Crete on the road: 4 recommended stops

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Aina Prat Blasi

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Crete is a pearl of the Mediterranean, waiting to be discovered: ready to organize your one-week road tour in search of myths and legends?

This is the year of the islands and I remind you that I am not a great lover of them, yet travel helps you to discover places that you would not have thought of visiting. However, even this time I do not contradict myself and aim to the East, closer to home but still to the East.
The choice fell on Crete, an island reachable in a couple of hours  and not too big, so you can visit it with peace of mind.
No public transport: we opted to rent a car to enjoy all the freedom of a beautiful travel on the road in search of myths and legends.

Let's find out what this pearl of the Mediterranean has to offer.

1. Chania

Do you want to feel a little bit in Italy? Savor the Venetian style? Chania is for you. The strong point of this small town is certainly its graceful Venetian port surrounded by restaurants and clubs.
Furthermore there is the possibility of seeing a small mosque, now used as an exhibition space. Move a little outside and climb the walls to get a great view of the city. Get back into the crowd and get lost in the alleys of Chania and maybe stop in one of the many restaurants that offer Cretan and non-Cretan cuisine.

2. Rethymno

Rethymno, a city halfway between Chania and the capital Iraklio. The main attraction of the city is definitely the fortress. From here you have a splendid view over the entire historic center, plus there is the possibility of visiting a real mosque, no longer used for worship.
Let's go back to Rethymno and get lost in the alleys until we reach the fascinating Neratze flies with its very high minaret. Here too, as in Chania, you can feel the strong Venetian imprint. The small port with its many restaurants is a picturesque example of this.

3. Heraklion and the wine region

A visit to the capital Iraklio certainly cannot be missed. Here you can visit the archaeological museum and take a nice walk visiting the churches scattered around the city and admiring the Venetian-style fountains until you reach the fortress.
Heraklion is also an excellent base for visiting the most famous archaeological site of Crete: the Palace of Knossos, which is only 5 km away. If you have your own vehicle, move further south and get lost among the vineyards of the island's wine area, perhaps stopping in some cellar along the way to taste some excellent wine.

4. The beaches of Crete

We are on an island, so you can't miss a little relaxation on one of its beautiful beaches. Let's start with the enchanting Balos Lagoon. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
It can be reached with a day trip or, if you have your own vehicle, even through a dirt road of about 8 km.

Let's move a little further west towards the wide Falasarna beach. The crystal clear water and the magnificent sunsets will make you love it. Reachable within a day from Hania and Kissamos, both by bus and by car, here there are various free parking spaces.

We continue the journey south, until we reach the rosy beach of Elafonissis. Famous for its pink sand and turquoise waters, it is a true corner of paradise. Maybe in the summer it is a bit too crowded, but on the other hand who wouldn't go there to spend a few hours relaxing?

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