8 Things You Must Do When Holidaying in Crete
by Felicity Brown | Updated 04 March 2020 | Posted in Top Lists, Destinations, Greece
Crete - Greece's largest island - is a mythical tapestry of Greek, Turkish and Venetian history, beautiful beaches, and a mixture of sleepy villages and the vibrant buzz of Chania. Crete has it all. But because there is so much to see, here are our top 8 things that cannot be missed...
1. Visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Greece is renowned for its archaeological sites and it’s one of the best places to visit if you want to learn about ancient human history. This amazing museum reopened in 2014 after a long renovation so go check out the new look and feel! Artefacts are displayed both chronologically and thematically and there are descriptions in English too.
2. Be brave at the Reptile Rescue Centre in Hersonissos
Check out the varied scaly species of snakes and lizards at this TripAdvisor favourite. The guy who runs the place could not be more passionate about the creatures, and it has been described by one visitor as ‘like Eden but with chiller snakes’… They certainly do sound chilled, you can hold many snakes at once if you wish!
3. Take a dip in the clear waters of the Samaria Gorge
Supposedly the longest canyon in Europe, this is not to be missed! You can walk the 11 miles from start to finish through the sheer cliffs and fragrant pine forests.
4. Have a beach day at Elafonissi
It’s calm, warm water is perfect for swimming. Just take a look at this photo – who could resist that!
5. Visit the Sacred Monastery of Arkadi
A nun guides you around this amazing old building. Perfect if you fancy break from the sun and heat of the beach and want to try a bit of peaceful history-seeking. You can see the remains of the people who defended the monastery against the Turks who attacked it back in 1866.
6. Go celebrity-spotting in Elounda
This former fishing town is often mentioned in glossy magazines because it is the destination of choice for the likes of Brad Pitt and Lady Gaga.
7. Taste the Turkish and Venetian influences of Chania
It’s easy to see the Turkish and Venetian influences in the architecture, culture, and most importantly, the food. Chania has some fantastic restaurants and bars. The architectural highlight is definitely the lighthouse at the Venetian Port which dates back to 1595 and is thought to be the oldest lighthouse in the world.
8. Visit the birthplace of Zeus at Ideon Cave
According to legend, Zeus was hidden here from his baby-eating father, Cronos... crikey!