Five Reasons to Visit Crete

From beautiful beaches to majestic mountains, award winning restaurants to vibrant nightspots the Greek island of Crete surrounded by the blue sparkling waters of the Aegean sea has something to offer everyone.

map of crete

Whether you are looking for a fun family holiday, an eco-friendly agro-tourism break, a cocktail-quaffing trip with your pals or an indulgent week or two exploring the cuisine and wine you will find everything you desire on this ancient isle. Accommodation is varied and available to suit all budgets - start by exploring Crete Rentals for help creating an unforgettable travel experience.

There is so much to explore on this, the largest of the Greek Islands, that one holiday could not possibly encompass it all but here are five good reasons to visit Crete to start you off.


Crete is the birthplace of the first European civilization, the Minoan, which flourished between 3000 BC and 1200 BC mainly in Central and Eastern Crete. Methods and styles of architecture, jewellery-making, painting and sculpture established way back then continue to inspire and influence to this day.

Monastery in Crete

Over the centuries invaders and more peaceful visitors to the island have left their mark and to this day you can see the remains of Minoan and Roman villas, theatres, baths, settlements and temples, some dating back thousands of years.

The island also has a host of museums where you can admire some of the most important findings. There are also museums dedicated to military and natural history collections.


It never takes long for my thoughts to turn to food and I'm begging you, if you visit Crete don't just stick to the establishments catering entirely for tourists. Be adventurous and eat like the locals for a truly authentic experience.

OK so the island speciality of fried snails (Chochlioi Boubouristi) served with a splash of wine or vinegar might not be to everyone's taste but there is so much more to Cretan cuisine than Greek Salad.

Try Dakos, also sometimes called koukouvagia or kouloukopsomo is a Cretan meze dish, a little like Bruschetta on soaked or dried bread with chopped tomatoes, feta or mizithra cheese crumbled on top. Sometimes oregano, olives or pepper is added.

Cretan dish Dakos

Looking for quick cheap snack? Cretan cheese pies are the prefect quick lunch and although they look pretty much the same as the ones you will find throughout Greece and the islands, they are unique.

They tend to be sweet and savoury simultaneously often incorporating rosewater or local honey along with local cheeses which vary from village to village.

Meze of course is a must - ask the locals where the best meat, fish or vegetarian meze is in the area.


Crete has campsites, youth hostels and individual rooms for rent, ideal for young, solo and more adventurous travellers but if like me you prefer rather more luxury on holiday the island has a fantastic selection of villas and other rentals along with hotels, many offering all inclusive deals.

For those who want a taste of more authentic local traditional life there are a number of agro-tourism cottages and lodges across Crete.

Greek urn with flowers

You can book courses to learn traditional cooking, bread and pastry making and foraging or just muck in and help with sheep shearing, farming, milking and animal care.

Stunning Villas can be found in every area so whether you want a remote location with total privacy as you lounge round a luxury pool or prefer to be within a stone's throw of a sophisticated cocktail bar you are guaranteed to find one to suit.

beach bar cocktail


It's no secret that my holidays consist of shopping, seaside activities and food so Crete is perfect for someone like me. 

Beach babes can soak up the sun (mid-May to September or even October is best for this) while active holidaymakers can enjoy just about every water sport going. Swim, snorkel or scuba dive in clear blue water - exploring under the ocean with experienced guides reveals hidden treasures like long lost ancient ports, archaeological sites and ship wrecks along with shoals of colourful fish and other marine life.

Beach in Crete

Try Kayaking, surfing or paddle surfing and sailing or if you prefer dry land go on a jeep or off-road buggy safari, bike or horse ride or even master the Segway for a more unusual way to explore.

You could spend some time shopping in the hottest part of the day -Crete has come a long way in the last 20 years and now you will find your favourite designer brands on sale as well as traditional trinkets and arts and crafts. Treat yourself to some pottery or jewellery for a souvenir which will last longer than your tan.


Finish a fabulous day with a sunset cruise - some offer the opportunity to swim off the side of the boat or in secluded coves while staff prepare a simple but tasty feast- or see if any local tavernas are offering free music in the evenings. You'll find everything from traditional music to tribute bands on offer!

Clubbers are well catered for with lively nightlife spots across the island - head to Malia or Stalis and along the coast from there to Elounda for the wildest nights.

So there we have it - my guide to five reasons to visit Crete. There are many, many more of course - I could wax lyrical about the island for ever but the best way to find out more is of course to visit yourself.

I'd love to know any extra tips from anyone who has been to Crete recently-fave restaurants, nightspots and bars for example. or must see historical sights.  Feel free to comment below.


Disclaimer: sponsored post.

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