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Chania, Crete by Matthieu Oger on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Europe: Greece - Crete Travel Notes.

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Crete Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Travel away from mainland Greece. Step back in time to visit Crete's iconic landmarks, including ancient ruins, Venetian fortresses, and Byzantine churches.

About Crete

Crete, the largest island in Greece, is a popular travel destination thanks to its beautiful beaches, rugged landscape, ancient history, and rich gastronomy.

Travel Map Mapping Crete

Map of Crete

Map of Crete

Crete has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, including Elafonisi, Balos, and Falassarna.

The Island of Crete

May is the best time to travel to Crete as the island isn't crowded and nature is at its best. At this time of year you'll find a luscious green Crete, full of wild flowers.

Visit the island again in October and you'll notice the difference; it's dry everywhere. The summer sun, that so many visitors come to Crete for, has taking its toll on the nature.

The weather in May is perfect for hiking and other outdoors activities as the average temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius.

You don't even need to have a room booked before the main season. Just arrive on the island, rent a car and explore an uncrowded Crete.

Locate the town you want to spend a few days in and ask around - to find a really nice room.

Map of Heraklion

Map of Heraklion

The capital of Crete is Heraklion, also known as Iraklion.

It is the largest city on the island and the administrative capital of the Heraklion regional unit.

Asking questions is a perfect way for you to find any kind of information you need. Just be polite and greet people heartily. Learn how to say "kalimera" (good-morning).

Everybody likes to hear a couple of words in their native language from foreign visitors. Finally, use your instinct and imagination. Buy a good map and choose the places that inspire you. Fill your car with petrol and enjoy.

An Introduction to Crete

Crete is one of the 13 regions of Greece and the southernmost district of the European Community.

It is the largest island in Greece and the second largest (after Cyprus) in the East Mediterranean.

Visit The Greek Islands.


Chania is the second largest city in Crete.

From its fascinating Old Town to exotic Balos Beach and the famous Samaria Gorge, a visit to Chania offers an array of unforgettable adventures (and perhaps a little home-brewed raki).

Crete Excursions

Explore Crete

Yannis Samatas provides a taste of the different locations around Crete; starting with Chania to Milia.

Explore the real Crete with suggested driving routes and sightseeing tours around the island.

Many places are skipped, as well as trekking routes, so it's up to the visitor to discover the hidden gems of Crete to suit their interests.

Samaria Gorge

The Samaria Gorge has become one of the iconic hiking destinations of Europe.

Surrounded by some of the most striking scenery in Europe, the Samaria Gorge trail includes abandoned villages and the rich wildlife of Crete’s White Mountains National Park.

The 16km canyon runs from a plateau beneath the White Mountains all the way to Agia Roumeli, on the Libyan Sea.

The Gorge of Samaria is the second most popular tourist attraction in Crete (after the Minoan palace of Knossos) and by far the most popular walk.

More than a quarter million people walk through the gorge every year from the beginning of May to the end of October.

The walk through Samaria is not that hard if you are fit and used to walking but it can be a struggle if you're. Don't worry though, there are a number of alternative ways to visit the gorge of Samaria.

Samaria National Park is open from May to October. Visitors can walk along the length of the main footpath.

All those who wish to walk beyond the main footpath require a special licence.


The small village of Sougia, in the south-west of Crete (75km from Chania), has managed to remain unaffected by the growth of tourism in Crete.

It is still a peaceful haven, with a long beach, plenty of good accommodation and great places to eat, all at prices below those found in most of the island.

Transportation in Crete

Crete has a well developed road network with blue buses serving the cities and green buses connecting all the prefectures of Crete.

KTEL Chania-Rethimnon.

There is daily boat connection with Piraeus to the port of Souda (Chania) and Heraklion.

Crete has three airports - Chania, Heraklion and Sitia - with daily flights to Athens.

Visit West Crete

Independent travellers to Crete who want more than just lying in the sun at an anonymous resort they saw in the brochure may want to spend time discovering West Crete.

No matter how well you think you know Greece, if you haven't visited the Apokoronas villages of Chania, you haven't experienced Crete at its traditional best.

Walking in Crete

Walking in Crete is the best way to discover the Cretan landscapes, to meet the locals, smell the flowers and discover that nice little tavern.

The E4 European Walking Path is about 500km long, beginning at Kastelli-Kissamos in the west and ending at Kato Zakros in the east.

Where to Stay in Crete

Crete is an island with an exquisite 1,000 kilometre-long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas, which afford a multitude of soft, sandy beaches along the beautifully blue Mediterranean Sea.

To explore the island of Crete fully, you may want to choose a few places to stay.

Crete Hotels and Rooms.

Crete Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Crete (Travel Guide) DK Eyewitness Travel Guide The Greek Islands (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

Crete Travel Guides - Map of Crete.

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