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

Distance

1920 km

Time difference

+ 1 hour CET

Language

Greek

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
Show

Travel recommendations

Powered by
TripAdvisor Viator

Activities

Tripadvisor Tipps

  • 9 Ratings
    The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion

    In a small and friendly group, partake in a sensational visit of 2 wineries of Archanes area. Visit firsta new and dynam ...

    More on Viator
  • 11 Ratings
    Off-Road Buggy Adventure in Crete

    Come explore the Cretan mountains on a 7 hour buggy safari. Anyone holding a driver’s license can drive on this inclusiv ...

    More on Viator
  • 0 Ratings
    VIP Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Chauffeur-Driven Private Tour

    An exclusive chauffeur-driven ...

    More on Viator
  • 5 Ratings
    Zeus Cave - traditional villages- old wind mills up to eight people.

    More on Viator
  • 0 Ratings
    Full Day Private Tour- Knossos Palace, Archaeological museum, and Heraklion Town

    More on Viator
  • 42 Ratings
    Full-Day Land Rover Safari from Heraklion with Lunch

    Join this 8-hour guided excursion through the Cret ...

    More on Viator
  • 42 Ratings
    Heraklion Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

    Discover the sights of Heraklion on this fun, open-top hop-on hop-off bus tour. Admire panoramic views of top Heraklion ...

    More on Viator
  • 0 Ratings
    Dia Island Half Day Trip

    Enjoy good sailing, clear tropical waters, warm sun and snorkeling at Dia island.This sailing trip is the perfect way to ...

    More on Viator
  • 0 Ratings
    Day trip with Guide to Rethymno Chania & Kournas lake

    Get to know the west side of the island in a guide ...

    More on Viator
  • 0 Ratings
    Knossos Palace and Archaeological Site Skip the Line Entrance Ticket

    More on Viator