Ticket & Optional Audio Guide

5. Crete: Palace of Knossos Entry Ticket & Optional Audio Guide

Benefit from access to the Palace of Knossos avoiding the ticket booth lines. Once inside, you are free to explore this Minoan archaeological site at your own pace, including the Grand Palace which dates back to the year 2000 B.C. Choose between just an entry ticket or an entry ticket and audio guide. As you wander through the site, discover what remains of living quarters, workspaces, and storerooms that have stood for centuries. Learn more about the city which is thought to have been the capital and political center of Minoan civilization and culture. Get a sense of what the building was like originally from the extensive restorations that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. See colorful restored murals, which were typical of the time, and the throne room of the legendary King Minos, which is still intact.

Crete: Knossos Palace and Museum E-Tickets with Audio Guides

6. Crete: Knossos Palace and Museum E-Tickets with Audio Guides

Experience Ancient Crete at your own pace with a combined e-ticket for the island's top two archaeological attractions, the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Receive your ticket in a separate email from the activity provider. Then travel back in time to experience the grandeur of Crete from the Minoan period to Roman times. Follow the itinerary below: Start at 08:00 from Knossos and enter the Heraklion Archaeological Museum at 13:00 or Start at 10:00 from Knossos and enter the Heraklion Archaeological Museum at 17:00. Remember you must be at the venue entrance 15 minutes before the start time. Discover the Palace of Knossos and its monumental Palace of Minos. Explore the exquisite artifacts exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and its unique collection of Minoan artistic masterpieces.

Heraklion Area: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

7. Heraklion Area: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

Venture into the ocean’s depth with a 1-day admission ticket to the CRETAquarium. One of Europe’s largest aquariums, over 2,000 sea creatures lice the CRETAquarium's 60 diverse habitats. Delve into the caves and crevices of the Mediterranean, where stingrays and rock-like scorpionfish slither about. Pop out into the open ocean, where menacing sharks circle, waiting to be fed. Get up close and personal with jellyfish and schools of vibrant tropical clownfish through shallow, open-topped tanks, which allow a new viewing perspective of well known species.  Above all, gain a new appreciation for the unending diversity of the world’s most mystifying environment. When you’ve had your fill of looking at the ocean’s residents, why not pop in for a dip? The CRETAquarium is, fittingly, right on the beach.

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

8. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

9. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Embark on a full-day guided trip to northeastern Crete and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island. Visit Agios Nikolaos with its famous lake, and explore the picturesque village of Elounda. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

Crete: Palace of Knossos E-Ticket and Optional Audio Guide

10. Crete: Palace of Knossos E-Ticket and Optional Audio Guide

Enjoy an exciting visit to Knossos Palace, Crete’s most famous historical attraction, with a pre-booked e-ticket, including a compelling audio tour downloadable on your phone and a detailed map of the site. Lose yourself in the audio tour's storytelling and immerse yourself in history as you walk around this iconic site. Visit the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located just south of Heraklion, and see the evocative setting, complete with impressive ruins and brightly-colored frescoes, come alive through an engaging narrative that sheds light on various elements of Minoan culture. The cupbearers and procession frescoes at the South Propylaeum, which depicts scenes from everyday life and the ceremonial activities in Minoan Crete, provide a great insight into the aesthetic ideals of the time. Follow the evolution of Minoan fashion, learn about the popular hairstyles of the people, and discover the beauty products locals used to touch up their looks. At the West Magazines, where the storage facilities of the palace are located, gain an understanding of the well-organized bureaucracy that supported the palace organization, the earliest forms of linear writing, as well as the Minoan economy and trade networks. Discover the copy of the “Prince of the Lilies” at the South Entrance Corridor and gaze out on Mount Juktas, perfectly framed by the eroded walls of the palace. Visit the Queen’s Megaron, embellished with famous blue dolphins fresco and equipped with a bathroom and a toilet room, where you can find out everything about the bath habits in the Minoan era.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 23,195 reviews

A really great experience exploring the alleys of Chania old town that me, my teenage son and 10 year old daughter both enjoyed thoroughly. Our guide was pleasant and really informative of the history and culture of the place and made my nervous daughter very comfortable on the Trikke. I would certainly recommend it as the best way to explore the old town of Chania.

The tour was great! Andre/Jesus is a great guide, with a wealth of knowledge and an amazing sense of humor. He is funny and has great taste in music, I also felt safe the whole time on the tour. Zeus cave is amazing. I highly recommend it, and the views - fabulous!

Thanks a lot to our guide Christos! we took this tour in last minute because we stayed only half day in Athene. Christos show us most interesting points and we take wonderful pictures. He suggested where to eat our dinner and the special dessert. Thanks!

This company has been a great option to take tours. George the guide is very friendly and helpful, the weather we had that day was not that good and he gave us some recommendations, Balos is a beautiful place, and we had a great time

Incredible trip! What a wonderful day sailing and enjoying the beautiful, natural Dia Island. The crew was so welcoming - highly recommend!