Spreading its rows of olive trees along the hills and diffusing the perfume of laurels and bougainvilleas in the villages, Crete is a resolutely Mediterranean island. Located about 200 kilometers from the Cyclades, two weeks would hardly be enough to visit Crete, the cradle of Minoan civilization: golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, constant warmth, tasty Greek cuisine, picturesque villages and places steeped in history. Take the time to visit its palaces and ancient ruins, such as the famous palace of Knossos a few kilometers fromHeraklion or the one in Malia. This guide to Crete will help you to piece together the puzzle of European history of which Crete holds many memories and treasures. A must-see destination, Crete has preserved its authenticity and its natural wonders such as the beaches ofElafonissi or Gramvoussa in the south of the island. Life is peaceful and the fishermen are happy to share precious moments with travellers, ignoring language differences. The day is marked by the unavoidable siesta that follows lunch and coffee freddo, to let the hottest hours pass. In the evening, locals and tourists meet on the terraces of restaurants, enjoying the mildness of the night, a good local wine and fresh fish. This is an opportunity to try saligaria, the Cretan snail, and raki, which breaks down any inhibitions. The villagers sometimes sing Cretan folk songs, accompanied by pendozali steps, the traditional dance. Forget the looks and let yourself be taken in. A holiday in Crete is an opportunity to discover its specialties. Far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, you will be charmed by its small traditional villages with their feet in the water. Follow the Crete guide to discover this exciting destination!

The must-see places in Crete

When to go to Crete?

The tourist season runs from April to the end of October due to the resumption of direct flights from Western Europe, which cease at the end of October. The majority of establishments for travellers therefore open during this period (sometimes only from May onwards). As the island has a highly developed tourist infrastructure, it is best to avoid the period of July and August, which is saturated with tourists from all over Europe and mainland Greece

The off-season. As Crete enjoys a very mild climate in spring and autumn, we can't recommend the relatively quiet and warmer months of May and October (or the relatively quiet and warmer months of June and September), which are quieter and cheaper for hotels

Low season: from November to April. It is also possible to leave in winter. This will allow you to discover a Crete with different colours, but it is better to plan ahead for some pied-à-terre, as most hotels outside the cities close during this season, except for a few seaside resorts. Please also be aware that it is not possible to visit the Samaria Gorge in winter

How to go to Crete? Our advice & tips

  • Organised trips
  • Going alone
  • Moving around

Stays of ten days to three weeks are offered in Crete. They usually combine guided visits to historical sites with visits to beautiful beaches and remote villages. Stays with full board in hotels are also available, as well as combinations with visits to other Greek islands or the mainland.

Discover our selection of travel agencies for this destination

Crete is easy to explore on your own. The infrastructure is modern and it is possible to book accommodation and transport in advance. Moreover, the security on site is exemplary and the Cretans are very welcoming. However, remember to book well in advance if you plan to travel in July-August.

Ferry. To go to the small islands surrounding Crete and swim there, some fishermen or agencies will agree to take you there

Bus. This means of transport is particularly developed in Crete; whatever your destination, you will always have the possibility to get there by bus, even in the most remote areas

Car. Ideal solution for more freedom. Countless agencies offer similar and very affordable rates. If you are planning a family trip, this is the best solution.

Prepare for your trip Crete

Transportation
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Accommodations
  • Find a hotel
  • Holiday rental
  • Airbnb rental
Stays
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Airbnb experiences
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

Crete travel inspiration

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Discover Crete

Practical information
When to travel?

The tourist season runs from April to the end of October due to the resumption of direct flights from Western...
Read more about it

Weather forecast

Crete enjoys a very mild and healthy Mediterranean climate, contributing to the longevity of the Cretan people. Summe...
Read more about it

Budget

The local currency is the Euro. The budget for a trip to Crete is not excessive compared to other EU countries. Indee...
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Formalities

Greece is part of the Schengen area and therefore citizens of the European Economic Area need only their identity car...
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Health

Vaccines. You are safe to travel to Crete. However, make sure your vaccines (DT Polio, etc.) are up to date Read more about it

How to travel by yourself?

Crete is easy to explore on your own. The infrastructure is modern and it is possible to book accommodation and trans...
Read more about it

How to get organized?

Stays of ten days to three weeks are offered in Crete. They usually combine guided visits to historical sites with vi...
Read more about it

Getting around

Ferry. To go to the small islands surrounding Crete and swim there, some fishermen or agencies will agree to t...
Read more about it

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