As many of you are probably already planning your next getaway, you will be amazed by the amount of things to do in Crete, Greece, a destination that might not be so typical when looking at European cities to visit. Sure, Crete is an island located at the southern end of the Aegean Sea and offers an amazing shoreline and beach bars to enjoy in the summer, but, trust us when we say, it is SO much more! 

Keep reading to discover all that Crete has to offer, from where to go and what to do, to things to eat and drink throughout the island. Join us as we uncover all the best local spots! 

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What To Do In Crete

Crete is home to some of the most historic places on Earth. You can see ancient Greek and Roman sites all around the island. If you are not a big history buff, but more of a nature lover, there are plenty of mountains, caves and hiking trails that can be found inland. Along the coast, you can enjoy the beaches and day clubs dotted along the shore or the cute cobblestone side streets filled with shops to discover.

Explore Knossos Palace

Starting off strong! This is one of our favourite places on the island. Located about 5 km south of Heraklion, Knossos Palace is one of Greece’s largest and most historically relevant archaeological sites, dating back to the 7th millennium BC, representing the true Minoan Civilization. 

The Palace is truly a stunning site to see and well preserved. During the off-season, you can visit the palace from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (with the last entrance at 4 pm), for only 11€. In the summer months, as there are more tourists on the island, prices are a bit higher but visiting times are extended.

A word to the wise…the summer months are HOT and HUMID. If you are thinking about things to do in Crete in June, July or August, try to plan your visit to Knossos Palace early in the morning or later in the evening as the mid-day sun will surely leave you scorched!


Hike the Samaria Gorge

Found in the Lefka Ori mountain range, Samaria Gorge is one of Greece’s most visited National Parks. It has a 13 km walking trail that begins through a wooded forest, arriving at the settlement of Samaria, then continues to the gorge and along the riverbed, which can be pretty rocky at times. Comfortable hiking shoes are definitely recommended for this trail. 

The park is open from May until October and visiting hours vary depending on the route you plan to take. Make sure to check out the official website for timetables. There is also a 5€ entrance fee, which we suggest buying ahead of time to avoid long lineups. 


Relax on the Beach

Crete’s beaches are paradise, and believe me when I say that you can literally spend all day soaking up the sun and swimming in the crystal-clear waters! Along the island’s coastline, there are a few different options for the “style” of beach available. You can find sandy beaches, rocky beaches, and kid-friendly or adult-only beaches if you prefer. We suggest visiting Elafonissi Beach or the beaches in Hersonissos for family fun. But, if you’re looking for more of a party vibe, Pleasure Beach Club Restaurant located in Malia is a fun option!


Visit the Towns

Being the largest island of the Greek islands, Crete has many large cities or smaller villages to explore. Whether you are looking for luxurious and trendy nightlife and restaurants in more populated cities like Heraklion or a charming little town like Episkopi or Spili, there truly is something to do for everyone. Towns like Chania and Rethymno, are known for their Venetian harbours and are perfect for taking a stroll along the promenade. Agios Nikolaos or Elounda offer more relaxed seaside vibes, with shops and cafés along the boardwalk.


Experience Cretan Cuisine

If you like to eat and enjoy discovering new cuisines, then Crete is a great place for you! With typical Greek favourites that can be found all over the island, including souvlaki and gyros, Crete also offers local flavours that can’t be found in some other places in Greece. Locally sourced ingredients, from olive oil and cheeses to wild herbs and honey are usually found in the local cuisine. 

Make sure to try dakos, a Crete speciality made up of dried bread, tomatoes, feta and local olive oil, and the Cretan cheese pies called kreatotourta. Oh, and let’s not forget about the local wine and raki – they’re the perfect companions to any meal.


Hike the White Mountains (Lefka Ori)

The White Mountains or Lefka Ori in Greek, offer some of the best hiking trails in Crete. There are a variety of peaks and valleys to explore throughout this range, including the Samaria Gorge mentioned before. For those looking for more adventure, Pachnes, the second-highest peak in the mountain range, offers a challenge. We suggest that you plan before your visit, as the access points to the mountain range can be closed depending on the season.


Go to Spinalonga Island

Spinalonga Island, once a leper colony, is now one of Crete’s most intriguing attractions. You can get there by boat from Plaka, Elounda, or Agios Nikolaos. Walking through this abandoned island is an eerie yet fascinating experience, offering a glimpse into a not-so-distant past. 

You can easily cover the entire island in about an hour, so make sure to bring your bathing suit and enjoy some time on the beach if you can!


Discover All The Things To Do in Crete With Oreo Travel

Crete is an island that keeps on giving, with its endless list of activities and attractions. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, hiking through breathtaking parks and mountain ranges, lounging on beaches, or indulging in local delicacies, Crete offers a unique blend of experiences that cater to all interests and tastes. And the best part? At Oreo Travel, we’re here to guide you through it all, making sure you discover the very best things to do in Crete while staying in one of our many accommodations to truly complete your perfect holiday.

So pack your bags and bring your sense of adventure!