Located in the Mediterranean Sea and the southern part of the Aegean Sea, Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, being 60 kilometers wide and 260 kilometers long. More specifically, it is bordered by the Libyan Sea to the south, the Myrtoan Sea to the west, the Karpathian Sea to the south, and the Sea of Crete to the north. As the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is also the most populous of all the Greek islands. Crete is one of the most famous Greek island destinations, with about fifteen percent of all Greece visitors passing through the capital city of Heraklion. Its many beautiful beaches, warm hospitality, amazing views and contrasting metropolitan landscapes are but a few of the reasons why travelers opt to visit this island paradise for their vacation.
The humid and temperate weather that promises a beautiful holiday is another Crete crowd drawer, enticing visitors to head to this Greek destination at any given time of the year. The ideal weather is also perfect for all Crete adventures, exploring its many hidden gems and treasures, as well as discovering many of its wonderful attractions.
Crete is accessible to neighboring Mediterranean countries and the rest of the world through one of its three major airports, the public airport located in Sitia, the Daskalogiannis Military Airport in Chania, and the Nikos Kazantzakis airport situated in Heraklion. Numerous daily flights are serviced by popular airline companies including Aegean Airlines, Athens Airways and Olympic Air. Those who prefer other modes of transportation, on the other hand, can always book one of those ferry services coming from Piraeus, Rethimno or Thessaloniki. Once in Crete, tourists can book a rental car, hail a taxi, take the bus or find their way around Crete through different ferry cruises.
One of the most ideal ways to begin any Crete exploration is by heading straight to its capital city. There are many beautiful sights and interesting places to see in Heraklion, starting with the 3,000 year old remains of the Minoan civilization found at the Palace of Knossos maintained by the Heraklion Archaeological Museum on Xanthoudidou Street. Other interesting places to check out in the city include the Historical Museum, the Museum of Cretan Ethnology in Vori, CretAquarium Thalassocosmos and the open air folklore museum of Lychnostatis. Other interesting things to do in Heraklion besides visiting museums include horseback riding on the beautiful beaches, rock climbing at Karteros and partaking in the local Heraklion Summer Arts Festival that takes place from June until September.
Proceed to the charming town of Hania and visit the beautiful Venetian lighthouse, the remains of the Venetian city walls, now home to an eclectic collection of artisanal shops. The fortress of Firkas just near the harbor is another interesting jewel of the city to check out.
Another very interesting place to visit is the town of Rethymno, considered the third largest in Crete and one of the most picturesque, too. Characterized by a beautiful harbor and its huge Venetian fortress, a bevy of charming narrow alleys and lovely houses with wood balconies, this town is always included in the list of interesting places to see in Crete. The beautiful beach right in town is another reason for guests to stop by whenever they visit Crete.
Agios Nikolaos, the capital of Lasithi is yet another interesting place to see in Crete. This former fishing village also used to be a lovely hideaway for Walt Disney and is most known for its attractive lake which connects to the sea.
For those who look forward to spending numerous hours under the Greek sun in Crete must make it a point to explore many of its lovely beaches, starting with Preveli Beach at the mouth of the Megalopotamos River. Considered one of Crete’s most celebrated beaches, Preveli is well known for the canyon, the scenic lagoon, as well as the endemic palm trees. Those who are craving Greek excitement in Crete, on the other hand, will prove to have a time of their life visiting the legendary Dikteon Cave, which is believed to be the place where Rhea hid her newborn Zeus from his offspring eating father, Cronos, and trekking the national park of Samaria Gorge, considered the longest in Europe and home to numerous endangered species, including the endemic kri-kri, the Cretan wild goat.
While in Crete, one must also include in their travel list to taste the local Tsikoudia drink, as well as the distinct Cretan wine, which is said to be produced on the island for the last 4,000 years.