Home to Beaches and Ancient Ruins

As one of Greece’s southernmost islands, Crete is equipped with the ideal beach holiday climate. But that’s only one of many Cretan attributes. The island capital of Heraklion and, indeed, the island per se are a treasure trove for history buffs.

Crete features beaches to suit every taste. Be it sand or pebbles, calm or lively, for families or good swimmers: this picturesque Greek island has something for everyone. Heraklion’s most famous beach is called Matala and was a popular venue for hippies in the 1960s and 1970s.;;; ;;; Frequently referred to as the Caribbean of Crete, the islet of Elafonissi in the west boasts one of its most beautiful sand beaches. Plakias situated in the south is home to idyllic bathing coves for blissfully tranquil beach days. And the region of Kissamos In the northwest entices with a breathtakingly large bay.

Quick facts Heraklion (Crete)

Flight time

02:35 h


1920 km

Time difference

+ 1 hour CET
Ø Temperature in December
17 °C

Exchange rate

Airport transfer & car rental



A cup of cappuccino costs around

CHF 3.51

Glimpsing into Crete’s history

Crete also boasts a wealth of excavation sites, including the famous ruins of Knossos near Heraklion, The Heraklion Archaeological Museum houses the world’s most notable collection of artifacts of the Minoan era. Lions Square with the Morosini Fountain is situated in the centre of Heraklion’s delightful Old Town and the early 16th century Koules Fortress can be found at the entrance of the city’s pretty port.

Hiking through one of Europe’s longest gorges

The port town of Chania is known for its Venetian-style buildings. Another place of interest is the former leper colony on the island of Spinalonga. Samaría Gorge in the eponymous national park provides a special highlight for hiking fans. Spanning a length of eight miles, the gorge is one of the longest in Europe and can be hiked from one end to the other.

Cycling on the Island of Crete

Travel recommendations

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